Biography Day: Students recreate favorite historical figures
MALIN — Malin Elementary School’s auditorium oozed with history Wednesday afternoon as students represented some of their favorite historical figures, creating information boards and dressing in costumes.
The school’s fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students have spent the past month and half researching and learning about their chosen figure for the big reveal on Wednesday’s “Biography Day,” fourth-grade teacher Elisa Huffman said.
“It’s something fun for them to do and it’s a learning experience getting to do the research,” she said. “I learned a lot from them, reading their reports and reading the information.”
Sharing a life
Around the auditorium students displayed decorated pieces of cardboard covered with cutout pieces of information, fun-facts and photos. While admiring the other presentations, the students remained close to their own tables, eager to answer any questions from their friends, teachers and parents.
At the beginning of the project, Huffman said the teachers ensured there were no overlaps and students had their own historical figures. On Wednesday, 61 people were represented in the auditorium including, Moses, King George III, Anne Frank, Martin Luther King Jr., Marco Polo and George Washington.
Melanie Martinez, 9, spent a portion of the semester learning about Mother Teresa. On Wednesday she wore a replica of the nun’s iconic blue and white headscarf and an all white outfit.
“I chose Mother Teresa because I thought it would be interesting to know some facts about her,” she said. “I’ve learned that she was a nice person and helped the orphans (who were) sick and dying and she once went to rescue 37 children from a war zone from the front lines.”
Martinez’s favorite fact about Mother Teresa is that she left her home at 18 to become a missionary and never saw her mother or sister again, she said, adding that the “Biography Day” event has inspired her to learn more about Eleanor Roosevelt.
Kevin Larsen-Peña focused on Kintpuash, also known as Captain Jack, a chief of the Modoc tribe of California and Oregon, recognized for his role in the Modoc War from 1872 to 1873.
“I picked Captain Jack because I have Indian blood in me and I think that I might have some Modoc in me,” he said.
For Jose Cazares Flores, 9, who ranks “Bambi” as his favorite Disney movie, the focus of his project was the creation of Walt Disney’s masterpieces and the characters he created, stating that Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was Disney’s first character, not Mickey Mouse, which is a common assumption.
“The best thing I learned is that he made lots of cartoons and movies during the World War and created beautiful images of dogs and mice,” he said.
“Biography Day” was the first of its kind at Malin Elementary School, but students said they are eager to see similar events in the future to learn more about some of their favorite people throughout history.