The walking track at Mt. Juliet Christian Academy was lined with frozen members from the past Wednesday.
Famous men and women like Rosa Parks, Alvin C. York, Martin Luther King Jr., and Helen Keller were represented in dress during the fifth grade's 8th annual Living Wax Museum event.
More than 30 fifth graders took part in the project that was toured by the entire student body, invited guests and parents. The students, dressed as famous past figures, stood frozen until a tap on the shoulder "woke" them up and they began to tell their stories.
"We like history to come to life," said teacher Chelli Mosier. "This is part of a joint effort between the history and English departments. Some of the people from the past date back to pre-Civil War. The students just love being involved."
Their investment was creating a "costume" and writing a term paper, as well as making a storyboard with images, facts and figures. The most inventive part of the project was each student's narrative that began with the gentle tap. They wrote their own monologue from research and expertly brought their chosen person to life for fascinated students who said they learned a lot during the walk.
Bell Knokes represented Elizabeth Blackwell.
"Well, I sort of wanted Clara Barton or Helen Keller, but I drew Dr. Blackwell," Knokes said. "But, I found out she was the first known woman doctor and I thought that was really cool."
Student Chlemelie Ezeoke held an open Bible as he stood next to his storyboard.
When tapped, his monologue described Martin Luther King Jr.
"He was a civil rights activist and a brave man," Ezeoke told those who gathered to listen. "He wanted the blacks and whites to get along with each other."
The young man said he held a Bible during his presentation because, "Martin Luther King Jr. was a preacher."
Mt. Juliet Police Chief James Hambrick and a colleague joined the hundreds who toured the museum. He said he's attended every year and still learns new facts.
Elementary Principal Amanda Vanvactor said she loves this annual project.
"They get so nervous, but by the end they've gained so many new skills," she said. "I love to see their sense of pride when they get through it. It's a huge accomplishment."
The event lasted just an hour, but it was enough time to take a walk back in history. The students were given the rest of the day off and left on an overnight trip to the Creation Museum at 7 a.m. Thursday.