Third Graders Take a Stand in Living Wax Museum

Working to achieve something despite difficulties, obstacles, or opposition is what perseverance is all about.  Third graders in Madison Smith, Kayla Zingale, and Kaylin Akerly’s classes at Cuyahoga Heights Elementary School (CHES) recently spent about six weeks focusing on this overarching theme. They read a variety of stories, both fiction and non-fiction, and learned how to describe the relationship between historical events and scientific achievements. 

As one of their many activities, each student selected a famous person who they felt demonstrated perseverance.  They researched information about this individual using a variety of resources, created a digital report, composed a speech, and wrote a biography.  The activities culminated on December 16 when 52 third graders transformed themselves into their self-selected famous person and shared their excitement and information with the community. Families, friends, board members, community residents and even Cuyahoga Heights Fire Chief Michael Suhy visited the “wax” museum in the high school media center. “We had actors, singers, athletes, activists, nurses, explorers, and many others,” said Akerly. Among the wax figures were Florence Nightingale, Lionel Messi, Maria Montessori, Babe Ruth, Tom Hanks, and Oprah Winfrey. 

The event also provided an opportunity to raise funds for the Allison Rose Foundation. A Happy Gram sale was held for parents to purchase customizable cards for their children. Parents filled out the cards with words of encouragement and praise. The cards were delivered to each student after the event. All proceeds went to the foundation, which strives to provide education, awareness, research, and advocacy for individuals who have food allergies, as well as offers help for their families. “It was a lot of work but we had so much fun,” concluded Akerly. “And we appreciated the support.”


Albert Einstein portrayed by Mateo Torres 

Lucille Ball portrayed by Denny Morway 

Grayson Westfall portrayed by Elon Musk 

Lionel Messi portrayed by Lucien Shepler

Alex Morgan portrayed by Ava Sherman

Ruby Bridges portrayed by Kalia Munson

Steve Jobs portrayed by Daniel Styskel