4th-graders go back in time

Chalk quietly tapped on small chalkboards Thursday in the one-room schoolhouse in Spring Lake Township.
Krystle Wagner
May 9, 2014

T.J. Klumpel’s fourth-grade students from Rosy Mound Elementary School used the chalkboards to answer math questions during their visit to the historic DeWitt Schoolhouse. Students quietly sat in the long, wooden pews as Nancy Johnson, a docent from the Tri-Cities Historical Museum, instructed the class as though it was May 8, 1895.

Lexi Naperala, 10, said the schoolhouse is smaller than she expected.

“It’s like you traveled back in time,” the fourth-grader said.

CLICK HERE to see more photos from the day.

Naperala said she and her classmates learned that teachers in the 1890s were stricter than modern-day teachers because students had to stand when they spoke and address the teacher as “ma’am” or “sir.” She also said students in the 1890s who didn’t follow the rules either stood in a corner or with their nose to the chalkboard, or got hit across the knuckles.

Maggie Vander Sys said she enjoyed her visit to the old schoolhouse.

“It makes you see how people lived,” the fourth-grader said. “It’s pretty cool.”

Some students also ate a lunch to fit the time period, which included sandwiches with meat or peanut butter, boiled eggs, cheese and carrots.

To read the whole story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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