A presidential event

Fourth grade students at Thomas Jefferson Grammar School participate in a presidential wax museum event.
Apr. 13, 2013 @ 05:06 AM

History came to life at Thomas Jefferson Grammar School on Friday.

Fourth grade students shared the stories of the first seven presidents of the United States during a presidential wax museum event. The event goes along with the classes' core curriculum studies.

"We spend three weeks researching the presidents in class. We pull websites, books and encyclopedias. We model it for them and have a booklet for their notes. After a couple of weeks of doing the research, they make an outline and the kids write a formal paper," said Lynne Sunday, fourth grade teacher. "Then they come back and develop notecards and create a speech with it."

Students were randomly selected to portray George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson or one of their wives for the museum. The speeches had to include an introduction, a background, special achievements, historic events that occurred during their presidency and life after presidency.

"This gives them some background in doing a research paper before they get to fifth or sixth grade where they are required. They know how to look up true facts and we have worked with the librarians to learn how to write down sources," Sunday said.

On Friday, the students presented what they had learned to their fellow students and to parents and grandparents. The museum was held in the gym of the school and the students were 'asleep' until someone came by and put money in their bucket. All of the money raised will go back to the school for supplies or projects.

"Not only is this teaching a great unit but it covers grammar, public speaking, written language and vocabulary. It's very broad," Sunday said. "Some of the students are very theatrical and you don't always get to see that in class. You start to see different qualities come up and it's so much fun. This is one of the memories that sticks with parents and kids."