The American Revolutionary War Comes to Life at Heyburn School | Southern Idaho Education

HEYBURN — White wigs, shoe buckles, vests and knee-length breeches — along with many obscure facts about American Revolutionary War figures — were on display at the elementary school’s living wax museum on Thursday Heyburn.

Heyburn librarian Melissa Clark, passionate about the history of the Revolutionary War, undertook the project to guide the students.

“It’s the first time we’ve done it, but it will be every year,” Clark said. “It gives us the opportunity to teach the whole school about famous people from the war and some of the less famous ones.”

Some of the best known personalities included General George Washington, King George III, Betsy Ross and Benjamin Franklin.

Others, like Peggy Shippen, married to Benedict Arnold and presented as the highest paid British spy, also played a central role.

Student Landree Heiner portrayed Elizabeth Burgin, who was an American patriot and helped free 200 prisoners from British prison ships.

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“I really enjoyed putting it all together and putting the costume together,” Heiner said.

Student Rebecca Stimpson played Anna Strong, a patriotic spy in Washington’s Culper Ring, who sent messages by hanging a black petticoat and a number of white handkerchiefs on the clothesline in her backyard.

The other students in the school took turns visiting the exhibits put up by the fifth graders and listening to them recite facts about the people they represented.

Fifth-grade student Sophie Mitchell said she had been working on finding information about Mary Katherine Goddarn since January.

Goddarn was one of the first American newspaper publishers to publish articles against British brutality.

Mitchell said it was unusual at the time for a woman “to be a full-time printer”.

Goddarn’s name, which is the only female name on the Declaration of Independence, is at the bottom where she wrote “Baltimore in Maryland: Printed by Mary Katherine Goddard”.

“I am very impressed with this. The students worked hard and really got into it,” said fifth grade teacher Amanda Christenson. “I think it will give them a real appreciation for the story.”

Dressed as Benjamin Franklin, student Hagen Dayhoff, said Franklin was most famous for signing the Declaration of Independence and discovering electricity.

The hardest part of his project, he said, was figuring out how to replicate Franklin’s buckle shoes.

“What the students learned goes so much further than any textbook,” Clark said. “Few fifth graders know so much about these numbers. They come alive for them and it’s so exciting.

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