On Friday I visited a wax museum. I saw Christopher Columbus and Helen Keller, Michael Jackson and Princess Diana, to name a few famous figures. And they were anything but rigid. Or waxy, for that matter. In fact, the figures in this wax museum were so lifelike, they would have put Madame Tussaud to shame. So where is this wax museum, you ask?
Well, I should start by telling you that it was not exactly your typical wax museum. Unlike other wax museums, this one was located in an elementary school and the price of admission was free. You can’t beat that. And the figures weren’t made of wax at all! That’s because they were third grade actors in costume, assuming statue-like poses. And were they ready for me and the rest of our school!
Entering the museum, the first thing that the second graders and I and saw were famous people from history standing poised and silent. As we approached each “wax figure”, it became apparent that we would need to “press the button” to animate the wax figures. Each wax figure had a red dot sticker on the desk in front of him/her. When we pressed the button, we were amazed to see and hear the wax figure come alive and launch into a mini-biographical account of his/her life. The third grade wax figures were fantastic, memorizing and delivering the information that each one had prepared. They stayed in character throughout, ever mindful that they were portraying famous historical people and acting as mechanical figures. It was obvious to me that the third graders prepared themselves well and took pride in presenting students, staff, and visiting parents with a real wax museum experience. And it was apparent to me that their teachers did a wonderful job to encourage them. This was a terrific way to make history come alive and bridge a connection between past and present.