Cuero students portray historical figures for event (video)
March 28, 2013 at 7:01 p.m.
Updated March 27, 2013 at 10:28 p.m.
CUERO - Colton Blackwell stood silently, frozen in place until tapped on the shoulder.
Then he came to life, not as a 14-year-old eighth-grader, but as Audie Murphy, war hero and movie star.
As Colton reeled off a one-minute spiel about Murphy's life, fellow students listened and, hopefully, learned.
Colton was one of 58 Language Arts Honors students who brought history to life Thursday during the "A Walk Through Time" Wax Museum project.
"I thought I looked a little like him," Colton said on why Murphy was one of his requested historical figures to portray. "I've learned all about his life. I learned he was married twice and had kids. What stands out is that he won the Medal of Honor for attacking the German infantry all by himself."
Teacher Sherry Wiesman brought the wax museum idea to Cuero with her four years ago.
In addition to a one-minute speech about their character, students build a display - including a timeline and map - and write a research paper on their subject.
"We start back in September when they get to choose their character," Wiesman said. "For most of them, this is their first opportunity to do a full research paper - two to five pages with citations just like a real college paper.
"This is where they get to know their character very well."
Wiesman said students also sit down with their families to discuss character choice, including costumes and props to be part of the displays.
"It becomes a real family affair. It really does," she said.
The students requested a figure in history - world, nation and Texas - from a list provided by Wiesman and then a drawing was held to designate each student's assigned character.
Four tour sessions were held, one each for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders during the school day, and then one for the public Thursday evening.
It was looking similar to her character, too, that drew Addison Sheppard to Anne Frank.
"I thought she was an interesting character, and I thought I looked a little like her," Addison said.
Like Colton and her fellow students, Addison also took away some new knowledge about her historical figure.
"I didn't know that she was in hiding for two years and that she was so young," she said. "Doing this has been fun."
Waylon Windland was having fun, too, as Blackbeard.
"I've learned that they didn't just steal. Sometimes they gave what they stole to the poor, so not everybody hated them," he said.
"I'm pretty happy I got to be a pirate. I've never been a pirate before."