At the Holden Elementary School fifth-grade wax museum Dec. 14, teacher Rosemarie Petty, left, listens to Gabriel Erbite, right, as he becomes William Shakespeare, and to Sajidah Rahman, center, as Neil Armstrong.

At the Holden Elementary School fifth-grade wax museum Dec. 14, teacher Rosemarie Petty, left, listens to Gabriel Erbite, right, as he becomes William Shakespeare, and to Sajidah Rahman, center, as Neil Armstrong.

Photo by Donna Agusti


Wax museum is a walk through history

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published December 20, 2018

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STERLING HEIGHTS — Inside the Holden Elementary School media center the morning of Dec. 14, likenesses of John Lennon and Elvis Presley mingled as their stories and those of Anne Frank, Mother Teresa, Ruby Bridges, Amelia Earhart and others were told.

Earlier this month, the students in Elvisa Ejubovic and Rachel Sylver’s two fifth-grade classes held a wax museum in which they dressed like historical figures of their choice and shared important information about the person’s contributions in history. The students read books and used the internet to learn about their historic figures.

During the morning, students and the subjects’ families visited the wax museum. The fifth-graders took their roles as historic figures seriously: They dressed in costume, carried props and displayed poster boards of their counterparts.

“We just wanted to get the kids involved in a project rather than writing a paper,” Ejubovic said. “They did research on their person and had to write a timeline. Most of them have memorized their poems, and we just wanted to bring them to life.”

Reven Afram told the tale of former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

“She was the first lady to Franklin D. Roosevelt. She was a public figure and activist,” Afram said. “The most important thing she did was work for peace and human rights. She did many great things for the world.”

Afram wore a white-lace dress and a bow in her hair while playing Roosevelt.

“This is how she dressed as a child,” Afram said, adding that she was “excited” to participate in the wax museum. “It’s fun and I like to learn about history.”

For her project, Ava Markous took on the charisma and talent of actress Audrey Hepburn. In a black dress, a pearl necklace, a tiara and a bun-style hairdo, Markous dressed as the Holly GoLightly character from the film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

“She was a fashion icon and talented actress. I want to be an actress when I grow up. I would love to be in a movie like Audrey,” said Markous, adding she thought the wax museum “turned out really good.”

Gabriel Erbite put a lot of work into becoming poet, playwright and actor William Shakespeare.  

“He made an impact on people through his writing,” Erbite said. “I think he sounded cool. When I started researching him, he sounded more and more interesting.”

According to Sajidah Rahman, astronaut Neil Armstrong got his pilot license when he was a teenager.

“He was the first man to walk on the moon in 1969,” said Rahman, who added that she chose Armstrong for the assignment because she wants to venture into space and “go to the moon.”

Giancarlo Gappy chose to portray Microsoft mogul Bill Gates.

“I like him,” the fifth-grader said.

Andrew Shima transformed himself to become civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr.

“He was a champion for African-Americans,” Shima said. “He helped end segregation.”

 Dr. Seuss, Betsy Ross, Walt Disney,  Muhammad Ali, Florence Nightingale, Jane Goodall and Leonardo da Vinci were other figures students highlighted in the wax museum. Holden is part of Warren Consolidated Schools.

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