Ohio past and present comes to life at Brookside assembly and wax museum

ERMA SAYS – “Erma Bombeck” held the floor as a guest listens intently to her accomplishments as told by fourth-grade student Grace Hicks. Hicks and her classmates participated in an All-Ohio program last week at Brookside Intermediate School.

By Michele Murphy

Sheffield Village/Sheffield Lake – More than 200 guests sat in the gym at Brookside Intermediate School last week swaying to the strains of The Ohio State University fight song, “Hang on Sloopy,” and discovering what their favorite fourth-grader had learned during their intensive study of Ohio’s history, innovations and famous people.

Between a song about Ohio’s history, “Follow the Drinking Gourd,” or the just-for-fun “Ama Lama,” that teaches rhythm through nonsense words, guests learned that it was Ohioans who invented everything from chewing gum to disposable diapers, yo-yos or the light bulb. They praised Dayton’s Wright brothers and Milan’s Thomas Edison, not to mention Ohio’s eight U. S. presidents.

They leaned on poet Sara Holbrook who wrote about excuses to come

up with their own version of “The Dog Ate My Homework,” before launching into their finale of the ever-popular OSU fight song, complete with arm-raising “O-H-I-O” gestures and a little girl serving as cheerleader, running back and forth across the stage to coordinate “the wave.”


Fourth-grade teachers stood in the back of the gym smiling, whispering to each other occasionally, mouthing or singing words to songs and silently reciting portions of the students’ script, which they held in their hands, completely marked up, crushed and wrinkled as the homework

WHAT’S COOKIN’? Chase Sperko took on the persona of native Ohioan and chef Guy Fieri as part of his class presentation on Ohio history, innovation and famous people. (Press photos – Michele Murphy)

the kids had sung about.

Following the assembly, everyone was invited to visit their wax museum in which each of nearly 125 students, many in very clever costumes, had taken on the persona of the famous Ohioan they had researched. In addition to the research, students prepared a written report about their famous person, drew a poster of him or her, then prepared an oral synopsis of the person’s life and accomplishments. The oral synopsis was presented to visiting guests who crowded into hallways and classrooms anxious to meet such famous people.

They were all there too, from astronaut Judith Resnik to John D. Rockefeller, OSU and pro football star and Heisman Trophy winner Howard “Hopalong” Cassady, Paul Newman, Patricia Heaton, Dean Martin, Ulysses S. Grant, media mogul Ted Turner, author Harriet Beecher Stowe, Erma Bombeck, chef Guy Fieri and Steven Spielberg.

While fun, visual and energizing for students and guests, the most important thing about the fourth-grade unit on Ohio, according to teacher Mary Berner, was learning about Ohio history and “the people who make Ohio great.”



Print this story