By Faribault Daily News |

GALLERY: Roosevelt 4th-graders portray historical figures at wax museum | News | southernminn.com

Amelia Earhart, Abraham Lincoln, George Lucas and Princess Diana all made guest appearances at Roosevelt Elementary Thursday. Or rather, students who portrayed these notable individuals at a mock wax museum made appearance.

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Daniel Alejandro portrayed Abraham Lincoln for the Roosevelt wax museum. (Misty Schwab/Faribault Daily News)

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Hiybak Mohamed researched Princess Diana for the wax museum. (Misty Schwab/Faribault Daily News)

Each fourth-grader selected a person in history to research and included their information on tri-fold boards which they presented for parents and community members. Dressed as their subject, students spoke as if they were their historical figure only if someone touched their palm “button.”

Eve Drewitz thought Eleanor Roosevelt sounded interesting, so she researched the former first lady and shared details on her childhood and political efforts. Drewitz said her mom grew interested in Eleanor Roosevelt because of her daughter’s research and started reading up on her, too.

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Eve Drewitz researched Eleanor Roosevelt for the wax museum at Roosevelt. (Misty Schwab/Faribault Daily News)

Alison Farnsworth was interested to learn the figure she researched, Rosa Parks, who married but never had children. Parks’ refusal to give up a seat on the bus was an act Farnsworth found especially admirable.

“I learned that she had to quit school to take care of her mother,” said Farnsworth of Parks. “I think she had a great impact on the world, and she’s very interesting.”

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Alison Farnsworth researched Rosa Parks for the Roosevelt wax museum. (Misty Schwab/Faribault Daily News)

While some students had prior knowledge of the person they researched, others, like Sarai Nunez, knew very little about their subject.

“I thought [Kate Middleton] was very interesting when I started reading up on her,” said Nunez of the Duchess of Cambridge. “She was a serious, level-headed student.”

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Sarai Nunez talks about Kate Middleton to Superintendent Todd Sesker during the wax museum at Roosevelt. (Misty Schwab/Faribault Daily News)

Students worked on their wax museum presentations throughout the course of several weeks. Each fourth-grader wrote a rough draft and a final draft on their research, covered a tri-fold board with information and pictures, and wrote speeches to either memorize or read from a note card.

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Akicy Crawford researched Queen Elizabeth, per recommendation of her sister. (Misty Schwab/Faribault Daily News)

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Seid Ali wanted to learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr. for his wax museum presentation. (Misty Schwab/Faribault Daily News)

The fourth-graders also dressed up as the people they researched, and some used props — guitars for musicians like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash, and action figures to represent comic artist Stan Lee. Some students accessorized, wearing wigs, beards, tiaras and uniforms to portray their figures.

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Vincente Torres talked about rock legend Elvis Presley at the wax museum. (Misty Schwab/Faribault Daily News)

In delivering their speeches, students shared information on their subject's birth, death, early childhood, education and accomplishments. They concluded their presentations with five interesting facts and a quote or two from their subject.

“They have worked so hard on these presentations,” said fourth-grade teacher Tara Luettel. “Some of them willingly gave up their recess to finish.”

Although nine school cancellations disrupted the students’ research time, Luttel was impressed with the perseverance her fourth-graders showed as they completed their assignments. It’s the second year Luttel has advised students in their wax museum project, but the curriculum has been a Roosevelt tradition for much longer. She's found the parent turnout especially pleasing both years.

“This project really brought out the kids’ motivation and their pride, which is the most important thing,” said fourth-grade teacher Danni Collins. “… It’s a confidence builder for a lot of the kids.”