Looking for a fun end of the year celebration idea that really focuses on what students have learned? This idea from Charlene, a 4th Grade Teacher, from Washington, PA, showcases students’ understanding of literature. Start working on it now and invite parents and other classes to tour your “Literary Wax Museum” before the last day of school.
Creating Literary Wax Museum with Students
“Each year my students participate in a Literary Wax Museum. I divide students into small groups and assign each group a chapter book, based on reading level and interest,” Charlene explains. “Each student has one week to read the book independently or with a family member. As students read, they complete a reading page on story elements. They identify characters, setting, and different parts of the plot.
After the reading is done, students meet to select an event from the story’s plot to re-create as a scene in their own Wax Museum. They base their selection on an event that either demonstrates a key plot event or the theme of the book. They brainstorm basic props, costumes, and background scenes by discussing various character traits and setting features.
On the ‘big day’ when we open our Wax Museum to parents and other classes, students stand in position in front of their illustrated setting backgrounds and, very still and quiet, pose as figures in a Wax Museum. And when the lights go out and flashlights shine on those book scenes, the effect is amazing!
Our Literary Wax Museum is a truly unique way to get students reading, discussing their books, analyzing story elements, and creatively demonstrating what they’ve learned. It has become a much-anticipated event in our school.”
Have you ever done a literary wax museum? If so, how did it go? If not, what questions do you have about doing one?