Living History Museum

This week at The Educators' Spin On It, we have been reading at home about famous people in history. At my daughter's school, they had a Parent Involvement Evening called a "Living History Museum." Visitors (parents) were guided through the museum (the school) to learn about the various famous individuals as they were brought to life. Each student chose an individual and dressed up as that famous person in history. The children researched and wrote clues about their famous individual and read their clues to the parents as they went through the rooms.

Tips for supporting a Living History Museum at your Child's School

After much deliberation at our household, my daughter ended up choosing Betsy Ross because she enjoys sewing (and we had a bonnet in the dress up box and a red dress, a white shawl is easy to sew!)

Ideas for Living History Museum 

  • Florence Nightingale made an appearance dress in a nurses uniform.
  • Eleonore Roosevelt had a cute sweater dress, glasses, a cane and high heels.
  • Leonardo Da Vinci brought his most famous paintings to exhibit.
  • Pocahontas carried a baby on her back.
  • President Lincoln made several guest appearances.
  • Margaret Thacher arrived in a fancy home-sewn costume!
  • Mari Curie came in her lab coat with awards.
  • And many other scientists, explorers, political activists and more showed up too.

Tips for supporting a Living History Museum at your Child's School

I was a little worried that the activity of repeated public speaking would be too much for the young 5 year olds, but I shouldn't have been. They all did an amazing job with their clues and were SO excited when the adults guessed who they were.

My husband was a little unsure of this activity in the beginning too. "They don't know a lot of people in history!" But once he saw how excited my 5 year old was about learning more about historical figures, he was won over! "Now, I get it," he said. They don't know about these figures now, but once they represent that person and teach others about it, then they will know that one individual. Then, the will be interested in learning about the people their friends chose, and they will learn a few more. If we are lucky, it may spark an interest in learning even more and reading more books!

My daughter came home from the event just bursting with excitement, "I just need to start researching more about all these people in history from all around the world. I've got so much reading to do so I need to start now!" We had to snuggle up and read a short biography before heading to bed, but it didn't satisfy her new quest for learning about historical figures.

If you are a teacher, I strongly recommend considering adding this to your list of parent performances or involvements for the year.

If you are a parent, this would make a great PTA night activity with a very low cost, low preparation, and high learning activity.


Deceptively Educational said...

Thanks SO much for featuring our measuring activity! When I created it I wasn't sure just how much my son would like it ... not only did he learn but he TRULY enjoyed finding all the equivalents. I hope some other followers will give it a try!

Kim @ The Educators Spin On It said...

Thanks for sharing it with us! Hands on learning is always the best. I am confident he now knows exactly what equivalents mean. I will be adding this to our Little Hands that Cook with Books lessons too. LOVE IT! We truly enjoy all the resources you provide for afterschool activities on your site and on facebook. Thanks for all your hard work!

Raising a Happy Child said...

So impressive that your school is doing Living History with kindergarteners! This looks like a lot of fun. I would choose to be Marie Curie :)

Kelly at Little Wonders' Days said...

Wow, I love the idea of doing a Living History Museum. We're planning on visiting D.C. this summer. I may add this activity to our summer bucket list. I think it would tie in well with our trip. Your daughter makes a great Besty Ross!
Thanks for featuring all our egg experiments at AfterSchool. Have a great week.

Amanda said...

Ooh, that would be really cool to have your kids choose one famous person and dress up like that person AND take a picture by a statue relating to them =) Would look great on those photo book marks too. LOVE the idea!

Amanda said...

I was impressed too. It is hard to believe sometimes that our little ones are just 5 the way they present themselves! I think it was my favorite parent night so far as a teacher and a mom! You could feel the energy of the kids! They were SO excited about history AND they had a chance to practice speaking in public.

MaryAnne said...

I love your living history museum idea - brilliant!

Anonymous said...

nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

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