Jed Davis of Adrianne Bosic's class at Nikiski North Star Elementary recited his speech on Bob Ross, host of "The Joy of Painting," at the school's wax museum on Thursday, March 30. Davis sported Ross' signature hair and his pet, Peapod the Pocket Squirrel. (Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Jed Davis of Adrianne Bosic's class at Nikiski North Star Elementary recited his speech on Bob Ross, host of "The Joy of Painting," at the school's wax museum on Thursday, March 30. Davis sported Ross' signature hair and his pet, Peapod the Pocket Squirrel. (Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Move over, Madame Tussauds

Students at Nikiski North Star Elementary took a page from Madame Tussaud’s playbook on Thursday when they hosted their own wax museum highlighting important figures from American history.

“Today they are dressed up as a wax museum figure and are giving about 100 speeches throughout the day about their person, how they impacted American history and why they’re important,” said teacher Adrianne Bostic.

Bostic’s classroom of third, fourth and fifth graders worked alongside Matt Boyle and Kris Barnes’ fifth grade classes to host the wax museum during the school day Thursday.

From Alexander Graham Bell to Bob Ross, the classrooms were filled with 74 unique presentations. Each student chose three potential people for their project and had to persuade their teacher of each selection’s importance.

“We made sure that each student was assigned one of there three choices and that there weren’t any repeats. … We wanted them to pick someone they knew at least a little bit about, that interested them in some way,” Bostic said.

The selections varied from actors and musicians to famous outlaws and inventors. As visitors toured the classrooms, the students showed off their costumes and would recite their figure’s stories when asked.

“I’m the luckiest person I know because I get to play the game I love,” said Everett Chamberlain, as golfer Arnold Palmer, with a putter in hand.

“I liked building the poster and I liked learning about golf,” Chamberlain said. “I learned that he made a million dollars and had 92 career wins.”

Each student created a multimedia poster to go along with their speeches. The posters included photos of the historical figures at different points in their lives and different fun facts.

Did you know that Marvel comic book creator Stan Lee is a germaphobe? Blaec Beale does, as well as Lee’s age, birthday and that his favorite superhero is Spider-Man.

Each of the students had different reasoning behind choosing the figures they did.

Truit McCaughey explained that he chose Robert Leroy Parker, better known as Butch Cassidy, because the two are possibly related.

“My great-grandpa was always told that Butch was his dad,” McCaughey said. “He was a really big outlaw and at his biggest robbery he stole over $70,000.”

Other students decided to play the name game when it came to choosing their subjects, like Alex Martinez, who dressed up as Alexander Graham Bell since they shared the same first name. He learned that Bell did “a whole lot more” than invent the telephone.

Dylan Hall also learned some surprising information about his subject.

“I chose Bob Dylan because his last name is my first name,” Hall said. “I learned that Bob Dylan is still alive and has earned a lot of awards.”

The wax museum was open all day Thursday and welcomed other classrooms at Nikiski North Star to tour the classrooms, as well as families of the students and community members. The students had plenty of opportunities to show off their hard work and what they learned. They will follow up the wax museum with a five paragraph essay further explaining their figures historical impact.

“They get to do multimedia research, acting, presenting, dressing up,” Boyle said. “It really touches on a lot of different ways of learning. Plus, they love dressing up.”

Reach Kat Sorensen at kat.sorensen@peninsulaclarion.com

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