Nacogdoches elementary students learn about life in the 19th century

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches elementary students pulled out the quil pens, washing boards and clothes lines for the day to learn about the traditional lifestyle of a 19th century child and the third graders got a hands-on lesson in local history.

Rewind 150 years and leave modern conveniences behind just for one day.
That's what Nacogdoches ISD third graders did Tuesday at Millard's Crossing Historic Village in Nacogdoches.

"Often times history is taught from an adult perspective and this is actually giving them a perspective from the kids of that era," said executive director of Millard's Crossing, David Young.

SFA elementary education students play a big role in Pioneer Days by role playing at each of the different activity stations.  

"For experiential learning that's really important for our interns to be able to get those experiences and to have time with the students that they'll someday be teaching," said Dr. Erik Byker, SFA elementary education professor.

Students and future teachers shelled corn, played a pump organ, made simple toys and played old time games like Anti-Over.

"These are things that people around here would have done and the way that they would have acted and the games that they would have played and the chores that they had to do," said Young.

The kids also got to try out washing their clothes by hand.

We asked the kids: Do you wash your clothes this way? They replied "No. We don't " You don't? "We wash our clothes with machines. We use a washer and a dryer," said the kids.

"They're able to take in a learn more if they're having fun and being a part of the activity," said Young.

Students also learned what school was like, how teachers ran their classrooms and how different the rules were over a century ago.  

The 19th century teacher says, "Welcome to my school house…if you misbehave in my classroom and break one of my rules… you get lashes."

Plus they learned how to write their assignments with a feather and ink….

"It actually makes them appreciate what they have a little better," said Young.

The education is two-fold. The children experience what it was like to be a kid in rural East Texas a century ago while SFA elementary education interns gain valuable hands-on teaching skills.

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