Kindergarten students turned into museum tour guides on Jan. 23 at Rumsey Station Elementary School.
Instead of the usual classroom materials, desks in the school’s three kindergarten classrooms were covered with old typewriters, catalogs, books and photos.
Students created a “Long Ago Museum” by bringing in old items. They then gave classmates, fellow students and parents tours of their museum.
Leading up to the event, students spent time explaining what their items were to classmates. Then they figured out what items are used today to do the same job as their old items.
In addition to the museum items, students made old chalkboards out of paper. They also made collages with photos of themselves in the past, present and drawings of them in the future.
This was the second year for the one-day museum, said kindergarten teacher Ronda Patten.
The idea came about after hearing conversations between grandparents and students, she said. Discussions often centered around grandparents sharing what they did and used when they were children.
“I love it, because, for them, what’s long ago isn’t for us,” Patten said. “They’re 5, so six years is long ago.”
Tripp Froberg brought in a telescope for the museum. Now, we use binoculars, he said.
He enjoyed seeing old keys and cameras at the museum.
“They’re old, and we use new stuff now,” Tripp said.
Other items on display included a flip cellphone, a Sears Roebuck catalog, a Lionel toy train, a pocket watch and a VHS tape.
One of the most interesting items Patten saw was an old copy of “The Little Engine That Could.” The book belonged to one of the students’ grandfathers.
“We still have that book in our room,” Patten said.
Patten and students were able to compare the old book to the one in their classroom. They’ve even completed movement activities based on the story in the past, Patten said.
Ryan Baruth, 5, brought in some items lent to him by his grandparents. One of the items he brought was an antique jar filled with marbles that his grandfather used to play with as a child.
“We brought the stuff and put it on tables where people sit,” Ryan said.
Ryan liked seeing old cameras and a typewriter, but his favorite item was a rotary phone.
“It had buttons you had to put your finger in and spin,” Ryan said.
While he liked the old phone, he said he prefers the cellphones we use today.
“It’s really neat. I wasn’t sure what to expect,” said Ryan’s mom, Becky. “Some of the pieces are quite fascinating.”