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History Came to Life at MacFarlane Park

February 20, 2018

There were some famous faces from the past spotted at MacFarlane Park Elementary Magnet – and they weren’t the school’s typical guests: “Hello. My name is Dr. Martin Luther King Junior.”  “My name is Barack Obama.”  “Marcus Garvey.”  “Hello. My name is Ruby Bridges.”

The “guests” were actually the elementary’s first grade students who donned costumes for the Annual Living Museum. It was part of the school’s Black History Month celebration.       

“It’s a first grade event at MarFarlane Park. It’s a day where students get to honor citizens that have made social contributions and change in history,” said Samantha Lynge, first grade teacher and team leader.

The six and seven-year-olds spent six weeks researching the Honored Citizens. 

Euquan, a first grade student, portrayed President Barack Obama, “I made a speech in front of everyone, because I was the 44th President of the United States.”

First-grader, Alyssa was Dr. Martin Luther King Junior. “I’m the leader of the Civil Rights Movement. I believe we can live unified, no matter the color of our skin.”

The students wrote biographies on the person they selected who fit into the category of Famous Firsts, Inventors, or Leaders.

“I was the first African American girl to enter an all-white school,” said first-grade student, Jaeda. She portrayed Ruby Bridges.

“We really want to make sure the students understand whether they’re six-years-old, like Ruby Bridges, can make a contribution,” said Lynge. “We want them to know that they’ve made big changes in our history that impact the future, and we want them to see that impact has changed who we are today.”

“He changed the world and helped people be together in life,” Alyssa said of Dr. King.

 “They made our world a better place,” said Euquan.

Each student posed as a statue. Parents and school leaders pressed a “sticker button” on their shirt to bring the characters to life.

“They become their honored citizen and teach you a little bit more about their life and what they’ve done,” said Lynge.

The Honored Citizens also included: George Washington, Wilma Rudolph, Neil Armstrong, Jackie Robinson, Amelia Earhart, George Lucas, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, Jane Goodall, Rosa Parks, Abraham Lincoln, Jose Marti, Mother Teresa, Albert Einstein, Orville Wright, Lonnie G. Johnson, Isaac Newton, Walt Disney, Helen Keller, Steve Jobs, Cesar Chavez, Clara Barton, Thomas Jefferson, Pocahontas, Queen Elizabeth II, Benjamin Franklin, Bill Gates, Sally Ride, Maria Tallchief, Mae Jemison, Betsy Ross, Harriet Tubman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Alexander Hamilton, Elizabeth Hamilton, Theodore Roosevelt, and Wilbur Wright.

“I think it’s like a real museum that people are statues that come to life,” Jaeda said.

“They worked really, really hard and we’re really proud them. It just goes to show that it doesn’t matter how old you are, you can produce something really significant and big,” said Lynge.

The Living Museum is part of first grade students’ lesson, “Where We Are in Place and Time.”  The idea of the unit is that countries, cultures and governments honor citizens whose contributions have led to social change.

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