Gause Elementary students get opportunity to act as historical characters

A living museum

Gause Elementary second-grader Susie Liston shares information she has learned about Jane Goodall with Darren Taie and students (left to right) Emma Gorham, Caitlyn Bailey and Abigail McBride.

Gause Elementary students, parents and staff had the unique opportunity to hear from important people throughout history such as Jane Goodall, Jim Henson, Elvis Presley, Helen Keller and Leonardo DaVinci at the Famous Person Museum in the school’s library on June 14.

The “famous people” were actually Julie Taie’s second-grade students sharing research they had completed over the past five weeks.

The students stood like statues around the library, many dressed as the people they had studied. When someone touched the “magic red dot” in their palm, they would come to life as that person and explain what had made them famous.

“The kids really pulled it off,” said Taie. “They did such a great job and I am very proud of them. They did very well at public speaking and got to practice sharing information that they know.”

She explained that the students had become enthusiastic about reading nonfiction and doing research projects.

“We began the year by learning how to identify the main idea and important details, or ‘nuggets’ as we call them, in short nonfiction pieces,” Taei said. “Once the students had a good idea of how to do that, they began doing a few research projects on countries and animals. They were very enthusiastic when we took on the topic of famous people.”

Jordan Rauch chose painter and inventor Leonardo Da Vinci for his project. “I picked him because he painted the Mona Lisa and other famous paintings,” he said.

He was surprised to find through his research that DaVinci also designed the first helicopter, parachute and submarine. “He even cut up dead people to see how the human body worked.”

Wearing a khaki shirt and shorts and binoculars around her neck, Susie Liston enjoyed learning about researcher Jane Goodall.

“She got famous studying chimpanzees,” Liston said. “She got to sit with them and be a part of the chimpanzee tribe. But when the leader came he made her leave.”

She memorized her presentation on Goodall and admitted she was scared at first.

“But now I have done it a lot and it is not so scary,” she said. “It was really fun.”