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Sandy Journal

Sandy students bring historical figures to life

Sep 08, 2022 01:42PM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

It may not ever happen again.

Babe Ruth appeared near King Tut. Sojourner Truth stood next to Rosa Parks. Amelia Earhart and Sacajawea were in the same room.

It was a glimpse into the past of people who made an impact in the world, shared by Sandy Elementary third-grade students, each portraying a historic individual as part of their wax museum.

“We got to pick interesting people to learn about,” said third-grader Leticia Simoes, who studied Anne Frank. “She wrote in her diary every day.”

Classmate Zahirah Palafox learned about Annie Oakley.

“I learned about her family and how she paid the family’s house by hunting and married the man she beat in a contest,” Zahirah said.

Third-grader Shaun Gonzales learned King Tut died at age 19 in Ancient Egypt.

“They didn’t wear shoes back then, but sandals made of wood and bark,” Shaun said.

Jordan Lancaster selected to learn about Amelia Earhart.

“She was always up for an adventure,” Jordan said. “She made a roller coaster from her second floor of her house. That would be cool.”

Emilee Martin learned Davy Crockett didn’t just camp or work the cattle drives, but also served in the House of Representatives.

“He was a legend in the frontier, but he also represented Tennessee,” she said. “There was a stamp made after him.”

Third-grade teacher Ashlie Warner said that after students picked an individual that was approved, they did their own research. Many students read about the person in the “Who Was” book series.

“I like that it’s all individualized learning,” Warner said. “They’re all learning about their person to the depth and breadth that interests them. They’re all learning something.”

Most of the eight-week project, which include creating their own book about the individual, was done in class. They presented their findings to schoolmates, family and friends at a wax museum, when visitors pushed a paper button, they would share these people’s footsteps on the world and lasting imprints. Many students had fun, making or creating a costume or outfit representing their individuals.

“The kids love it. They have a sense of autonomy. They share what they learn with one another and are excited to do so,” she said.

Warner’s colleague, Alli Weaver, said that her students also get “fully into it.”

“It’s one of the favorite things they do all year,” she said. “The students know about it because they walked through it when they were younger or have had siblings participate in it. We’ve been doing it at least 12 years now.”

Weaver said that it combines evidence-based research with reading, writing, and oral presentation skills and often sparks an interest in learning more about history.

“We’ve had students be Queen Elizabeth or Harriet Beecher Stowe and then, after learning about them, they want to learn more about others in that time period, so it sparks their own curiosity and learning,” she said. “They’re just so excited to share and be proud of what they’ve learned.”

Third-grader Addie Olson was dressed as Sacajawea.

“She was a Shoshone who traveled with Lewis and Clark when she was a teenager,” she said. “She could interpret for them and be able to tell them which plants and berries they could eat. She also helped them find their way out west. I learned a lot about her and where she traveled.”

Addie said the highlight of being Sacajawea was the costume she wore for the wax museum.

“The best part is definitely her cool costume,” she said. “But it’s also the worst part because it’s hot and itchy.”