Wax Museum is a right of passage for seventh grade Cranbury students


The Cranbury School for years has been organizing a special event called the “Wax Museum.”

Inside the school on March 7, the “Wax Museum” took place in five classrooms designated as galleries. For an hour families and guests would choose three classrooms and watch seventh grade students give an oral presentation. About 70 seventh grade students memorized one-minute and 30-second speeches about a famous person who has made a difference in the world.

“The students start to think about who they want to portray early in the seventh grade year. They give a lot of thought to this project. We really tried to direct the students to people who have made positive contributions to the history of our world,” said Elizabeth Grimaldi, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction.

The performances that took place during the evening on March 7 were an end result of a month-long English project for each student. After students first filled out a form that listed the famous people they wanted to do, they were notified about which person they could do. After the students research, they would end up writing a paper. Then after the paper, students begin to work on their speeches, posters, costumes and props.

Each student was dressed as the famous person they chose to do their project on.

Sedona Raphael was one of the many seventh grade students who presented that night. She did her performance and presentation on Dr. Seuss.

“I really researched to see what I could find out about Dr. Seuss. We had to then write an essay, which was really the hardest part,” Sedona said. “After that we have these speeches, which is fun. I really like speeches, preforming and theater. This took a long time.”

She said she did Dr. Seuss because she wanted to do someone children would recognize.

“He just changed so much about how children read. I really thought that was an important topic to focus on. A lot of people do not know this but the real way to pronounce Dr. Seuss’s name is Zoice because of his German ancestry,” Sedona said.

To begin the performances in each gallery, an orange cut-out button was pressed by an audience member and by the end of the oral presentations there was time for quick questions and answers.

“I felt tonight went wonderful. This is my seventh year doing this,” said Beth Chen, English teacher at the Cranbury School.

She said a couple of weeks before the performance event the students are really practicing their speeches.

“The best part of this for me is watching these students grow right before my eyes. I am so proud of them,” Chen said. “This is a right of passage for Cranbury seventh graders. It is a big event and is something for some adults would be scary for them to do.”

During the school day of the event, the seventh grade students also toured the classrooms in the school through various grades in their costumes.