Students with braids and bonnets, suspenders and knickers walked off their bus and back in time this week as a part of their social studies curriculum and a long-standing tradition at St. Mary School. Dressed in time period specific costumes, and packing lunches authentic to the day, Ms. Dorka’s 4th grade students traveled to the Little Red Schoolhouse in Willoughby to experience a day in the life of students of that time.
Students began their day preparing homemade applesauce and discovering spinning and sewing in the traditional homestead. From there they were taken to try out an 1896 Platen printing press and learn about how people communicated; a far cry from the texts of today! Students stayed in character throughout the day and continued on to the one-room schoolhouse for lessons. There, they worked on penmanship using slate boards, read from shared books and had an old-fashioned Spelling Bee.
The Little Red Schoolhouse in Willoughby was built in 1901. The site is a three-building complex. In addition to the one-room schoolhouse, a print shop, looms and spinning wheels are also on display. A research library contains information on northeastern Ohio.
Students Lyndsey Schaefer, Sierra Berman, Dylan Brock and Ty Nieto won a prize for most authentic costumes; while Owen Boggs took home the award for most typical lunch- rabbit! When the students were asked what they would do if they were students back in the 1900’s, Ty Nieto said, “Invent toilet paper” to much agreement from his peers. All in all, the students could not be more excited about their learning and comparing the experience of old days to their own today.