Reading, Writing and 'Rithmetic in the One-Room Schoolhouse

For young children, the experience of attending school strengthens their growing sense of independence and their relationship with the world beyond their family. This lesson focuses on this universal experience, using original photographs to give students a vivid impression of how American children received an education a hundred years ago. They learn about a one-room schoolhouse, seeing how children learned, played and traveled to school. This lesson encourages students to explore the similarities and differences of being a student in a one-room schoolhouse versus attending their own well-equipped, modern schoo.

Guiding Questions

What was it like to go to school a long time ago in America?

How were the first schools in this country different from—and the same as—schools today?

Learning Objectives

Describe a typical one-room schoolhouse: the interior, exterior and how it was furnished and equipped.

Understand key facts about being a student and being a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse.

Compare the experience of attending a one-room schoolhouse with going to school today.