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Pillar Falls Students Dive into History with ‘Wax Museum’ Project

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – You don’t have to visit a big city like Los Angeles or New York to see a wax museum. All you needed to do Tuesday was drop by Pillar Falls Elementary School.

The school’s second graders dressed as historical figures and hosted their own “wax museum” about those characters in the school’s gymnasium.

For about the past two weeks students have been studying the biographies of various figures – some of them historical, others contemporary, said teacher Sheli Irish,

The students took to the task with enthusiasm, she said, memorizing and recording tidbits from the life of their chosen character.

Poppy Herzog, left, dressed as jungle explorer Jane Goodall for the 'Wax Museum' second graders presented Tuesday afternoon at Pillar Falls Elementary School in Twin Falls. (Photo by Andrew Weeks)
Poppy Herzog, left, dressed as jungle explorer Jane Goodall for the ‘Wax Museum’ second graders presented Tuesday afternoon at Pillar Falls Elementary School in Twin Falls. (Photo by Andrew Weeks)

The students, dressed to represent their chosen figure, held small note cards that they referred to when sharing information with parents and other school visitors; others had committed the information to memory.

Student London Martin said she wanted to be Dr. Seuss but wound up being another character she admires: Babe Ruth. Something she learned from her studies was that Ruth both pitched and batted with his left hand.

Poppy Herzog portrayed explorer Jane Goodall, who more than 50 years ago studied the lives of chimpanzees. She went into the jungle in 1960 and emerged as someone that history would remember.

With an explorer’s hat atop her head and a stuffed toy monkey in her arms, Herzog said there were a couple of reasons she selected Goodall as someone to study: “I like jungles and monkeys,” she said.

Poppy Herzog, left, and Liyla Nukaya visit during a break in the crowd at the school on Tuesday. (Photo by Andrew Weeks)
Poppy Herzog, left, and Liyla Nukaya visit during a break in the crowd on Tuesday at Pillar Falls Elementary. (Photo by Andrew Weeks)

Jane Austen also was at the school in the form of Liyla Nukaya, who said she, with her mom’s help, has already read two books by the classic author – “Emma” and “Pride and Prejudice.”

The young student would like one day to write her own stories, and Austen, she said, is an inspiration to her. Austen started writing at age 12, Nukaya said.

Irish said it’s been “pretty impressive” how the students responded to the wax museum assignment.

Students walked away knowing not only facts and figures, but with a better understanding of the causes that influenced their characters and the mark they left on history.

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