Westside Elementary Wax Museum brings history alive

Published 9:03 pm Thursday, March 21, 2024

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By Ron Marvel

Star Correspondent

Second-grade students at Westside Elementary created their own wax museum of sorts on Thursday as students in the school dressed the part of different historical figures who would “come to life” and share facts about themselves when family members and friends came and visited them. From Aristotle to Jackie Robinson students presented not only biographical information but fun facts as they dove into various characters from their social studies lesson plans.

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Family and friends had the opportunity to walk around and listen to narratives prepared by the students and to observe displays the students had assembled. Westside Elementary teacher Amy Ensor, who helped organize the event, spoke about the purpose of the “wax museum.” “These are all historical characters we have studied since August. I teach the science and social studies portion here called ‘Core Knowledge.’ This is my first-year teaching this, so I am learning a lot too as we go through the material,” Ensor added. Core Knowledge or CKHG follows an approach to knowledge-based schooling. It allows students to build and deepen their knowledge grade by grade and to make cross-curricular connections across subjects. So, the wax museum today followed that hands-on pattern for learning.

Three second-grade classes involved around 76 total students participating, and the event ran from 8:15-9:15 a.m. As the morning progressed several hundred individuals visited Westside gymnasium and got to observe the students’ diligent work. “This allows our students to create a memory that will not fade away. They get to dress up, do the research, and present it. They will be able to go back and reflect on this today. Today can hopefully give them background knowledge they can build on moving forward for when they are in middle and high school,” Ensor shared.

Another Westside Elementary School second-grade teacher LeAnne Fox shared how hands-on learning like this can inspire students to go deeper into their studies. “Our students just are not learning about historical figures, they are also teaching each other. They have really enjoyed dressing up. They are maximizing their learning by putting on the shoes of someone from a different (historical) era,” Fox said.