One of the highlights of third grade at my kids’ school is something called “The Wax Museum.” The children each choose a historical (or current) famous figure, and research the person’s life. Over the course of several months, the kids do multiple assignments, culminating in the construction of a timeline. They display this timeline at the school while dressed up as the famous person.
My son did Charles Darwin. Darwin was born in 1809, according to the timeline now sitting in my office (it is the safest place to keep it from being chewed on by little brothers). The Beagle set sail on December 27, 1831. Some finches and iguanas were witnessed in there. “He got home on October 5, 1836, and his family was very happy to see him.” On November 24, 1859, he wrote The Origin of Species. My son has this about the controversy: “Some people thought it was right, some people thought it was wrong.” I suspect this is true.
I am not much of a hover-type on these things. I limited my involvement to checking that he was making progress toward the deadlines, ordering a fake beard and bowler hat on Amazon, and then requiring this: a rough draft of the timeline. It is hard to pace out 10 events on a piece of poster board, and spelling can be tough. So I bought a 32-pack of poster board for errors.
The 32-pack has now been commandeered… for fake timelines. I found this second illustrated timeline on the floor of my husband’s office. A woman named Samantha Bragyers was born in 1939. Her mother was an actor and her father was a singer. She was in her first movie in 1947 (“Amazing Fire”). She married John Hypers at age 21 on May 26, 1961. She managed to write a movie “Amazing Flower” in 1966 — and have two kids during the same year: Macy on January 13 and Josae on December 27. She wrote a movie called “Amazing Girls” in 1979 and Disney asked her to be in a movie in 1993 — possibly liking her predilection for related sequels?
Anyway, I so love that my kid did his assignment as asked, and then totally took the art form and made it his own.
In other news: Speaking of learning – I am writing a story for an AARP career guide on digital learning. If you are age 50+ and have taken an online course to advance your career, I would love to talk with you about the experience. As always, you can reach me at lvanderkam at yahoo dot com.