Monday, April 20, 2015

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year {Wax Museum!}

We are starting our research for our 3rd grade wax museum and it is literally the MOST wonderful time of the year!

I LOVE this project.  The kiddos LOVE this project.

This is what my classroom looked like last week...
 Neil Armstrong found a video...

 Bessie Coleman and Laura Ingalls Wilder share new knowledge.

 Caroline Herschel works on her timeline.

My "Anne Frank" found a virtual tour of the home she hid in... everyone wanted to know if their person had any virtual tours too!  :)
Rosa Parks finds pictures.

Kids everywhere using the iPads to research the historical figure they have chosen... watching videos, searching images, reading websites... I LOVE IT!

Last week we researched dates for our timelines.  This week we'll be gathering info for our speeches.
If you have never done a wax museum, I'd highly recommend you look into doing one.  It covers SO many standards for starters... and it's just plain fun and full of learning.  Like literally SO much learning!!!!!

Here's a rough outline of how ours breaks down:

*gather dates for timeline (8 important life events)- 2 days
*gather info for speeches (students use a specific outline for notes)- 2 days
*write speeches using notes (4 paragraphs, following a specific plan)- 3 days
*We spend about a week in class working to memorize our speeches, though memorization isn't required.  Then all students will give their speech to the class the day before we do our for real wax museum.

We also make "buttons" that people can push to activate the speeches.  Last year we made them out of paper, but this year we're going to have students use PicCollage on the iPads to make their button.  Some of my kiddos have already started and one had the GREAT idea of including a quote from her person on the PicCollage, so I'm going to have my students all do that too!

Students make their timelines at home using the info gathered at school.  They can e-mail me pictures and I will print them at school or they can print at home or they can draw images for the timelines.  We supply paper for the timelines- it's an 11x18 piece of construction paper cut in half lengthwise and students attach the two halves.  But lots of students make their own timelines out of science fair boards, poster boards, etc...

Students also put together a costume at home.  I teach in a high poverty district and, the past two years that we've done this, students haven't had trouble with this.  We've seen everything from a George Washington wig made by gluing cotton balls to a baseball cap to Michael Jordan's jersey made by drawing the logo of his team on paper and taping it to a t-shirt!  The students and families have been so creative!

Did I mention I LOVE this project???!!!


  1. That sounds like a great project. It must be amazing to watch them work independently. Do you have a copy of the speech outline? I might try it with my ELL's!


  2. I would love a copy of the outline as well. We do a Living Museum in our school but I love the idea of calling it a wax museum with the buttons.



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