Each year, my fourth graders participate in a "Wax Museum." This is where each student chooses, researches and becomes an important figure in history. They write and memorize a one-minute speech and then dress as their figure. During the Wax Museum performance, each student stands by their biographical poster dressed as their figure and standing in a frozen pose. When a passer-by stops and pushes their button the student comes to life and recites their speech. It is an amazing evening where students' really shine, but there is much work that goes into putting on such a performance.
At the core of this project is, as you may have guessed, the biography. Each student is required to find an age-appropriate book to read and learn about their character. Each year, students rush to the school and town library to find such a book. This year, I am happy that many of my students are able to not only use a physical biography, but also one of the great ebiographies found on Big Universe. Big U has a collection of graphic biographies on people including George Washington, Amelia Earhart and Jackie Robinson. I've enjoyed showing my students these books to use as a primary source or an additional viewpoint of their person's life. Each biography is fun to read and contains a lot of information. They've been especially motivating for my struggling and reluctant readers.
There are more that graphic novels here at our fingertips. All my students have to do is search for their historical figure and see if there is a biography her on Big Universe. And there are many; full of interest and information.
Here are only some of them:
- Helen Keller
- Abraham Lincoln: A Life of Honesty
- Mother Teresa: A Life of Kindness
- Rosa Parks: A Life of Courage
- Jackie Robinson: A Life of Determination
- Marie Curie: Pioneering Physicist
- Early America: Pocahontas
- Jane Goodall: Animal Scientist and Friend
- Confucius, Chinese Philosopher
- Early America: Abigail Adams
- Eleanor Roosevelt
There are so many biographies here on people that have made significant contributions to our society that you are sure to find one that interests you. I know my students have really enjoyed seeing the ebiographies about their person and those of their friends. It is serving as a great preview of the Wax Museum as students are sharing and reading up on other historical figures as well as their own. Happy Reading!