Oceanside Middle School sixth-graders' project on historical "truth-tellers" culminated with a presentation of their findings at Watts Hall Feb. 13.

Teacher Valerie Hilchey said the students had to pick someone who had changed the world for the better, after being inspired by the book "Americans Who Tell The Truth" by Robert Shetterly.

"They have written a persuasive essay and created a display board to showcase their work," Hilchey said.

From Sitting Bull to Mark Twain to Helen Keller to Muhammad Ali, the students were also dressed as their truth-teller and answered questions about the person's life.

Hilchey said the unit kicked off with a field trip to the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland.

"Students went in small groups to tour the museum with a focus on portraits," she said.

In English language arts classes, students wrote a five-paragraph thesis-driven essay. In social studies, they used their research skills to put together a timeline of their truth-teller’s life. In math, students looked at data from the time period in which their person lived and graphically represented the information.

In science, students gathered and/or created artifacts, physical objects that represent some aspect of their truth-teller’s life.

"All of this hard work culminates in this living museum," Hilchey said of the Feb. 13 displays.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at bbirmingham@villagesoup.com.