Wax Museums at Lincoln and Cherry
Two Wax Museums Deliver
Public Addresses in Dress-up
You weren't seeing things if you noticed Elvis, Gandhi, Teddy Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, Florence Nightingale, Helen Keller, Vince Lombardi, Leonardo DaVinci, Vincent Van Gogh, Jane Goodall, Amelia Earhardt, Rosa Parks, Derek Jeter, Cleopatra, George Washington, Eli Manning, Neil Armstrong, to name just a few personalities at two Sayville elementary Schools.
To fulfill the Third-grade Biography Unit of Study that included research and writing about notable historical figures, the Third-grade students at both Lincoln Avenue and Cherry Avenue schools explored a realm of nonfiction possibilities for their Wax Museum biographies. Upon the completion of their assignments, each school held uniquely different presentations that still achieved the same delightful outcome for visiting family members—the students, dressed in appropriate costumes, had become unquestionable authorities on assorted dignitaries, politicians, celebrities, inventors, scientists, writers, artists, and humanitarians.
Celebrating its Fifth Annual Wax Museum, one hundred Lincoln Avenue third-grade students proved well prepared by their research. In the Lincoln Avenue Museum, realistic “statues” of historical figures stood motionless at special stations in the cafeteria or at their desks in classrooms until curious visitors wandered by and pressed the “Activate” button. Then, suddenly, the figures would come alive with a wealth of statistics and information that amazed each listener.
The Lincoln Wax Museum remained “open to the public” for only 45 fun-filled minutes, but during that time, all the students demonstrated a depth of knowledge matched by their ability to stay in character. Along with Principal Dr. Michele LeBlanc, Third-grade teachers Janet Cozza, Kortney DuMoulin, Rita Galvin, and Mary Panerello praised their students for their tremendous enthusiasm and hard work.***
Cherry Avenue’s Wax Museum had a slightly different spin to the presentation. In the multipurpose room, each biographer, dressed-up-in-costume, took the microphone and delivered a well-rehearsed public address to a seated and exclusive audience of family members.
Mrs. Geraldine Batterberry introduced her Third-grade Wax Museum event with great praise and awe for her students who, in addition to preparing book reports and portraits, were also learning the art of public speaking, “…working on oral presentation, which is hard for them to do. It is the first time they are doing something like this in Third grade… making eye contact, looking up at their audience, trying to connect to their audience…I’ve never had a class do this as well as they did!” Additionally, Mrs. Batterberry sang the praises of their Computer Lab Manager, Mrs. Joanne Marsich. “In my opinion, she is behind the scenes in EVERY project that goes on at Cherry Avenue! She has the most amazing work ethic, and helps the teachers and students out so much!”
Mrs. Lorianne Falco also commended her students for working so hard on their biographies. They “needed to take notes and pull out important information which is really difficult for Third-graders to do.” She too acknowledged the invaluable assistance of Mrs. Marsich for finding reliable online sources that constantly benefited both students and staff.
Conveying that the Wax Museum was more than just a game of dress up, Mrs. Falco shared how it finished the unit on nonfiction and encouraged “the best kind of learning, because it is authentic. They know they have to be prepared for this event. That is when you see kids wanting to learn….” Mrs. Falco felt that reading biographies was great for the students for another reason. “They learned that, while many of their subjects are famous today, these people didn’t always have it easy…. The kids really learned what it’s like to struggle, but yet still overcome that, and I hope that they take that lesson with them after this unit.”
Whatever lessons the Cherry Avenue students derived from their Wax Museum presentations, it was obvious to all that the students put great heart and soul in their efforts to give life to their special famous figures. Congratulations to all!