Students Celebrate History Through Influential Women
It’s not every day you walk into the fourth grade and see Marie Curie, Maya Angelou, Julia Child, Katherine Johnson, Lucille Ball, and Michelle Obama. But on April 25, that’s exactly what Ellis families walked into as the Class of 2026 transformed themselves and their classroom into a Living History Wax Museum. Students were dressed as historic changemakers, doctors, and humanitarians as they brought history to life through the lens of historic women in their interdisciplinary, end-of-year capstone project.
To begin the project, students read dozens of books on trailblazing women of the past and present during Women’s History Month in March. Whether it was a book on world-renowned paleontologist Mary Anning or famed children’s author Beatrix Potter, students used the biographies to select a woman they were personally inspired by to portray in the wax museum. They then immersed themselves in research and wrote historical diary entries, newspaper articles, poetry, and speeches in their person’s unique voice at different stages of their life.
After becoming experts on the roles, lives, and legacies their women played throughout history, students composed and memorized original speeches on their woman’s life. Situated in front of Ellis’ green screen, grade 4 girls recited their speeches in character and then edited them into interactive videos using the augmented reality app, Aurasma. On the day of the Living History Wax Museum, Ellis families and friends viewed the videos on iPads while Ellis girls stood silently before them as the notable and noteworthy women they were portraying.
“From informational and persuasive writing to public speaking and video editing, the project brought together all of the skills students learned throughout the year in a fun way,” said Grade 4 Teacher Jessica Nolan. “It was really inspiring for them to learn what each woman was doing at their age. It showed them that they don’t have to wait until they’re fifty to explore their passions and make a difference, they can start now.”
A unique way to not only study history, but women’s history, the Living History Wax Museum encouraged students to make meaningful connections to the past from the shoes of women who will inspire their future.