Elementary school dioramas

I enjoyed going to school. I was lucky to have friends and good teachers and a school that really cared about its students. We would have field days, and concerts and plays and holiday shows. We had a little store in our classroom where we could exchange ‘money’ that we earned for doing good deeds or performing well during a task or test.

My favorite teacher of all time was Mrs. Buckley, my third grade angel. I vividly remember her warmness and guidance. She formed lasting bonds with her students and took the time to truly listen to them. She was a history teacher and she made learning so much fun.

Photo by Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash

I fell in love learning about ancient civilizations. It was the first time I was interested in history in my young life. We had projects at the end of the year and I can still remember the layout of my ancient Mesopotamia diorama. I spent about two weeks on it. I made my mom buy me real sand and I created little flat roof mud huts complete with sticks from my front yard. I made little people out of clay and set them up doing different activities. It was awesome.

Elementary school was such a fond experience for me and I feel like I learned a lot of information that set me up to succeed for the rest of my life, as long as I kept doing the work that is. It got me reminiscing back to my diorama and my little clay people going about their lives over 4,000 years ago. How were they taught? How did they learn to become successful adults and keep civilizations going enough to get to us in this present day?

This graphic from AAAstateofplay.com tells us just how children were educated in ancient times in 15 different civilizations. There were no students learning in my Mesopotamian diorama and that was because only royal offspring and sons from rich families were able to learn to write. Scribes were just emerging and they soon became their own social class according to this visualization. Eventually women would also be able to learn subjects like reading, writing and storytelling.

Even ancient Egypt had classrooms set up like present day ones complete with rules on how students needed to behave while in class. Teachers in ancient times set the foundation for teachers in this present day. I hope school is still as fun as I remember it even though the world has changed so much since the 90’s.