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The Classroom-Then and Now

Lesson Overview

Overview: This lesson will explore pictures of school classrooms today and in 1900. Students will pointout similarities and differences between modern and olden day classrooms. Each student willdetermine what he/she would miss most if attending school in 1900 and explain why he/she would miss it.
Grade Range: PreK-2
Objective:

After completing the lesson in this unit, students will be able to:

  • Study images to compare and contrast classrooms from two time periods.
  • Identify and share what he/she would miss if attending school in 1900 and explain why he/she would miss it.
Time Required: One class period of 45 minutes.
Discipline/Subject: Reading, Social Studies
Topic/Subject: Culture, Folklife
Era: Rise of Industrial America, 1876-1900

 


Standards

Common Core Standards:
                                English Language Arts Standards:
                                Reading: Informational Text: Grade 1
                                RI.1.9. Identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same
                                topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).

Common Core Standards: English Language Arts Standards: 
Reading: Informational Text: Grade 1
RI.1.9. Identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).
   

 


Materials

Handouts: I Would Miss worksheet (print page 3 of PDF), LOC Item, Photograph of classroom
Analysis Tools: Photo Comparison one copy for teacher-direction worksheet (print page 4 of PDF).
Other: Art supplies
Library of Congress Items: Title of Source:Grade school children posed in classroom, with teacher standing in back of room, Washington, D.C.

 


Procedures 

1. Students will study the structure of the classroom environment by comparing and contrasting two photos
(one classroom from 1900 and our current classroom) while the teacher provides guided questions.
a. Show a picture of the current classroom on a screen in front of the class. Ask what the picture is.
b. how the picture of the Grade school children posed in classroom, with teacher standing in back of room, Washington, D.C. Ask what the students see. Explain that this picture was taken a very long time ago.
c. Explain that we are going to look at how classrooms have changed over time and how they have stayed the same. 
2. Give each student a printed version of the images.
3. Read the directions and lead discussion to compare and contrast the image with the Photo Comparison.
4. After completing the guided research, discuss what is happening in each picture. Ask students to look at 
the images and think about what is different and missing from the 1900 classroom that we have today. 
5. On the I Would Miss worksheet, ask students to draw a picture of what they would miss the most if they  attended school in 1900s (print page 3 of PDF).
6. When finished drawing, students will dictate to the teacher the name of the item and why they would miss that item.
For example, a student might say they would miss having a computer because they like to practice their spelling words on www.spellingcity.com.


Evaluation 

Students will be evaluated through observation during the compare/contrast of the classrooms, drawing and awareness of classroom environments.


Extension

In order to further develop the students' understanding of classroom life in 1900, the teacher can have a "Day in the Life of a Classroom in 1900." Girls will be asked to wear dresses and boys will be asked to wear overalls or suspenders. To begin the day, the teacher will read excepts of A One Room School by Bobbie Kalman so students can further understand what life in the classroom in 1900 was like. No technology will be used that day. A snack of biscuits and molasses will be served. Games played during recess will include marbles and leap frog. Students will also be asked to draw a picture of what a classroom might look like 100 years from now.


Author Credits:

S. Schmitt
Carolyn Wenz Elementary/Memorial Elementary