Living History at Shepherdsville Elementary

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By Stephen Thomas

SHEPHERDSVILLE - Fifth Graders at Shepherdsville Elementary enjoy many aspects of education during the annual "Living History Museum."

Each year fifth grade students select a historical figure from American history to portray in the makeshift museum located in the school's cafeteria.

Students dress and act as the selected figures, reading a biography of their character's life. Patrons have to step on a button located in front of each figure to 'activate' them.

The fifth grade instructors allow students to select their figures from a vast array of categories including Native Americans, explorers, patriots and war heroes, presidents and first ladies, Civil War era, women who made a difference and civil rights leaders.

There were even a few wild cards represented, including artist Leonardo Da Vinci, performer Elvis Presley and Mexican-American labor activist Cesar Chavez, portrayed by Nathan Creekmore.

"He was interested in politics and I'm interested in politics," Creekmore said.

Some historical figures were easy choices, such as Laura Brown selecting Pocahontas.

"I'm actually related to Pocahontas and I wanted to learn more about her," said Brown. "I learned her real name was Matoaka Amonata. Pocahontas was her nickname, it means playful or frisky."

Amber Woody decided to learn more about her character, abolitionist Sojourner Truth.

"She worked in the Underground Railroad," said Woody. "I found her in a book. I never heard of her and wanted to see what she was about."

Many students adorned their museum location and their own characters with enhanced costumes. Travis Baugh made a ball and chain out of aluminum foil as part of his portrayal of Crispus Attucks.

"He was in the Boston Massacre," said Baugh. "It was the bloodiest event before the Revolutionary War."

Seventy students participated in this year's Living History Museum, as well as members of the Shepherdsville Navigator Team teaching staff who also appeared in costume.

Check for more Living History Museum photos in the galleries at www.pioneernews.net.