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History in Wax at Frederick Leighton

OSWEGO, NY – Each year students in Tom Wiegand’s fifth grade classroom at the Frederick Leighton Elementary School can’t wait until they have the opportunity to “freeze.”

Several years ago Wiegand commenced a project that immersed his students in history.

Mary Lou Retton (Aubrey Avery)
Mary Lou Retton (Aubrey Avery)

He said, “We annually have a wax museum project. Students choose a particular person in history, either living or dead, who has had an impact on society or making the world a better place.”

Continuing he noted, “Students researched three people and then picked one out of the three. They then had to take notes on the person using an intersected listed format. Students used encyclopedia and biographical web-sites to take notes.

Rosie the Riveter (Sophia DeLorenzo)
Rosie the Riveter (Sophia DeLorenzo)

Students then wrote biographical reports and then pared them down to offer to visitors as they were able to read the synopsis of the student figure.”

After the research had been completed it was time to organize the students’ “look” as they had to take on the character of their person.

Then it was time for the wax museum to open as the students were in a “frozen” state as viewed by fellow students, parents, teachers, and community members.

Wiegand takes a very creative approach to enhance his students’ educational experiences.

Jim Henson (Ryan Bailey)
Jim Henson (Ryan Bailey)

Wiegand had brought excitement to learning and without the students even realizing it he covers social studies, technology, and English Language Arts areas of reading and writing.

Once again his student rose to the occasion as they displayed tremendous self-control remaining nearly completely motionless throughout the lengthy periods as they were viewed by students from throughout the school, parents, teachers and staff members.

Houdini (Dylon Richards)
Houdini (Dylon Richards)

There were many new “persons” in this exhibit as students displayed a variety of interests.

The roster of guests included  Mary Lou Retton (Aubrey Avery), Jim Henson (Ryan Bailey), P.T. Barnum (Nathan Barnum), James Bailey (Hunter Lawton), Amelia Earhart (Airyroni Croci), J. Edgar Hoover (Daniel Davies), Gerldine Doyle otherwise known as “Rosie the Riveter” (Sophia DeLorenzo), Sir Issac Newton (Adam Guzman), Mark Zuckerburg (Harrison Endres), Marie Currie (Gabrielle Flore), Helen Keller (Emmalee French), Abe Lincoln (Adam Gulliver), General George Patton (Corey Holden), Jane Goodall (Abby McPherson), Emily Dickenson (Paige Mulcahey), Harry Houdini (Dylon Richards), Walt Disney (Scotty Schladebeck), paleontologist Jack Horner (Eli Shambo), Cleopatra (Emily Smith), Pochoantas (Teazhia Sparbanie),  Sacajawea (Chelsea Susino) and women’s rights flapper girl Vivian Moore (Megan Vivlemore).

As always the students gain a genuine learning experience by becoming immersed in a historical character and many will long remember this educational genuine learning experience that Wiegand provides each and every year.

Amelia Earhart (Airyroni Croci)
Amelia Earhart (Airyroni Croci)