NEWPORT BEACH — Rows of third-grade students dressed in costumes stood statue-like, holding out their clenched right fists.
As parents walked up and down the rows and pressed a red "button" on the students' fists, 8-year-old versions of Leonardo da Vinci, Queen Elizabeth I, Colin Powell, Pocahontas, Ben Franklin, J.K. Rowling and Kobe Bryant came to life.
"This is an impressionist picture I painted," said student Kristin Bennington, who stayed in character as artist Mary Cassatt when asked about a portrait she held.
Harbor View Elementary School's three third-grade classes participated Thursday in its annual Wax Museum event. The gathering culminated in the students' biography project, in which they dressed up as a famous man or woman they'd been reading about and gave a short speech about that person's life.
The event represented Harbor View's innovative integration of language arts skills and history, said Principal Charlene Metoyer.
The third grade has long done the biography project, but another teacher introduced the Wax Museum event three years ago, said teacher Patti Clark.