NORTH SALEM, N.Y. Fifth-graders at Pequenakonck topped off their final year of elementary school by inviting family and friends to their Cultural Museum of the Western Hemisphere on Thursday night.
Artwork, music, dances and projects created during the school year were on display throughout the fifth-grade corridor where fifth-graders were on hand to play a role. Some were ushers, some curators, others commentators. A few students even brought some historical characters to life.
At the Living History exhibit, for example, Camden Binette appeared in the guise of Abraham Lincoln. I was six-foot-four, he said. I was the tallest President ever and the first to be assassinated.
Daniel McCormack, as Henry Ford, boasted, I sold over 18 million cars in 15 years. The Model T is the car I designed. The Mustang is based on it today.
Michael Henshaws John F. Kennedy discussed himself with a convincing Boston accent. I was the youngest president, he said. One of my most famous quotes was, Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country. I was shot on Nov. 22, 1963, by Lee Harvey Oswald.
Who were you married to? asked a visitor. I was married to Jackie, JFK replied. She was a very nice woman.
At the Geography Exhibit, Anya Nardone presented a display appropriately titled for todays corporate world, Were Moving Where? Various locations in the western hemisphere were represented by student-created brochures that described the vegetation, the animals, the climate and the sort of job ones parent might be doing there.
Yet another exhibit centered on turning points in history, such as the Holocaust, the Twin Towers and the Japanese Tsunami.
Elsewhere, visitors saw a display of student journals that began in North Salem early in the school year and traveled to other parts America, where other students made entries and mailed them on. Eventually the journals came back to North Salem, with details of student life throughout the country.
Students at the Government and Economics Exhibit explained different types of government. We live in a democracy and have the freedom to do what we want, explained fifth-grader Grace Curran. If you live in a dictatorship, the dictator tells you what to do. You might have to become a doctor, when you really want to be a teacher.
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