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Fifth grade students bring history to life

Alex Doty • Jan 3, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Fifth grade students at Grand Haven Christian School recently turned their school into a wax museum.

Grand Haven Christian School fifth grade teacher Bob Koning said the goal of the student project was to have students create their own wax museum full of people they had researched in order to “make research come alive."

“Originally, I thought we would stick to famous Americans, but I am glad we crossed borders to learn about some international role-models, such as Nelson Mandela, Anne Frank and Joan of Arc,” Koning said. “Who'd have ever thought that Julia Child used to serve in the British spy agency, the OSS?”

After reading books and searching the Internet, the fifth-graders condensed their research into a first-person narrative script.

During the wax museum, attendees pressed a "start button” at each students’ station, which brought their wax figure character to life.

“It was amazing to see how well the students portrayed their characters. They all came up with realistic costumes and many even donned appropriate accents to sound like their character,” Koning said. “It was even more fun to watch other children enamored with the frozen figures coming to life before their very eyes.”

About 250-300 people attended two showings of the museum, including students from other grades at Grand Haven Christian School, as well as parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, and a group of third and fourth-graders from Ferry School.

“It was so rewarding to see the students perform their scripts from memory with such confidence and poise,” Koning said. “It really was like stepping back in time and hearing from some of history's greatest.”

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