Fifth-graders in Mickey Molan's class at Grace Christian School in Alexandria, La., recently took on the roles of famous figures for their Biography Day projects. Work began in November when the 36 students began reading lengthy books, conducting Internet research, compiling photos and creating a costume to wear when they made first-person presentations to the class. For most students, it was their debut public-speaking opportunity. "I was impressed. They really responded well with it," Molan said.

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