A living presidential museum

Apr. 03, 2014 @ 04:45 AM

Students dove into history this week by portraying the roles of the first seven presidents of the United States.

Fourth-grade students at Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy Grammar School shared the history of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson with peers and family members during a presidential wax museum on Wednesday.

The students have been studying the Constitution and constitutional government as part of their Core Knowledge curriculum and were each given a president or a president’s wife to research and portray during the museum.

“This helps bring to life what we’ve been learning and are continuing to learn throughout the year,” Allison Wilson, fourth-grade teacher, said.

After getting their characters, the students were required to write a

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research paper on the person, find a time-period related costume and come up with a speech for the museum.

“This proves what the students have gained from the unit,” Liz Brown, another fourth-grade teacher, said. “They do this all on their own, they don’t do anything at home except for the costumes.”

For the museum, the students performed their speeches for their fellow classmates and for family and friends.

“Several of the other grades study these presidents and it reiterates what they are learning throughout the year,” Brown said. “They (fourth-grade students) amaze me every time we do this with the work they do.”

Those who attended the museum had to place coins in a jar or hit a special button created by the students to hear their speeches. All of the money collected will go to purchase items for the fourth-grade science curriculum.

The students were graded on content of their speech, voice, grammar and dress. Bailey Cole was one of the students who played John Adams.

“I learned he was a fat and stubborn man. He was the first president to live in the White House,” Cole said. “It (the wax museum) has been the highlight of my life. I like seeing the little kindergarten and first graders learning all of this.”