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CIS students host history museum

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Learning was for more than just the children at the Clanton Intermediate School Famous American Wax Museum on March 20.

Parents and other family members were invited to tour the display and listen to students in Jill Moatts’s third-grade class recited information about the famous American that they were portraying.

Characters ranged from historic figures like Theodore Roosevelt and Harriet Tubman to more modern favorites like Walt Disney and John Glenn.

Each student had a red circle on their shirt that served as the “button” to start the presentation.

“Thank you so much for your hard work helping them memorize their parts and make their costumes,” Moatts told the family members gathered before the museum opened.

Moatts said she tries to assign each student someone they would be interested in.

“I love to see them learning about famous people in history, and … learning public speaking, eye contact, being able to speak to a crowd, to speak to people. It has been so fun with them coming in this morning in their costumes.”

Students read a book about their character and then looked up additional information about the famous person on the internet.

“They read it, take notes on it, make a poster, write a paper, and this is kind of the finale of the project,” Moatts said.

Moatts said it was a set of chapter books on famous Americans she had in her classroom that initially started the idea three years ago.

Student Brandon Perrett portrayed Theodore Roosevelt and said he enjoyed “learning new facts about him.”

One of the facts that especially stood out to Brandon was that “he (Roosevelt) stayed sick a lot when he was a kid.”

Brandon said reciting what he had memorized about Roosevelt was the most difficult part.

Ginger Perrett, Brandon’s mom, said he actually learned the lines fairly quickly. Perrett said she helped Brandon get started on the research, but he really did not need much help.

Student Katelin Denney portrayed Molly Pitcher of the American Revolutionary War.

“She never went to school, and she was born Oct. 13, 1754 in New Jersey,” Denney said.

In preparation for the presentation, Denney said she researched her character by reading a book and looking up facts about her on the computer.

She said she enjoyed “the costume and talking” as a part of the display.

Student Paul Waylon Carter, who was dressed as astronaut John Glenn, said his favorite part was creating the poster about Glenn for the hallway.

“He was a fighter pilot in World War II,” Paul said. “When he made up his mind about something, he didn’t give up.”

Paul said flying on a plane at age 7 is what inspired Glenn to become a fighter pilot and an astronaut.

Paul said memorizing his speech was a bit challenging.

“We memorized our speeches at night, and then the next day we read them at school and said them to all of our classmates,” Paul said.

He said Moatts provided feedback on how to improve the students’ speeches, such as telling them to speak louder or slow down.

Xixi Macias was Sacagawea.

“I looked up her timeline and saw that she actually had one or two kids,” Xixi said. “She’s really cool I really like her … She’s a really nice woman.”

Xixi said she enjoyed dressing up like Sacagawea for the project.

Alonso Perez portrayed Roberto Clemente.

“He was a 12-time Gold Glove champion,” Alonso said. “He won three World Series.”

Alonso said when Clemente was a child he had saved his money to have enough to buy a rubber ball.

Leeland Thomas was Walt Disney for the display.

“I researched 10 major facts about Walt Disney,” Leeland said.

His favorite fact was that Disney was rich.

Family members enjoyed seeing the displays and hearing the presentations.

Rhonda Spence, whose grandson Steven Gambrell was portraying Jackie Robinson, said she enjoyed “everything and learning more about history.”