Thursday, April 12, 2012
Wax museum big hit at Primary School
By SUE WATSON
The first-ever wax museum program, organized by second graders and teachers at the Holly Springs Primary School, drew excitement from teachers, administrators and students.
School librarian Prentis Boatwright helped organize the event, which required students to read a book about a person, make a poster about the book that included a time line, write a speech to deliver and to dress like the famous person they portrayed. Some characters selected included humanitarian Sister Mother Teresa; American Indian princess Pocahontas; Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross; and Red Sox baseball player David Ortiz.
Instructional coach Dinah Lundine enjoyed the project.
“It’s a dream of Ms. Boatwright to do the wax museum and it is our first year,” she said.
Second grade teacher Liz McFarland said students learned about social studies, used their writing skills, learned about famous people, read and researched the project and made an art poster illustration.
“This is getting us ready for common core curriculum all over the United States – a performance-based curriculum,” Lundine said. “This is what students will be doing now instead of just taking a test. It’s time to start implementing it.”
Kindergarten students at the Primary School are adding core curriculum this year and the entire United States public school system will implement the curriculum by year 2014, Lundine said.
Boatwright, who missed the day of the museum due to a family illness, said the entire school enjoyed the project. She did a wax museum project six years ago for the fourth grade in Tupelo, before coming to the Primary School, and loved it.
Common Core Curriculum Standards are project-based on integrative learning and group work, she said.
“The important thing is that they learn about biographies and how to look up important information and how to write a speech,” Boatwright said.
Developing a timeline and presentation for the biography encompasses a lot of skills, she said. There is a new rigor in education as children learn to search for meaning and learn how to learn.
Part of the problem to place rigorous learning opportunities such as this in lower grades is the paucity of biographies written for children, Boatwright said. The school finally obtained enough books.
A few weeks before the due date for the wax museum, Boatwright presented the concept to teachers and gave a lesson to show how to help children write a report by filling in missing information in a poster or speech.
Teachers assisted in all aspects of the project.
Boatwright described the faculty and staff at the Primary School as a close-knit group.
“Yes, we are,” she said. “We try to help each other any way we can. Our administration is very supportive of this. Mr. Stone (principal) came in the day after just grinning.”
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