SHEPHERDSVILLE - Fifth grade students are full of character at Shepherdsville Elementary.
Students hosted the annual Living History Museum in the school cafeteria, where students portray historical figures in an audioanimatronic sort of way.
Each student selects their figure, researchers their biography, then writes a brief monologue that is acted out in costumed character. The program meets required core content standards.
Museum visitors must press a ‘button’ placed on the floor in front of each character to bring them to life.
Dallas Ernspiker was one of three students portraying George Washington.
“I know a lot of facts about him,” Ernspiker said. “He was our first president.”
Gage Rankin was one of four Paul Revere characters, each with various costume and monologue.
“He saved our country,” Rankin said. “He was a serviceman.”
Michael Moffit portrayed Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I thought he was very interesting and very smart,” Moffit said. He added that, in his research, he learned King enjoyed playing baseball.
Not all students selected well-known historical figures. Alyssa Aubrey portrayed Kate Shelley, a railroad heroine from Iowa.
“She saved people that were in train crashes,” Aubrey said. “I’ve never heard of her either, so I thought I should try her.”
A popular character among the fifth-grade girls was Anne Frank, as the students have studied the Holocaust among other history lessons this year.
Jalyn Emert based her Anne Frank costume on photos that showed sweaters and plaid skirts.
“I thought it was interesting learning about the Holocaust,” said Emert. “I learned that (Frank) started her diary entires with ‘Dear Kitty’ because she had to leave her cat behind.”
Mot all students selected their characters based on their historical importance, or at least not at first.
Chase Hood became Theodore Roosevelt, but not because he was president. He did learn more while preparing to portray “Teddy.”
“He died in 1919, he was the 32nd president,” Hood began. “He was the first president to ride in a submarine, the first to have his own car, and the first to fly in a plane. He kept over 40 pets in the White House.”
Hood’s reason for selecting Roosevelt?
“I was watching Blue Bloods (the CBS television police drama) and his photo was on the wall,” he said.