Read to students Sarah Morton's Day and Samuel Eaton's Day by Kate Waters. Read aloud and give children time to examine each page. Point out the many jobs these children of long ago had to complete each day. Then let children compare items from today with items of long ago. Provide a box with the following items: box of cornbread mix, spoon, plate, glass cup, soap, small lamp, storybook, baseball cap, and electronic game. Help children compare these things to items of long ago. List in order the things from long ago that they saw in the books that compare to the items familiar to students: box of cornbread mix (corn meal from Indian corn), spoon (shells), plate (wooden trencher), glass cup (wooden mug), soap (home-made soap), small lamp (candle), storybook (Bible and hornbook), baseball cap (girl's coif, boy's hat), and electronic game (outside games). Then invite students to choose a job from long ago that they find most interesting. Let them draw pictures -- using picture books as references -- to show the job.
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Sue LaBella, Education World's early childhood editor, is a former teacher who loves writing activities and poems for young children. She lives in Connecticut with her family and her bulldog named Daisy.
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Activities by Sue LaBella
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