Each year as part of our Classical Conversation’s Essentials Program, the kids research and write about a famous person of the time period we are studying. To make it even more fun, they also do an oral report in 1st person (and in costume)!

Faces of History

For the last 5 years, we’ve always done it the same way. We have a special night (usually a Friday night) and invite all the families and friends. Then each kid goes up one at a time to present a 3 min. speech about the life of the person they picked. They are decked out in some awesome costume and speak in 1st person as if they ARE that person!

It’s been great, but it’s a long night. We tried to make it different this year and I was able to get an amazing idea from a fellow Essentials tutor….a wax museum!

What’s a Wax Museum/Living Museum?

Basically, each kid dresses up as their character and prepares a 1-2 min speech about the most interesting or important parts of their character’s life. Then on the night of the event we set the kids up around the room/halls/etc. and they FREEZE (like a statue). The families and guests are instructed to go around and touch the hand of the statue to “bring them to life.” The student will then come to life and give their presentation to whoever is standing there. After, they go back to their frozen position and await the next touch.

My niece as Empress Matilda

It was amazing! The space we were using had 4 LARGE rooms, so we divided the kids into time periods and had a small flyer handed out at each entrance. The flyer had the time period, the names of the characters, the names of the students, and the dates that person lived. It was so cool to make the connections of who lived at the same time in history!

My daughter Josephine, as Josephine Bonaparte

Our sections were “Early Middle Ages,” “High Middle Ages,” “Late Middle Ages,” and “Age of Discovery.”

The Result

It was amazing! The kids were able to say their speeches tons of times rather than just one, so they had tons of oral presentation experience. The parents and guests were totally engaged in the kids’ presentations….and even all the little kids LOVED it. Personally, I learned more than I had in all the other years combined. If you are doing a Faces of History, or want to plan something fun with your homeschool group, I highly recommend this!

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