Hosting a living wax museum is such a memorable experience for students because it offers them an opportunity to expand their knowledge of significant people who have impacted the human race in some way.
Of course, you know this because you’ve landed on this page and are seeking living wax museum character ideas.
I’ve compiled a helpful collection of ideas that will serve your needs.
Over the years, as I have hosted living history wax museums for students in various grades, I have kept a growing resource of character ideas.
These are the best character ideas for living wax museum projects because they tend to interest a wide range of students.
What’s more, due to the variety of recommendations listed here, you’ll find character ideas to fit every grade level, student personality, and preference.
The goal is to expose students to people from different walks of life, with different viewpoints and life experiences.
They will do this through research and by becoming someone else for a day.
At the start of planning, the task is to brainstorm living wax museum character ideas. Because that takes time and research, I’ve done the work for you.
You’ll find lots of great ideas here from historical figures to inventors … enough character suggestions to pique the interest of even the pickiest students.
This is the start of students’ research.
Whether you teach elementary, middle, or high school, this is the beginning of a history lesson that students will never forget.
Living Wax Museum Character Ideas
These living wax museum character ideas can be turned into a virtual wax museum for distance learning by having students present a famous person via Google Slides and then submit a biography of said person.
Have students present as one of their favorite athletes, past or present. You could choose one sport and every student dresses as a player from that sport.
Or, you could allow students to choose whichever athlete from any sport that they prefer.
Another option is to have a wax museum with an Olympian theme. Each child presents as their favorite Olympian star.
- Jackie Robinson
- Mary Lou Retton
- Jesse Owens
- Michael Jordan
- Kristi Yamaguchi
Women In History
Honor the accomplishments of women in history.
Even when faced with challenges and risks, women have fought, many times successfully, for equality in many areas and have paved the way for females today.
Black women, in particular, have especially triumphed through hurdles as they have dealt with systemic race and gender inequalities.
- Susan B. Anthony
- Harriet Tubman
- Helen Keller
- Ruby Bridges
- Marie Curie
Walt Disney revolutionized how we entertain ourselves and our families. From theme parks to animated movies, his legacy lives on today.
Pay tribute to this creative man by portraying any of his entertaining characters.
- Walt Disney
- Winnie the Pooh
- Micky Mouse
Celebrate the culture, flavor, and history of individuals who span the continents of North/South America, Mexico, Spain, and the Caribbean.
The Hispanic culture is made up of many races and ethnicities. Students will uncover so many amazing facts.
- Celia Cruz
- Pablo Neruda
- Eva Perón
- Desi Arnaz
- Rita Moreno
It’s amazing how fast technology changes our lives.
Honor those who have made our lives easier with improved communication inventions.
Transportation, social media, work productivity, and email are much more efficient plus faster thanks to technological advances.
This is arguably one of the most popular living wax museum character ideas for students.
- Thomas Edison
- Mark Zuckerberg
- Steve Jobs
- The Wright Brothers
- Elon Musk
It’s important for students to know the past so that they respect it and appreciate the present more.
Researching historical figures is a way to honor and recognize the past.
Have students perform a significant person in history who had a great impact on humanity.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Abraham Lincoln
- Rosa Parks
- Malala Yousafzai
Famous African Americans
Black Americans have contributed so much to American society yet their accomplishments have historically been dimmed due to racism.
Spotlight the achievements of African Americans by hosting a black-American-themed living wax museum.
The following character ideas work well all year long, not just during Black history month.
- Henry Box Brown
- Maya Angelou
- Sammy Davis, Jr.
- Michelle Obama
Humans have always been curious about what lies beyond Earth.
Pay homage to those brave and curious souls who decided to explore the solar system and universe.
This is a great opportunity for students to understand how space exploration impacts technological advances.
For younger students, you may want to have them represent objects. See character idea examples below.
- falling star
- Ellen Ochoa
- NASA employee
- Neil Armstrong
- Yuri Gagarin
This collection of living wax museum character ideas wouldn’t be complete without including modern-day celebrities.
Motivate students to showcase their inner superstar by hosting an entertainer-themed living wax museum.
In addition to singers and actors, students may portray producers, directors, magicians, YouTubers, comedians, or talk-show hosts.
- Harry Houdini
- Taylor Swift
- John Legend
- Stevie Wonder
- Betty White
- Jojo Siwa
Children’s authors enrich the lives of students by helping to shape their literacy skills and stretch their imaginations.
Deepen students’ knowledge of the authors whose books they read regularly.
They may conduct research about an author’s life and what inspired him/her to become a writer.
Students may also choose to represent a character from one of the author’s books.
- Dr. Seuss
- Gail Gibbons
- Roald Dahl
- Peggy Parish
- Harry Allard
Fairy Tale Classics
If you seek living wax museum character ideas that appeal to both younger and older students, this one fits well.
Just about every child has memories of being read fairy tales. Have students relive the fantasy with a fairytale-themed living wax museum.
Presentation ideas may include a performance that shares the moral lesson taught by the student’s favorite fairy tale.
- Sleeping Beauty
- Gingerbread Man
- Fairy Godmother
Students research the branches of government and represent someone from Congress, the Senate, or the House of Representatives.
They may also choose to represent significant political figures from other countries.
- Abraham Lincoln
- Jimmy Carter
- Margaret Thatcher
- Simon Bolivar
- politically-active citizen
Include within your collection of living wax museum character ideas a category devoted to the wives of presidents.
Though First Ladies normally organize and attend political functions with their husbands, many have played a broader, more influential, role in other areas.
- Betty Ford
- Michelle Obama
- Eleanor Roosevelt
- Jacqueline Kennedy
- Rosalynn Carter
The president has one, arguably the most important role, in our government. Students will represent a president, sharing his major accomplishments.
- Barack Obama
- Gerald R. Ford
- Donald Trump
- Ronald Reagan
- John F. Kennedy
Landmarks in the world symbolize history, and they serve as a reminder of events that shaped our world in some way.
Students will enjoy learning about and representing these national and international markers.
Living wax museum character ideas don’t necessarily have to be people.
- Statue of Liberty
- Great Wall of China
- Taj Mahal
- Eiffel Tower
- Space Needle
Students will represent a leader from the local community. This idea is great for younger students.
- police officer
For this idea, students choose characters from their favorite picture books, read-aloud books, or chapter books to present.
- Miss Nelson
- Amelia Bedelia
- Jack and Annie
- Mrs. Fizzle
- The Recess Queen
Students choose any person from history, past or present, that they would like to represent. This idea is essentially a choose-anyone-you-want type of category.
Students present a brief timeline of the person’s life to perform in the museum.
- Harriet Tubman
- Elizabeth Taylor
- Clara Barton
- Walt Disney
- Pablo Picasso
Go back to a time of castles, crusades, and cathedrals by having a medieval-themed wax museum.
Students dress as characters from medieval times.
If you’ve ever attended a renaissance festival, think about the costumes performers wear. That’s the inspiration and vibe you’ll need for this type of wax museum.
- Robin Hood
- William Tell
- King Arthur
Spark students’ interest in Greek Mythology by having a wax museum dedicated to the monsters, heroes, gods, and legends of the ancient Greeks.
The stories share lessons about life and love.
For living wax museum character ideas that most students will love, try going with superheroes.
- Wonder Woman
- Captain America
The next groups of living wax museum character ideas are not people but ideas and things.
If you want to do something extra creative, have students represent concepts that they are learning about in class.
These ideas are sure to impress!
If you’re a science teacher looking for living wax museum character ideas related to your area, this recommendation is a winner.
Have students represent an organelle from a plant or animal cell.
- cell membrane
For this fun wax museum idea, students become a punctuation or grammar symbol, explaining to observers the importance of its use.
- question mark
- quotation marks
- exclamation point
Choose a habitat for students to research. They will then represent an animal from that habitat.
- desert animals
- arctic animals
- under the sea
Each student will represent a body part or body system for the wax museum.
Now you have a range of living wax museum character ideas to consider when planning.
No matter the theme you choose, students will remember this wax museum project for the rest of their lives. That’s how great it will be.