Today’s Students Intrigued by One Room Schools of the Past

I began sharing my book, One Room Schools, Stories of the Days of 1 Room, 1 Teacher, 8 Grades with my own second and third grade students as it is “hot off the press!” This is so very exciting and  I am interested in their first impressions and first questions.

After a brief description and introduction to the book, my students were quite intrigued by the fact that their teacher, who they see every day, has an author page in a book!  How could that be?  It felt equal to times I have seen students at a grocery store! (Mrs.Bodilly shops for groceries?!) And now, our teacher is an author?  How did that happen?

Their second set of questions were similar to concerns that today’s students have about school. Where did students in the one- room school go to the bathroom? Did they eat lunch? Did they have recess? I answered that we would be history detectives and figure out all of these answers together while reading the book. (I will talk about these topics in future blog entries.)

To begin thinking like a history detective, I showed my students a photo of a shed next to a one-room schoolhouse. I asked them to think about how this building would have been used. The answers were interesting! Here are some of their answers:

a garage

a barn

a horse

storing things

recess equipment

The answer is a woodshed! Why did a one-room school need a woodshed?  One student asked, “Did they make their own paper?” I explained that they did not make their own paper and  I mentioned that they would need wood in the  winter. This led to an discussion about keeping warm in a building without heat. Most one-room schools had a wood stove to keep warm in the winter.

Asking questions, being a history detective and finding answers about the past is lots of fun.

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