Student learning in old school house

In a unique educational excursion blending history with hands-on learning, students from Barnardsville Elementary journeyed to a historic cabin and schoolhouse, turning the pages of history to experience life in the early 20th century. The visit, part of the school’s “Wit and Wisdom” curriculum unit, took place on March 27, immersing the young learners in the daily rituals and traditions of a bygone era. 

Barnardsville Elementary Students

Dressed in period appropriate attire, the students began their visit by touring a one-room cabin. Students were able to quickly point out the differences between homes from then to now. Next, the students toured the one-room schoolhouse. Inside stood two former employees of the school, retired teacher Lilian Riddle and her husband O’Neal, who guided the students through a typical day in a one-room school setting. 

students and teacher

The kindergarten students participated in a variety of traditional activities that not only educated but also entertained. They learned the art of making soap, an essential and historic skill. This was followed by engaging in pastime games and activities such as walking on stilts, spinning buttons, and washing clothes on a vintage washboard. 

soap maker
student walking on stilts

The educational adventure didn’t stop at just learning and playing. The students also got a taste of history through their lunch menu, which featured fried okra, cornbread, and pinto beans – “just like Cynthia Rylant ate from her book ‘When I was Young in the Mountains,’” said kindergarten teacher Kelli Lyda-Buchanan.

The day ended with a lively square dance and wonderful bluegrass music by Jake Womack and Nicholas Harwood. This trip not only enriched the students’ understanding of history but also reinforced their “Wit and Wisdom” unit by making stories of the past more relatable and vivid. 

students on field trip