ELKHART— Fifth-graders at Pinewood Elementary School saved their family and friends a trip to Madame Tussauds’.
The students transformed the school’s hallways into a living wax museum Wednesday afternoon.
Each student chose a famous author to embody from a book they’ve read and researched and gathered facts about their lives. Afterward, they created a backdrop and then a first-person script.
There was no wax involved, but the students were asked to stand still as if they were in a museum. At the push of a button, they shared their memorized monologues with guests of the wax museum.
The presentation was the culmination of a book report project, said fifth-grade teacher Joni Peak.
“We do a lot of book reports and I notice that many of the students pick the same author quite frequently,” she said. “So, I thought it’d be a great experience for them to learn about the authors they like to read.”
Many students went the extra mile and dressed in character for the event.
Dozens of students were swarmed around Jackson Graham to watch his portrayal of Marvel Comics’ co-creator Stan Lee.
Graham captured all of Lee’s trademarks donning navy blue dress up sweater with grey hair glowing from the sides and back and a drawn in grey mustache.
And, of course, the look wasn’t complete without the sunglasses.
Graham said he chose Lee because he likes to read his comic books and watch his Marvel movies. His favorite Marvel movie is “Iron Man” and the “Avengers Infinity War.”
Although this isn’t Graham’s first experience as a wax figure, he said the task is still challenging.
“You have to transform and you can’t move,” he said. “You just have to constantly remind yourself to be still and don’t answer any challenges.”
Another student, Elle Davis, portrayed R.L. Stine, author of hundreds of horror-fiction novels.
“I chose him because I love horror stories and he writes the ones I like,” said Davis.
But portraying Stine may have brought out some horror for Davis.
“Being a wax figure is scary because everyone’s watching you and you don’t want to mess up,” she said. “But it is helping me with public speaking, which is good.”
Peak said her purpose for this project was to help students think about how writers get interested in subject matter and learn why they write certain genres.
“They may have started out as something different than a writer and they just fell into being a writer,” she said. “Or they always had that desire but didn’t think they could make a living at it and found out they could.”
“So it’s a career thing…. This is one of those things you can plan or sometimes people don’t plan it and they’re there.”