Maplesville sixth graders become ‘wax’ statues

Published 10:55 pm Friday, May 15, 2009

If you’ve ever been to a wax museum, then you know how lifelike the wax statues can be.

But the statues at Maplesville School’s wax museum Friday literally came to life. That’s because they were the students themselves.

As part of a history project, the school’s sixth graders dressed up like famous historical figures and manned stations in the elementary gymnasium to create a wax museum. Each student had a “button” that could be pressed, at which point the student would come to life and tell something important about the figure he or she represented.

“If you can dream it, you can do it,” said Gus Walker, who sat at an illustrator’s board in the guise of Walt Disney.

After giving a brief introduction, each student would freeze back into position and resume silence.

Characters included famous athletes (Babe Ruth, Mia Hamm), former U.S. presidents (John F. Kennedy, Abe Lincoln), literary figures (Mark Twain) and many others.

“We just decided to find something fun and different for the kids to do,” said history teacher Kelly Hubbert.

Hubbert and librarian Judy Walls came up with the idea last year, and the event has been successful for two consecutive years.

Nearly 40 students were involved in the project, and they had to create their own costumes and do extensive research on the characters.

“Johnny couldn’t just look at a few things. He had to learn a lot about him so he could act him out,” said Andy Gilliland, whose son played Elvis Presley.

“As a history buff, I really enjoyed this,” Maplesville Principal Maggie Hicks said. “It teaches them not only about the characters they researched, but it also gives them a hands-on experience. It makes history come alive.”