SOUTH RANGE - South Range Elementary School students brought history to life this week when they debuted the living wax museum they have been working on.
Dressed in costumes their parents and family helped make, fourth-grade students in Sheri Normand's class participated in a living wax museum Thursday where they were placed around the school's gymnasium with informational boards and fielded questions from visitors about their characters, who were all important figures in Michigan's history.
Wednesday, the students participated in a rehearsal where they studied their character's biography while wearing their costumes.
Stacey Kukkonen/Daily Mining Gazette
Janessa Coponen, as Madeleine La Framboise, grabs an oar she is using to demonstrate the character during a rehearsal Wednesday for the Living Wax Museum at South Range Elementary School..
Clothed in a blue dress and hat with bright pink flowers, Sara Muonio was preparing for her role as Martha Longstreet.
"She was a doctor," Muonio said. "My mom bought the hat and put the flowers on. She made it for me."
Next to Muonio, student Jetaime Lampinen was nearly done memorizing the biography for Sheila Young-Ochoqicz. Wearing covers over her figure skates, Lampinen quietly rehearsed to herself.
"She was in speed skating and cycling and got medals," Lampinen said.
Across the room, Austin Kinnunen was wearing a baseball uniform and holding a bat. For the living wax museum, he was portraying baseball player Ty Cobb, who he picked for a special reason.
"I play baseball," Kinnunen said. "He was a good baseball player and has the best batting average."
Located on the bleachers with a handful of students, Mara Pietila was dressed like and ready to talk about Rebecca Shelley, the character she picked.
"She tried to stop a war and she taught classes," Pietila said. "She was neat."
While the students practiced reading their biographies aloud, Normand walked around and listened. Another one was Jenessa Coponen, who was playing Madeleine La Framboise, complete with a prop oar. Coponen said her mother helped her make a Native American dress and the oar was for show.
"She was born in 1780 in Chicago and she was holding the oar in this photo," she said pointing to her poster board.
Across from Coponen, Matthew Halonen was playing Dr. David Steinman, who designed the Mackinac Bridge, joining the Upper and Lower Peninsula.
"I learned that he designed 400 other bridges," said Halonen, who was wearing a black plastic top hat.