Third Grade Wax Museum: Another Great Innovation in Teaching
On Tuesday, May 18 family and friends were invited to the James H. Vernon School Third Grade Wax Museum. “Wax” figures came alive with the touch of a button. Third graders portrayed famous figures from history, sports and entertainment. When the button was pushed each character would animate and share biographical information about their character.
The museum opened at 12:30 pm. Every ten minutes tour guides (classroom teachers) ushered attendees to the next exhibit throughout the entire third grade wing. The students worked hard and were very excited to show off their presentations.
The students created mobiles by taking events from their biographical timeline and hung them from a hanger in a creative way. Each mobile was suspended from the ceiling above the corresponding “wax” figures.
The Oyster Bay – East Norwich School teachers have become known for their many innovative techniques to teaching which keeps the students engaged and excited about learning. This latest innovation was a big hit with the students and the family and friends who packed into the Vernon “museum.”
The concept was a true collaborative effort by the Third Grade Team of teachers. Here is the unit that they developed and some helpful hints for parents when helping their children approach writing a biography.
Breathing Life into Biographies
Why Should Kids Read Biographies?
- Biographies empower kids with knowledge: When students read about humorous incidents or problems in historical figures’ lives, they get to know these men and women as real people.
- Biographies help boost self-esteem: Many heroes had unhappy childhoods, problems or handicaps. Discussing how they overcame these troubles helps kids deal with similar difficulties.
- Biographies are fun: John F. Kennedy said, “All history is gossip,” and almost everyone likes a little gossip. Also, kids are curious — they want to know why famous people did what they did.
Get the Most Out Of Biographies
- Brainstorm a word web before reading a biography. Write down everything students say, even if it’s wrong.
- Concentrate on what interests kids (relationships, habits, food): help them identify with their heroes and heroines.
- Look for nicknames and quotes. How was the famous person’s childhood similar to a modern-day childhood?
- Put life today in perspective: thanks to Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone, we can surf the Web — and order pizza!
- Talk about what students feel makes a famous person particularly brave, funny, clever etc.
- Read about other people of a particular era to get a sense of the issues that affected celebrity.
Record important events from a biography on a timeline. (Most historians agree that learning the order in which events happened is more useful than memorizing specific dates.)