Luverne second graders bring history to life

Published 4:41 pm Saturday, March 30, 2024

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

Second grade students at Luverne Elementary School recently brought history to life in an interactive wax museum project that engaged both students and visitors alike. Under the guidance of second grade teachers Ashley Braden, Celes Hand, Julie Killough and Assistant Principal Jennifer Gilmore, the students embarked on a unique educational journey that incorporated skills and standards covering a wide range of subject matter.

Assigned to research a notable public figure of their choosing from a predetermined list, the students delved into the lives and contributions of various historical figures. Following their research, they meticulously crafted collages and memorized three facts about their chosen figure.

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Ashley Braden highlighted the significant impact of the wax museum activity on her students.

“The Wax Museum Project was such a fun experience for our second grade students,” Braden said. “Everyone had the opportunity to make this a success regardless of reading or writing levels. The students learned about so many different historical figures and gained perspective into the eras in which the historical figures lived.”

Braden said the project impacted her as an instructor too.

“Personally, I learned many things from this project and my students were still talking about their historical figures and their peers’ historical figures days later,” Braden said. “I was so impressed with the hard work, poise and acting skills these students put into this project.”

On March 13, the students dressed as their selected person and stood motionless around the auditorium. Visitors were invited to interact with the “wax museum” exhibits by pushing the “button” on the students’ extended hands. Upon “activation” the students came to life, reciting their prepared scripts and sharing intriguing insights gleaned from their research.

Brycen June, son of Donnetria Cole and Jamarcus June, embodied the spirit of leadership as he portrayed Barack Obama.

“I chose Barack Obama because he was the first African American president and he is a great leader,” June said. “and I feel like I’m a leader to my peers as well.”

Elle Marshall, daughter of Ryan and Maegan Marshall, took on the role of Jackie Onassis Kennedy.

“My reason for picking Jackie O Kennedy was because she was a lot like me,” Marshall said. “We both love fashion, learning new things and politics. After researching her for my project, I now want to learn even more about our other presidents like her husband JFK.”

Luverne native and former history teacher of 35 years, Becky Daniel Ensey, said that the impact of projects such as the wax museum will be a lasting part of the student’s education.

“As someone that loves history and taught history for 35 years, I know the information learned by the students (and parents) will stay with them forever,” Ensey said.

The wax museum activity not only provided an engaging educational experience but also fostered a deeper appreciation for history and the contributions of significant individuals throughout time. With its blend of research, creativity and performance, the project exemplified the power of hands-on learning in shaping young minds.