HAWTHORNE, NJ - On Friday, March 13, Washington Elementary School hosted its 12th annual "Wax Museum" put on by the fifth graders as biographical history projects.  The students chose which person they wanted to study after a "book tasting" to get an idea of what interested them.

"A book tasting is a chance to expose students to different genres and to get them engaged and excited about reading," said Tara Temprano, fifth grade teacher at Washington Elementary.  "These could be books that they would never look at on their own or books that do not circulate in the library or classroom.  I utilized book tastings to allow students to 'taste' fiction books and then biographies for the wax museum. Decorations included Starbucks cups, sleeves, table signs, placemats, plates, battery operated tea light candles, and of course, plenty of books."

As part of the Wax Museum, the students assumed the role of the person they studied.  They wore a button saying "Press Here" as though to "activate" their biographical avatar.

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"They choose their book in the book tasting, then they do a book report," Temprano said.  "Then they make a poster which has a timeline of the figure's life, a map of where they were born, and a biographical poem.  That's the backdrop.  After that, they create their own speech.  They memorize it, then we rehearse for about two weeks, and pick their costumes."

Given the health concerns revolving around coronavirus, there was no actual "pushing" of any buttons, no physical contact, and visitors who included parents, family, and students from other grades, had to observe at a certain distance.

"Once the administration agreed that we would stay open Friday, we talked about it and said we'd do it," Temprano said.  "We are trying to minimize contact, pretending to press the buttons.  We do have security outside the door, so when you come in you go through security and we know how many and who is coming in."

Each student produced a poster about their chosen subject and dressed up, too, with inventive and creative outfits.

The displays were arranged by categories:

As Seen On TV -

  • Coco Chanel - Catalina Angel
  • Fred Rogers - Phoenix Wagner-Roberts
  • Rachel Ray - Kupsa Batej
  • Mohammed Ali - Indrees Maratouk
  • Ellen DeGeneres - Hailey Paladino

Music To My Ears -

  • Michael Jackson - Caleb Rivera
  • Jennifer Lopez - Jazlyse Mercado
  • Selena Gomez - Yasmine Ramirez Cortez
  • Ariana Grande - Kayla Ahne
  • Mariah Carey - Abigail Gill
  • Elvis Presley - Gia Squeo

Scientific Exploration and Flight -

  • Neil Armstrong - Mustafa Angun
  • Amelia Earhart - Leanna Barsbay
  • Stephen Hawking - Jasiel Bazan
  • Jane Goodall - Alina Guerrero
  • Bill Nye - Cadence Mickus

Olympic Ringleaders -

  • Mary Lou Retton - Giuliana Barry
  • Wilma Rudolph - Arianna Gonzalez
  • Lionel Messi - Kevin Rudolph
  • Lebron James - Breslin Hilton
  • Kristi Yamaguchi - Payton Snyder

Fearless Females -

  • Rosa Parks - Genesis Rangel
  • Harriet Tubman - Leyanna Shuaib
  • Anne Frank - Sara Outhman

American Pride -

  • Daniel Boone - Omar Batta
  • Thomas Edison - Yulian Dieguez Avalos
  • General George Patton - Angel Almorza
  • John F. Kennedy - Gabriel Bedran
  • Michelle Obama - Naleyah Hartman

Sporting Stars -

  • Aaron Rodgers - Sebastian Cabascango
  • Peyton Manning - Ziyad Khalil
  • Mike Piazza - Collin Ditko
  • Jackie Robinson - Bairon Alfaro
  • Derek Jeter - Brian Arroyo
  • Hope Solo - Raquel Ibarra
  • Alex Morgan - Ana Sancho

Royalty is Fabulous -

  • Princess Diana - Julia Fedouchik
  • Marie Antionette - Faith Martinez
  • Cleopatra - Bethany Rubauos
  • Catherine the Great - Kathy Takach
  • Queen Elizabeth II - Delancey Van Meir

The Arts -

  • Daniel Radcliffe - Jon Henry Lao
  • Georgia O'Keeffe - Arina Grishayeva
  • Andy Warhol - Suzy Quinones
  • Stanley Martin Lieber - Gideon Suarez
  • Mariah Tallchief - Camille Torres

Imagineers -

  • Milton Hershey - Anthony Foschini
  • Walt Disney - Melissa Riker

The school offered their thanks and appreciation to Superintendent of Schools Mr. Richard Spirito, Principal Mrs. Susan Spinelli, Head Custodian Mr. Burim, Secretary Mrs. Gail Harte, teachers Mrs. Temprano, Ms. Dubuque, Ms. Barnes, Ms. Cardiello, Board of Education President Michael Doyle, Mayor Richard Goldberg, and all the students, teachers, and visitors for supporting the event.

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