American icons: Third-graders bring history to life at Happy Valley

Published 3:37 pm Saturday, May 9, 2015

NW0510 Wax Museum D

Several historic figures made a special appearance at Happy Valley Elementary school Thursday morning.

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Third-grade students in Tracy Tallman’s class put on their best costumes and portrayed their favorite people from history during the Happy Valley Elementary Wax Museum.

The wax museum was the final portion of a research project for the class. The students were given a list of historic individuals to research and write report ons. They then created short verbal presentations from their reports, designed costumes and selected props to use while portraying that figure.

“They were to become that character,” Tallman said. “These are figures that are important throughout history that the students should know about. They are all important to America and our history.”

Students portrayed people such as Neil Armstrong, Benjamin Franklin, Davy Crockett, Geronimo, Amelia Earhart, Jane Goodall, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Martin Luther King Jr., Noah Webster, Rosa Parks and Helen Keller, among many others.

The students lined the school’s gym and stood in character while other students, parents and visitors came by to learn about the people in the museum. As visitors approached each section, the scene came to life as students shared the facts they learned about their historic person.

Hannah Miller chose to be Betsy Ross for the wax museum. Ross, born Elizabeth Griscom, is traditionally credited with making the first American flag. Miller dressed in red, white and blue and rocked away in a rocking chair with her sewing tools while waiting for museum visitors to stop by and learn more.

“I like the American flag, so I decided to do Betsy Ross,” Miller said. “I learned a lot about her. I learned she was a Quaker, but she broke from her religion to marry the man she loved. She followed her heart.”

Abraham Lincoln made a special appearance for the museum, as Lexi Trivette decided to dress up as one of our most famous presidents.

“He was a good president, and he was fair,” she said.

A couple of scenes over, Geronimo, a prominent Apache tribe leader, was getting to know Jane Goodall, a conservationist best know for her work with chimpanzees.

Ryan McKinney picked Geronimo because he is interested in Native American history.

“I really like the Indians,” he said. “They were native here, and they had their own language. Geronimo worked hard for his people.”

Abigail Burker portrayed Goodall because she felt a connection with the animal welfare supporter.

“She is just like me,” Burker said. “She loves animals, and I do, too. She helped save so many animals and helped them from becoming extinct.”

The wax museum is an annual event for the Happy Valley third-graders.