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Rhame Students Look Back to the 1850s

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Rhame Avenue third-graders learned what it was like to go to school in the 1850s when Long Island Museum educator Jessica Pastore visited their school on Feb. 9.

The visit began with students viewing pictures of a one-room schoolhouse from the era and making comparisons to their current building. They learned that there wasn’t any electricity in 1850 and that boys and girls had separate entrances into school. They also had an opportunity to use dip pens and paper to write Spencerian Script, and slate pencils and slate boards to do arithmetic, as students in the 1850s would have done. 

According to teacher Heidi Kreit, the visit was a culminating activity to the students’ recent reading of the books “Schools Then and Now” and “A Fine, Fine School” in English language arts. The third-graders have also been studying comparing and contrasting in reading, learning cursive writing, and participated in written debates over whether cursive writing should still be taught in schools.