History Kit: Schooling in Early Vermont

This kit teaches students about Vermont's era of agricultural expansion — the early- to mid-1800s — and the role that schooling played in Vermont's development during that time. Students have an opportunity to use primary resources to build historical interpretations about going to school in the past. The book Local Schools: Exploring Their History provides suggestions for using oral history to understand the ways in which people assign meaning to their own historical experiences.

The materials in the kit recreate an early nineteenth-century school lesson. Recreational materials are also provided. The primary documents in the kit allow students to reach conclusions about teacher training, the size of classrooms, the number of students in a classroom, the length of a school term, and methods of learning. The illustrations and photographs provide students with a visual image of going to school in the early nineteenth-century. The kit includes:

  • 15 Slates and slate pencils
  • 15 Ball-point quill pens
  • 4 Hornbooks (wooden alphabet paddles)
  • 15 copies of McGuffey's Second Eclectic Reader
  • 15 copies of Marmaduke Multiply's
  • The Girl's Own Book
  • The Boy's Own Book
  • Era maps of the United States and Vermont
  • Period games: The Graces, Deck of Cards, Wooden Dice

For each section of this kit, the Teacher's Guide includes teaching objectives, a list of related artifacts, images, stories, background information, discussion questions, and student worksheets. Funding for this kit provided through the generosity of the A.D. Henderson Foundation.

All kits are available for a three-week lending period for a fee of $60.00 (round-trip shipping), $45.00 (one-way shipping) or $30.00 (you pick up at VHS). For more information see History Kits.

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