The Year 2s went on a journey, in their classrooms last Friday 18 August, back to the early 1900s. Currently the students are inquiring into ‘The Past is History’, and after our excursion the previous week to the Hinterland Heritage Museum and Mudgeeraba Village, we decided to give the students a real taste of schooling and life in the 1900s.
The teachers and classrooms of Year 2, travelled back over 100 years to create a true atmosphere for the children. We began the day by reading the 'rules for teachers and students' during the 1900s. Some rules included 'Be silent during classes', 'Do not speak unless absolutely necessary' and 'Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed'. The children rotated through three activities to experience life as a child who lived over 100 years ago.
Making Butter: through our inquiry the students have learnt that butter was one of the staple items in homes during the early 1900s. On our excursion the children were taught butter was made from the cream, which came from the milk from the family's cows. Each child was given an apron, a jar and some cream. Students had to shake the jar to turn the cream to butter. Students soon realised this was long and hard work. After the cream had turned to butter, students were given some bread to have a taste test. Some described the butter as ‘sour’ or ‘off’. We talked about how salt is added to butter to make it taste better today.
French Knitting: Students have learnt throughout the inquiry that knitting and sewing was taught to girls and boys at a young age, so they could make and mend clothing, as it was very expensive to buy in the early 1900s. Students used toilet rolls, paddle pop sticks and wool to French knit. Once students got the hang of the technique they were off and enjoying knitting as children had done in times gone by.
1900s classroom: rows of desks and chairs, slate boards and chalk. When students entered the schoolroom a fingernail and shoe inspection was completed to ensure cleanliness. Punishments for rules, such as ‘boys and girls playing together’, were discussed. Luckily no lashings from the cane were given on this day. Students had the opportunity to write in cursive on slate boards using chalk. We played old games such as marbles, hopscotch and knuckles. At the end of the lesson students were given a cup of milk just as children in the 1900s were.
Overall it was a wonderful day, enjoyed by all. When we time travelled back to this century students were given time to reflect on what life as a child would have been like over 100 years ago.
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