One of my favorite learning experiences that occurs in our school is the Living Wax Museum. It is fun, creative, and engaging for our students in second grade. The Living Wax Museum strikes a chord with me and so many others because it is simple and yet complex.

In this day and age of integrating technology to enhance learning, this learning opportunity relies less on digital tools and requires students to incorporate more traditional tools and skills to demonstrate their content knowledge.

This annual tradition asks students to research a person of their choice, present important facts and dress up to represent this figure for an authentic audience. Students’ choices range from important historical figures to inventors and athletes. In addition, authors and modern English Princesses were represented by the students. As always, family members, staff members, and students packed the Multi-Purpose Room to share in this unique learning opportunity.

The FWSU Action Plan targets and Vermont Transferable Skills were in evidence throughout this unit. Students engaged in inquiry, demonstrated effective communication skills, showed creativity, self direction and discipline. The culmination of this experience provided students an opportunity to have choice in their learning and to provide their audience a glimpse into their passions and interests.

Every year, I appreciate the chance get to know students in a different way as a result of this experience. Thank you to the all the staff associated with our second grade students and for their commitment to incorporating student choice and voice, while providing our students opportunities to showcase their learning and engage our community.

Thomas Walsh is currently Principal of BFA Fairfax Elementary School and is a regular contributor to THE FWSU STORY. You can follow him on Twitter @educatamount

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