Education

Somers Intermediate School Fifth Graders Bring History to Life

348b87f7a48a8743694f_51638.JPG
Alexander Susca as Milton Hershey and Andrew Violante as Magic Johnson Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
90e4927052ebe228c5d9_51639.JPG
Noah Volkman as Michael Jackson Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
e8996cc79004dacb9657_51640.JPG
Molly Fink as Helen Keller Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
e6c4bbb21d5680a18b05_51641.JPG
Students take a break to grab a quick snack from Milton Hershey. Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
9a75ea7ad72dd5572792_51642.JPG
Jackson Forsberg as Neil Armstrong Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
0bf89475035039f6a110_51643.JPG
Giuseppe Gioffre as Emmitt Smith Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
412abfb43a4b41072a3e_51644.JPG
Thomas Hauser as Walt Disney Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
f719899c241ad44bf24b_51645.JPG
Ruimin Zhang plays the cello as Yo-Yo Ma. Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
cf76568e10fd376a8f30_51646.JPG
Ariana Horafios as Jacqueline Kennedy Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
5f3458f6217da99f2c68_51647.JPG
Luke Hopper as William Clark Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
028923843c20d900dc0c_51648.JPG
Visitors look for clues in Theodore Roosevelt's "autobiography," written by Theodore Mitchell (right). Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
b03e47a7637fbe18baf2_51649.JPG
Enisa Berisha as Amelia Earhart and Grayden Carr as Shaquille O'Neal Credits: Gabrielle Bilik
348b87f7a48a8743694f_51638.JPG

SOMERS, N.Y. - In a dazzling three-dimensional display, replicas of historical figures and pop-culture icons created by the fifth-grade students lined the hallways of Somers Intermediate School at the annual Images of Greatness Wax Museum showcase on Thursday, May 18.

Crafted with Madame Tussaud’s-like accuracy, the costumes were convincing enough to make the hallway feel like it had been tapped by whatever magic made the exhibits come alive in “Night at the Museum,” when the figures abandoned their posts to socialize. The dressed-up students could only last a few moments before a twitchy nose or a fit of giggles shattered the illusion (some sooner than others).

From Helen Keller to the King of Pop, decades of history were represented. There was an “autobiography” posted next to each display that provided clues to their identity, and parents and visitors were given a match-up worksheet to fill out as they made their way down the hall. Students researched their historical figures using several different media before writing the descriptions and choosing their outfits, said Joe Benedetto, fifth grade teacher.

Sign Up for E-News

Benedetto began the tradition nine years ago after he carried it over from his previous district, and the one before that.

“The kids love playing a character and it’s a great, authentic, cumulative piece,” Benedetto said.

Many of the exhibits were interactive. A cello performance from Yo-Yo Ma (Ruimin Zhang), for instance, provided ambiance for the occasion.

Milton Hershey (Alex Susca), who held a straw hat filled with Hershey’s Kisses, and Magic Johnson, (Andrew Violante), who held a basketball, broke character for just a moment to share what it was like preparing for the event. Both said they enjoyed coming up with their costumes and that they learned much from the research they put into their autobiographies. They added that the research and composition of the write-up was not the most daunting part of the project. The challenge?

“Figuring out how you’re going to stand like this for an hour,’” Susca said.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Somers

Why Do Kids Hate Math?

Dear Dr. Linda,

I am in second grade and have a problem about math. My teacher just keeps giving me homework and it’s driving me crazy. Because she keeps giving it to me on weekends and spring and summer breaks. And it’s only one level and it’s too hard. But the other people who have special needs get to be moved into a higher or lower group and they learn even more because ...

‘Sister Act’: A Musical Like Nun Other

Of all the Broadway musicals I’ve seen over the years at Westchester Broadway Theatre, only a handful have elicited the noisily enthusiastic audience response I observed at the recent opening night of “Sister Act.”

There were outbursts of applause in the middle of some numbers, and several clever turns of phrase sprinkled in the dialogue landed squarely, to the delight of big ...

Cleaning the Empty Nest

Part of the shock of being a part-time empty nester is when the kids come back to visit and I have to watch my house transform overnight from a pristine haven of OCD goodness to a place that looks like an explosion happened at Forever 21.

After my kids moved mostly out, I put away whatever tchotchkes they chose to leave behind and then I put on a hazmat suit and cleaned their rooms until they ...