Niagara Gazette

Lewiston

May 30, 2014

With the push of a button, Lew-Port students get into character

With the push of a button, Lew-Port students get into character

Niagara Gazette — What do Amelia Earhart, Mia Hamm, Christopher Columbus, Louis Pasteur and John F. Kennedy have in common? They each, along with many other historical figures, visited the Lewiston-Porter Intermediate School cafeteria Thursday morning.

Or rather it was their likenesses, brought to life by the well-versed third grade students who spent the better part of the past month researching their favorite person from history and translating the information into short biographical pieces.

They called it a living museum, where they brought to life the people who shaped our world – even if those people are still living themselves – and helped some curious visitors learn some factoids they maybe didn’t know themselves.

“It was part of our biographical unit in English Language Arts,” third grade teacher Lori Boss said. “They each researched their character, wrote a report and we translated that into a short speech about the person.”

How it worked was simple. Each student, dressed up as their character, wore a red button reading, “Press Here.” Attendees – mostly parents or other relatives of the students – walked up to the “turned off” museum pieces and pressed the buttons to activate the speeches.

From there, the historical figures came to life and recited their biographical stories for the audience, many of whom looked on with pride shining in their eyes at the accomplishments of the children.

The project stretched across all third grade classes in the Intermediate School, taking up the entire month of May. They held a dress rehearsal of the verbal reports Wednesday in front of other students before the full performances Thursday.

“There was a lot of enthusiasm,” Boss said. “The students learned a lot from their characters ... as they come alive as their characters.”

For Julia Collins, who spent the morning in the soccer cleats of one of the most decorated female athletes in American history, the project helped her learn some new factoids about Mia Hamm.

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