Attached to his coat was a button that read “push me,” and when a small boy pressed the button, the 32nd president of the U.S. came alive, regaling the students of his life and various accomplishments.
Floyd County Elementary Kaleidoscope students took the liberty of rising out of the pages of history as past presidents of the United States last week during an educational rendition of the nation’s presidential past.
Armuchee and Pepperell Elementary School Kaleidoscope students presented a President and First Ladies Wax Museum for their class throughout the entire week after completing their unit of study on the government and U.S. presidency.
Elementary school students, parents and guests made their way through the “museum” and as each student was introduced, a lighted button was pressed and the “Wax Figure” came to life, explaining their time before, during and after the White House.
Tom Vincent, a 9-year-old Kaleidoscope student at Pepperell Elementary School, portrayed Roosevelt for his peers and said he learned a lot about his president.
“I learned that I was diagnosed with polio and it’s a type of disease that paralyzes your legs,” he said. “In 1933 I was elected as the president of the United State of America and in 1941, I got elected but a lot of stuff happened. Like, WWII and Japan bombing Pearl Harbor and the Great Depression.”
Tom said he thought that the knowledge he gained would help him in the future,
“If we have a report, and we can pick our own president, I already know this stuff,” he said.
Pepperell student Brinsly Hanks, 10, portrayed Rosalynn Carter and said she thought her peers were really learning something from the museum.
“I thought they learned a lot because the information we were telling them, they could really use and think about that person,” she said.
“Throughout the performances you could hear students and adults alike commenting, “I didn’t know that,’” said Armuchee Kaleidoscope teacher Jackie Day.
Pepperell Kaleidoscope teacher Judy Roebuck said it was a culminating project for their “Road to the White House” election unit. Both the Armuchee and Pepperell students were tasked with researching a President or First Lady that intrigued them.
Using their own creative methods, Armuchee students created photo stories and speeches to present to their classmates on a one day Wax Museum. They were also tasked with creating their costume, she said, and as each student completed their research they practiced for several days until they had their speech memorized.
“It was a fun and educational time for the presenters and the guests,” Day said. “Students in all the Kaleidoscope classes worked very hard to make this presentation a success.”
Roebuck said her students delved into the early years of their chosen person, the occupation of that person before becoming president, their family life, important events that occurred during their term of office and interesting facts of which many people are not already aware.
Like the Armuchee students, Pepperell students were clothed as their character and appeared frozen as though they were a “waxed figure.” They were brought to life when someone pressed a button affixed to their costume. Then, they presented their speech. Becoming frozen again once they were done.
As the onlooking students left each station, they received book mark of that president or a famous American with a short biographical story about that person on the bookmark. At the end of the presentation, the students learned information on at least seven to 12 presidents or first lady’s .
“The Kaleidoscope students have worked really hard on this and are so excited to be able to share their information with their peers,” Roebuck said.