Sunday, April 13, 2014

Wax Museum Report

I am subbing in 5th grade right now and we are introducing a new project tomorrow - The Wax Museum!  Two of my kids have already done this project and my last one is participating this year. 

The students are each assigned a famous American for their project.  They make a poster board with pictures, a stamp, quotes, etc. and also create a five paragraph written report.  This project takes a few weeks to complete.  The grand finale is Wax Museum day where each student dresses up as their famous American and stand in front of their tri-fold poster board display.  Other students, teachers, and parents come and listen to each student talk about themselves as if they were that character.  It is really fun!

I need to explain to the students how to use 3x5 notecards to collect information for their report.  We'll start the researching tomorrow so to make things very clear, I made this handout with details about how to do them exactly.  (I REALLY don't want to explain the same thing over and over and over again).  It will print 2 per page and the kids will label each of their 10 postcards per subject with the appropriate topic and highlighted color.  I also pre-counted the notecards and put them in sandwich ziplocks so I could avoid the chaos of sorting them at school.  When their regular teacher comes back she'll explain how she'd like them to do the introduction and conclusion.  (And yes, I know I am a wee bit crazy to do stuff like this on my own since I am only subbing, but I do it because I feel it will help me and the students work more efficiently.  Plus I can whip this stuff up on the computer really quickly.)  Click HERE to get the PDF or HERE to get the PowerPoint file to edit from Google Docs.

My oldest son did his report on George Washington Carver (his project was at a different school in the district so the rubric was different).  My middle son was assigned Edwin Hubble.  Now my youngest son will do his report on Elvis Presley so when it comes time to create his costume we'll have to decide if he should be the handsome, young Elvis or the washed out, older version. ;)

I'll share their written reports below:


George Washington Carver
         George Washington Carver was a very smart and determined man.  He was born in 1864 on July 12 at Diamond Missouri.  When he was born he had a lot of things against him.  He was a slave, sick, and had no father.  But when he grew up he turned out to be a very impressive scientist that made a difference in the world.
When George Washington Carver was a child he was very curious.  He asked questions about everything around him.  He wanted to learn about the plants, animals, insects and many other things.  Carver also had many talents.  He played the piano, painted, and sang wonderfully.  Soon slaves were freed and Carver wanted to attend school.  But most of the schools near him wouldn’t allow blacks, so Carver had to find a school somewhere else.  He found a school in Neosho, Kansas that was for blacks.  He finally finished school in his 20’s but still hadn’t attended college.  In 1885 he tried to attend Highland college but was refused when they saw he was black.  When he was 30 he finally found a college that was happy to have him.  It was Simpson College in Iowa.  After he finished going to Simpson College he went to Iowa State.  In 1894 he graduated from Iowa State.  He was the first African American to graduate from the college.  After he graduated he received a Masters Degree.
When George Washington Carver was young he was good with plants.  He kept a garden and when his neighbors saw him they asked him if he could help them with theirs.  He did, and soon became known as plant doctor.  Carver also helped make some pesticides for farmers so their crops could be grown better.  He developed farming techniques that are still being used today.  Carver also started to become known for his study of plants, fungi, and parasites.  One of the plants he studied was the peanut plant.  He discovered over 300 things he could make from the peanut.  Some of the things he created were shampoo, wood stains, face powder, vinegar, soap, butter, coffee, milk, printer ink, bleach, flour, mayonnaise, shaving cream, linoleum, and Worcestershire sauce.  He also discovered that you can make over 100 factory supplies from the sweet potato, and 500 different dyes from southern plants.  Carver also got many awards and honors throughout his life.  Some of the awards he received were the Honorary Doctor of Science Degree, Honorary Membership to the American Inventor Society, the Roosevelt Medal, Spingam Medal by NAACP, was honored by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, and had the first African American National Monument for him.
George Washington Carver also had many interesting events in his life.  When he was a slave child he and his mother were kidnapped by night raiders, and only he was found and returned to his owners.  He was a scientist, educator, business man, lecturer, and reformer.  He never got married, but you could say he was married to his work because he was so dedicated to it.  Near the end of life he donated his life savings to the George Washington Carver Research Foundation, so the foundation had over 5 million dollars for research.
George Washington Carver died on January 5, 1943 at Tuskegee, Alabama.  He was buried next to his friend Booker T. Washington.  His scientific discoveries made a difference in the world.  He will be remembered for his methods of crop rotation, and farming techniques, and for his amazing use of plants in the south.  He was known as the “Savior of Southern Agriculture”.  He changed history because he was very courageous even though people discriminated against him and other African Americans.  But he still earned degrees in college and became a scientist.  I will always be grateful because George Washington Carver invented my favorite thing to put on a sandwich…Peanut Butter.


“We hope to be able to find something we had not expected.”
-Edwin Hubble

Edwin Hubble started out as a very smart boy.  He was an extremely hard worker as an adult.  Hubble contributed a lot when he helped make telescopes and made many marvelous discoveries about space.  He’s remembered as the “Father of Cosmology.”
Edwin Powell Hubble was born to an insurance executive on November, 20, 1889 in Marshfield, Missouri.  He was the third of eight children.  He loved science ever since a young age.  Hubble did well in all subjects except for spelling.  In 1898, his family moved to Chicago, Illinois.  When he was young, he was noted for his athletic abilities more than his intellectual abilities.  In high school, he played basketball and loved to box.  In 1906, Hubble won seven first places and one third place in a single high school track and field meet.  In that same year, he broke the Illinois state high jump record.  He received an undergraduate degree in math and astronomy in 1910.
After high school, Edwin Hubble went to the University of Chicago and studied math, astronomy, and physics.  He earned a Bachelor of Science.  He then went to Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship.  A Rhodes Scholarship is very hard to receive.  After that, he studied law, and practiced it for a short time in Kentucky.  Following that, Hubble earned a Masters Degree in Spanish.  He taught Spanish, physics and math and the New Albany high school.  He also coached the boys’ basketball team at that same high school.  After that, he served in the US Army in World War I.  At the end of the war, he returned to Astronomy at the Yerkes Observatory.  Later he received his PhD.  He then returned to serve in the US Army in World War II.  When he returned from the war, he married Grace Burke-Lieb, the widowed daughter of a Southern California millionaire.  Hubble then worked at the Mount Wilson Observatory until he died of a blood clot in his brain on September 28, 1953.
          Edwin Hubble didn’t have kids, but was considered “The Father of Cosmology.”  Many things are named after him, including the amazing Hubble Telescope.  In 1919, they completed the 100 inch Hooker Telescope, then the world’s largest telescope.  In the early 1920’s, Hubble helped prove that there was more than one galaxy in the universe.  In 1929, he proved that the farther the galaxy is from earth, the faster it appears to move away.  That is Hubble’s Law.  Hubble’s Law means that the universe means that the universe is expanding.  In 1917, Einstein had thought that the universe expanded, but decided that couldn’t be true.  Hubble later proved it was true and Einstein thanked him in 1931.  In 1949 he finally helped finish the Hale Telescope.  It was twice as large as the Hooker Telescope.  After that, he tried to include astronomy under the science of physics.  Astronomy was put under physics after Hubble died.  In 1953, Hubble would have won the Nobel Prize but they didn’t have Nobel Prizes for astronomy before he died.  After his death, he was recognized for getting astronomy as a Nobel Prize category.  The Hubble Telescope continually brings us great pictures from space that help us learn about our universe.

          Edwin Powell Hubble helped astronomers and everyone in the world learn more about space.  He discovered many other galaxies around the universe.  He also proved the universe is expanding.  I think Hubble is a genius and was truly able to find something that we had not expected.

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