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Wax museum brings history to still life


Eric Seidle

Kate Compton, 14, left, poses as Sacagawea as her classmates Donovan McLain and Jessalyn Chvilicek stand in poses of their own at St. Jude Thaddeus School's student history presentations.

The fifth- and eighth-grade students of St. Jude Thaddeus School of Havre put on a living wax museum Thursday.

This year's theme was "adventurers," and students were given a list of historical names to choose from and create their projects around. They were required to write a report on their historical figure, make a background and props and pose with their props as though they were wax figures.

The students stand still for 20 minutes at a time and then break character to answer questions from the attendees of the museum.

Students at the school have been doing these projects for more than 15 years, said Joyce Hellman, a fifth-grade teacher,

Historical figures including Annie Smith Peck, Francis Drake, Jacques Cousteau, Henry Ford and Jane Goodall all had children doppelgangers for the 7 p.m. showing of the projects at the St. Jude gymnasium.

Carly Brunk, an eighth-grade teacher, said this was her second year working with the students on the projects.

"I love the research aspect as a teacher," Brunk said "And they begin to understand how history was formed."

The students do the work themselves, with guidance from the teachers on their reports.

"I love the creativity," Brunk said.

The students have been working on the projects for about five weeks, getting ready for the event.

Each student at their display was dressed as their adventurer in a pose indicative of what was the figures' claims to fame.

Mason Mayer, who was playing the part of pilot Wilbur Wright, said he has learned a lot about the man he chose to represent.

"It's pretty fun, except for wearing hot clothes," Mayer said. His regalia included a leather bomber jacket and leather pilot's cap.

"I picked him because I thought it would be cool to be a pilot," Mayer said.

Each student was also required to write 12 to 15 questions on slips of paper, place them in a pouch and leave them next to their report at their display.

Once the students got a break from character, attendees could use the slips to ask them trivia questions about their figures' lives.

"It's a good experience for them," Hellman said. "It makes them think."


Reader Comments

StJudeteacher writes:

The boy in the picture is Donovan McLain, not Evan Baldwin.


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