Madame Cusson's 2nd Annual Wax Museum is a Success at HES

Madame Cusson's 2nd Annual Wax Museum is a Success at HES
Posted on 03/31/2017
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Ms. Susan Cusson, a 2nd and 3rd grade Reading, Writing, Spelling and Social Studies teacher at Highlands Elementary School (HES) held the school’s second annual 3rd grade living wax museum on March 23rd

Ms. Cusson came up with the idea of a living wax museum – “Madame Cusson’s Wax Museum” - while her class was studying and writing Biographies for the Schoolwide Writers Program.  ‘Schoolwide’ is the kindergarten through 6th grade writing program that the school district utilizes for their language arts curriculum. For 3rd graders, this program includes four different writing styles (Narratives, Biographies, Non-Fiction and Fantasy).  The students study the genre, read the mentor texts, have numerous discussions and mini-lessons, and then write and publish their own piece.  So far, Ms. Cusson’s class has written narratives and biographies; they are now moving on to the non-fiction genre. 

For the past eight weeks, the students have been working on their biography assignment.  They had to follow the Writing Process Timeline: Pre-write, Rough Draft, Revise, Edit, and Publish.  The students all did extensive research using classroom iPads and computers in order to collect the data needed for their specific biographies.  They researched the most important accomplishments and obstacles of their subject, important dates, family members, famous quotes, places they resided, inventions they created, or laws they may have changed.  They also had to write about how their subject changed the world for the better.  The final draft was scored on a rubric, and with the proper amount of guidance and editing, they all handed in very well written papers.    Typically, students celebrate their final drafts with a publishing party, but Ms. Cusson wanted to take it one step further and show the parents, staff and other students just how much fun it is to learn about a historical hero by becoming that hero themselves.  

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Some of the students shared their feelings about the project, "I had a lot of fun and my parents were very proud of me”, "It was a lot of work but also a lot of fun!”, "The wax museum was the best event we've ever done in school” and "It was the most fun we have ever had in school because we were the stars of the show." Ms. Cusson had a total of 23 third-grade students included in “Madame Cusson's Wax Museum”.  The subjects that were represented in the wax museum were Jacques Cousteau, Betsy Ross, Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, Walt Disney, Elvis Presley, Lou Gehrig, Jane Goodall, Paul Revere, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Theodor Geisel, Malala Yousafzai, Thomas Edison, Helen Delaney Martini, Susan B. Anthony, Amelia Earhart, Pocahontas, Meriwether Lewis, Michelle Kwan, Helen Keller, Cristiano Ronaldo, Derek Jeter and Gabby Douglas. 

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Said Ms. Cusson of the experience, “I was very proud of each and every one of my students and would be thrilled to do it all again next year!  It was a huge success not only for me but for the students as well!”

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