Famous American Living Museum

It was a day like any other. Students arrived via buses, cars, and bicycles, waved hello, and headed to their classrooms. Some munched on breakfast, and others chatted with their friends. But it didn’t take long to notice that something was different….


…is that famous American author Laura Ingalls Wilder using the Destiny Quest search station with famous American designer and artist Maya Lin?

DSC02152Wait…are Sacajawea, Chief Powhatan and Pocahontas always in the second grade hallway?

DSC02171…is that Maya Angelou jotting down poems outside of the cafeteria?!

Yes, yes, and yes!

Johnson Elementary School was visited by more than 40 famous Americans this morning! These important figures from history and modern day stood quietly in front of their exhibit in a lifelike pose until visitors stepped on their “big red button” on the floor.


Then, they came to life. Singing, healing, inventing, and changing history right in our hallways!





Students of all ages joined family and community members in reading posters, listening to monologues, perusing graphic novels, and having their jaws hit the floor. From pre-school to third grade, students were captivated as each museum exhibit came to life in front of their eyes.

Through a memorized monologue, each famous American taught their audiences about their life, their accomplishments and hardships, and the reasons that they left a permanent mark on the world. On the wall behind them hung a poster, which went along with the carefully created digital slideshows displayed on a desk. The graphic novels created in library class sat next to the laptops, giving big and little hands alike something to flip through and enjoy while they listened. As I walked up and down the halls stomping on big red buttons, I laughed, I learned, and I even teared up a little.

And I wasn’t the only one impressed with Johnson’s mini-famous Americans. Books about the historical figures represented at today’s Famous American Living Museum have been flying off the biography shelves. Fourth graders must have made an especially strong impact on our kindergarten and first grade readers, who clamored to check out books to learn more about people like Ella FitzGerald, Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Thank you, Johnson 4th graders, for helping history come alive for us today. From written reports to memorized biographies, your hard work was nothing short of remarkable and you can be so proud of this event! And thank you, Mrs. Rickabaugh, Mrs. Wayland, and Mrs. Garrison for going above and beyond today and everyday. Congratulations to everyone on a job WELL done!

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