Field Trips: Old School
Field Trips: Old School
Take a trip back to the 1800s and early 1900s and learn how students once learned and studied, in one-room schoolhouses with one teacher and children of all different ages. Field trips to former school houses will inform today’s students of the history of learning and allow them to reflect on what it would be like to grow up centuries ago comparing the old ways to their modern lives.
At the Heritage Schoolhouse Museum and Archives in Markham, Ontario, grade three students can participate in role-playing activities and discover what it was like to be a student in 1900. For students in grades seven and eight, an Artifact and Document Study teaches them about the history of York Region and also gives them a chance to role-play. Both programs last the full day with a break for lunch. Additionally, visiting students are privy to a collection of over 10,000 historic documents and artifacts including administrative papers, classroom furniture, textbooks, and pictures.
In Toronto lies the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse—the first free school in the city thanks to the generosity and kindness of a man named Enoch Turner. Mr. Turner, from Staffordshire, England, came to Toronto in the early 1830s and became a successful businessman. He became involved in many worthy causes including establishing the city’s first free school. Mr. Turner’s schoolhouse remains a unique architectural and historical treasure allowing students to experience the life of a working class student in the 1800s.
On the east coast we find the Dominion Heritage Schoolhouse Museum, located in Dominion, Nova Scotia. Standing over 120 years old, this schoolhouse presents students with a history of Cape Breton through stories of the area, the town, and the school. From desks to writing materials and maps to an old school bell, this schoolhouse built in 1888 has guides that take you on an adventure through time.
The Langley Centennial Museum, located in beautiful Fort Langley, British Columbia, gives students the opportunity to become the class of 1924. Guides take students back to a time when strict rules, obedience, and hard work were the centre of the learning experience. For students in grades three to six, the schoolhouse is the venue for a 90-minute visit, touching on subjects such as, society and culture, economy, technology, and the fine arts.
In Milby, Quebec stands the Hyatt Schoolhouse where demonstrations and tours for visiting classes, kindergarten to grade eight, are on offer. Onsite is an old spinning wheel, a weaving loom, a butter churn, books, an old organ and piano, and even old prints and drawings from when they were used as a school as far back as 1822. Originally built by United Empire Loyalists, this schoolhouse is a must-see.
Field Trip Opportunities
Heritage Schoolhouse Museum and Archives
Enoch Turner Schoolhouse
Dominion Heritage Schoolhouse Museum
Langley Centennial Museum Lochiel School
Fort Langley, BC