On May 10th at Augusta Elementary, the graduating 6th graders presented a unique “THEN and NOW” slide show as part of their graduation celebration. In cooperation with the Augusta Museum, the sixth graders had visited and researched what life was like in the 1850’s – 1900’s.
The Augusta History museum became a teaching experience. Students asked many questions and photographed several items, including photos of relatives and other townspeople, blacksmith and farm tools, kitchen items, sports memorabilia.
"Where did all this come from?" "What sports were played back then?" "What did kids take for lunch?" "How did women cook on a stove without electricity?" "What is a Blacksmith?" "Could you jump on this bed?" "My grandma has some of these items in her kitchen." "My grandfather’s picture is in the museum."
The students were able to interview Paul & Bernice Kemner, Clarence & Jeanette Sehrt, Ellen Knoernschild, and Sally Heining. They learned that the museum contents were donated by local families. The photograph display, compiled by Bob and Ellen Knoernschild, was a highlight; as were the Augusta High School yearbooks from bygone eras.
The visit was exciting and their interest in history was appreciated by the committee. Many years of work have gone into purchasing, maintaining, and collecting period pieces, now preserved in the museum. It was an eye-opening experience for the students as well as those who were interviewed, some of whom also attended the Augusta school.
One of the intentions of this project was for students to conclude their education at Augusta Elementary using technology to present how important history is to learn so we can appreciate how life has improved. The slide show surprised the audience and showcased just how creative and innovative the students were in their interpretation of “THEN and NOW”.