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Our Lady of Victory Catholic School students mimic famous figures from history

By Carolina Astrain
March 29, 2014 at midnight
Updated March 28, 2014 at 10:29 p.m.

The Our Lady of Victory gym was transformed into a living history environment, filled with famous historical people. Below, the character of Walt Disney is relived through movie items and a personal history of the Disney family business.

DID YOU KNOW?

Sacagawea was the daughter of a Shoshone chief.

She was kidnapped by the Hidatsa when she was about 10 years old and taken back to their village on the upper Missouri. There, she and another captive girl were purchased and wed by Toussaint Charbonneau, a French Canadian trapper. When Lewis and Clark engaged Charbonneau as an interpreter for their expedition in 1804, it was with the understanding that Sacagawea would also accompany them.

Aside from her value as an interpreter, they expected her mere presence to speak well of them to American Indians they would encounter along the way. As Clark noted in his journal, "a woman with a party of men is a token of peace."

Source: Public BRoadcasting Service, KERA North Texas

Karishma Parikh smiled as children approached her to meet Sacagawea.

"I felt like I was actually her because of everything I had learned about her through class," Karishma, 13, said. "I felt closer to her the more I knew about her."

Karishma and her fellow Our Lady of Victory Catholic School classmates were dressed as historical figures inside the campus gymnasium one windy day in March.

They were part of OLV's first annual Living History program introduced by their teacher, Teresa Childress.

"The kids really exceeded my expectations," Childress said. "This was incredible."

The project, which spanned across four different core subjects - English, math, history and science - required students to produce a written biography, a trifold poster board, artifacts from the time period and to dress in costume as the person of their choosing.

More than 500 people, including all OLV students, came to see the exhibit, Childress said.

Childress said she got the idea after speaking with one of her grandsons, who had done a similar project in Sugar Land.

"That got me thinking that we could do the same," she said. "The kids went all out; they really enjoyed it."

Childress said she plans to continue the project with her seventh-grade students next year.

Childress is no stranger to unique, intensive project ideas.

Earlier this year, OLV students in Childress' eighth-grade class took part in a mock trial based on the book "To Kill A Mockingbird."

Namrita Parikh, Karishma's mother, said some of the younger children at the living exhibit actually believed they were meeting the real Sacagawea.

"It was funny," said Parikh with soft laughter. "The show made a real impact on the younger children; it was so good."

Karishma said she hopes the students will be required to choose different historical figures in Childress' class next year.

"That way, we'll get to see some new ideas next year," Karishma said.

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