living history museum energizes Freedom fifth-graders

Saturday , March 01, 2014 - 5:21 PM

Jennilyn E. Williams, Standard-Examiner Correspondent

HOOPER — Nearly 100 fifth-graders at Freedom Elementary were dressed and acting the part of various people in United States history.

Characters such as Beverly Cleary, James and Dolly Madison, George Washington, Philo T. Farnsworth and Robert E. Lee were all “present” at the Living History Museum.

The program Wednesday opened with a Hill Air Force Base Honor Guard presenting the colors.

Students sang songs, including “Fifty Nifty United States” and four students gave presentations. After the program students acting as their characters were stationed around the school and available for questions.

Some little known facts about these famous people in history were learned.

“I didn’t get my middle name until I was 11,” said Alexander Graham Bell/Nikolai White. “While I was working on the harmonic telegraph I became distracted with the idea of the telephone.”

“I was married at age 16. My husband was hired as a guide for Lewis and Clark. They chose for me to come too because I knew a lot about the land and I also knew a lot about the plants. The expedition lasted a year long. We traveled 8,000 miles,” said Sacajawea/Samantha Patterson.

“I invented Girl Scouts. When I started it I had 17 girls.” Said Juliet G. Low/ Mackenzie Heinsley.

“I was a dancer. At the time the only dancing they had was ballet, so I started modern dance,” said Isadora Duncan/Hallie Noorda.

When asked if she could go back and not have her arm bitten off by a shark, Bethany Hamilton/Stephanie Williams said, “I wouldn’t change what happened to me because I can embrace more people with one arm than I ever could with two. I have been able to help many people who have lost limbs.”

“I flew the Spirit of St. Louis over the ocean during the night with horrible storms, fog, and rain,” said Charles Lindbergh/Gavin Combs.

“I was the first woman doctor. I opened a school with my mother and sister for poor women and children,” said Elizabeth Blackwell/Kilee Morris.

This is the eighth year Freedom Elementary has done the Living History Museum, said Karleen Knudson, fifth-grade teacher.

The students have been working on their historical personages since the beginning of January, Knudson said. “Fifth grade is all about American history. We wanted to expand on that. The students really take ownership of it. They love doing it. When they get to sixth grade they are still talking about it.”

Every student presents an oral report to their class, and the fours teacher each choose one student to present at the event.

Students are dressed in historical costumes, most of which are provided for a nominal fee by “a costume shop, said Knudson.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about some important figures in American history, people who helped shape our nation,” said Heather Anderson, another fifth-grade teacher at Freedom.

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