Guest post from Mote Ambassador Leader - Alex Isaacs, EdTech Specialist in the Long Branch Public Schools District.
As the new school year approaches (or already begins), it can be daunting for teachers to offer innovative and engaging activities for learners to complete while setting expectations, getting to know everyone, and fostering a strong home-school connection. I vividly remember feeling overwhelmed in September, wondering if my students would enjoy what I had planned and how to involve their parents and guardians with the fantastic projects they completed in my math class. Teachers often need more time and resources, which magnifies these pressures. Looking back now, I realize a Mote Wax Museum project (click here for more information if you’re unfamiliar with this type of project) on famous mathematicians would have been the perfect activity to engage my student’s creativity while also creating an opportunity for my their family members to take part in the learning.
While wax museum projects are often associated with social studies classes, they are appropriate across all content areas. A traditional wax museum involves learners researching an influential person in history, memorizing or reading lines about aspects of their life, and dressing up as this individual for a class or school-wide event. The traditional wax museum holds the potential to offer choice and voice to diverse learners, but it’s missing one key component: Mote. Mote QR codes are easy to integrate into this project-based learning opportunity, offering an even more inclusive, accessible, and interactive experience for teachers, students, and guardians alike. In this blog, we’ll explore how students can use the power of Mote to create an engaging wax museum project (digitally or as a physical display) that allows attendees to have more choices in their experience by scanning different QR codes.
Rationale for Project
The Mote Wax Museum project brings influential people from history to life while allowing students to embody their chosen historical figures in a fun and engaging way. By pre-recording mote audio messages about their selected important person, students can truly immerse themselves in the individual’s life and experiences. Do learners want to use the Mote extension to record themselves with an accent or recite a pertinent speech of their influential person? These options and choices help them feel more confident while presenting as they can focus on embodying their character like a "wax statue" compared to memorizing lines they will repeat on the event day.
Another key goal of this project is to amplify the voices of all students, including those who might be less comfortable with traditional presentations. Instead of reading from note cards, learners participate in a more interactive event that encourages creativity and expression. This inclusive approach ensures that every student's perspective and contribution are valued and celebrated, and the choices opened up by creating accompanying digital or physical presentations help learners be more apt to participate.
Mote Wax Museum Template Cover Slide
For this project, teachers can use the following overview of instructions to create an engaging and informative Mote Wax Museum experience for attendees:
Mote Wax Museum Google Slides Template
During the wax museum event day, guardians are invited to school to see their child dress up and pose as an influential historical figure. Incorporating Mote into this project goes beyond the standard presentation format by allowing attendees to choose the historical information they hear about. Each student will display QR audio mote messages representing different aspects of their historical figure's life. Again, offering learners the choice of how they present their knowledge is critical, whether with a digital graphic on their Chromebook or a physical poster with printed and labeled QR audio motes attached. As a result, attendees are also empowered with choice as they select which part of the significant historical figure's life they want to explore further. Whether it's their early years, contributions to society, or personal challenges, attendees can curate their own experience, making it a truly immersive and more personalized journey into history.
Mote Wax Museum Event Day Display Sample
The Mote Wax Museum project helps students gain historical knowledge and fosters creativity, confidence, and inclusivity. Allowing learners to become their chosen historical figures offers a unique and immersive learning experience beyond the traditional classroom setting. Combining this with Mote for digital storytelling helps any wax museum event become more inclusive, accessible, and innovative. Celebrate the richness of history and extraordinary individuals' impact on shaping our world by trying this Mote Wax Museum project in your class this Fall, making history come alive!