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A Day in the Life…

An important part of teaching any kind of history is making comparisons. What was life like for a 13 year-old pioneer, compared to a 13 year-old’s life today? What things have changed, and what have stayed the same?

To show students these comparisons, my students create books titled: “A Day in the Life of a 13 year-old Utah Pioneer”. I got this idea from a workshop given by the Jordan School District- a wonderful teacher shared it with us. As we learn about the pioneers throughout this unit, the students add a different page each day explaining differences/similarities in a particular area of life. The areas I use are school, transportation, work, chores, religion, entertainment, and etc.

To download a template, click: A Day in the Life

When I teach about what school was like, or the first school in Utah, at the end of class, I’ll give a new page to each student to add to their book. The top half of the paper is used to illustrate and write what school was like for a pioneer child. The bottom half is used to illustrate and write what school is like right now for that student.

“In pioneer times, children would go to school in a one house school building. Sometimes it was a tent! They would have different grades in the same room. They were taught the deseret alphabet…

Today, my school is huge with lots of different classrooms. We even have hallways full of lockers for each student! We aren’t taught the deseret alphabet. But thanks to computers, we have keyboarding classes!”

After a while, you’ll have a book full of comparisons. You can staple, or bind these books together when you’re done with the unit. Don’t forget to share your story with us by responding below! How did it go? What would you change?

One Response to “A Day in the Life…”

  1. If you’re doing the Day in the Life book, add another page describing the differences and similarities between men and women of today, and on what the students thought about their respective gender role.

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