Where can you find historical figures like Martha Washington, Benjamin Harrison, and Alexander Graham Bell? Besides a history book, at the Living Museum set up at Schulze Elementary. Ms. Dolores Madrid and her 3rd grade Social Studies students spent three weeks bringing their project to life. Each child was first required to choose a historical figure or have one assigned to them from any time period. Then, they had to do research, write about that person, and become them.
“There was generally fear at first. For some [students], there was excitement but as they had to memorize their lines and say them in front of me in the classroom and they didn’t know them, there was some embarrassment. Now that they know their lines and they are out there, they are so proud of themselves. They are really happy,” said Ms. Madrid as the Living Museum was on display.
On March 7, all the students dressed as their historical figure and lined up like statues along the hallway. When someone pushed the button next to them, the student statue would start talking, reciting the lines they’d written about themselves as their historical figure.
“Everybody gets to hear your person, and you get to act it out. I’ve never really been shy, I would say what I want but sometimes it would get me in trouble, but I enjoy doing it [the project],” explained Delenna Moore while acting as Martha Washington.
Delenna’s mother had been to a Living Museum before. “My son actually did this two years ago as a third grader. He was Daniel Boon. I think it’s really great. It’s an inventive way for students to learn about history. It beats sitting behind a desk and reading through a boring history book.”
Beyond the history lesson, the Living Museum also helped students sharpen their public speaking skills. “This lesson has covered so many facets in language arts and social studies,” said Ms. Madrid.