4th Grade’s Living History Museum
A living history museum is an amazing opportunity for students to shine while making history come alive. Throughout this project students were taught research techniques, how to write a biography, and the importance of preserving our history and heritage. Students researched, created presentations, and became a famous figure from either Nevada or American history. Students researched their famous American, from their lives and accomplishments to the way they dressed, and then became their historical figure. This culminated on March 4th with our second annual Living History Museum.
It all began when each student chose one person who has had an impact on American culture and history. The students extensively researched their person, wrote a biography, and then created a costume of and presentation for their historical figure. Students created their own “booth”, set up in the gym, so that other students and visitors could enjoy. Visitors were taught all about these historical figures from the students themselves.
Students were able to choose from a series of historical American figures. They then began researching the life of that person, answering such questions as: Where and when did they live? Who was their family? What were their major accomplishments? Students were taught proper research and biographical techniques, including the use of technology as a researching tool.
Along with their research, students literally took on the role of their famous American. They created a “booth” with their prepared boards that showed all of their research and important information about their figure. They also dressed as the figure themselves. Finally, students created a 1-3 minute oral presentation, in which their figure came to life and walked the visitors through their lives.
Students’ booths and outfits all served as a living museum for our “patrons”. Their boards were full of interesting information about their lives and accomplishments and students were dressed as their characters. Each student also created a Keynote presentation on their iPad containing photographs, quotes, and interesting facts about their figure.
The living history museum addresses many of our standards. From the reading and writing standards that are addressed during the research and biography sections, to the history, civics and economic standards from our Social Studies strands, this project serves as a wonderful cross-curricular, project-based learning experience.
The Living History Museum was a team effort. Both our Performing Arts teacher and our Visual Arts teacher supported the students throughout this project. Students got specialized lessons on how to give oral presentations and memorize a speech from Ms. Petrelli, and how to create informative and attractive boards from Ms. Mallon.
All in all, this experience is one of the highlights of the year for our strong-performing 4th grade students.
Mr. Michael Euken, 4th grade teacher