photo of midlakes one-room schoolhouse
  • Students and organizations can experience the setting and lessons of a country schoolhouse at the Midlakes One-Room Schoolhouse through programs conducted by members of the MORS Committee or current classroom teacher. The schoolhouse is equipped with 27 desks with individuals slates for student use, coatrooms, a classroom library with historic textbooks and a coal room of antique photos. There is no electricity or running water although an outhouse is on display for viewing only. Bathrooms are available with a short walk to Midlakes Elementary School building.

    MORS Programs

    Walk-through (15-30 minutes): An overview of country schoolhouse days with an opportunity to view the interior of the building.

    Spell Down (30-45 minutes): The classic country school tradition of a spelling bee with either words from an authentic country school speller or current word lists from the student's curriculum. This program can be adapted to include recognition of letter sounds, rhyming, opposites, and other language skills.

    Cipher Down (30-45 minutes): An opportunity to show speed and accuracy in solving math calculations from simple fathers to word problems at the chalkboard.

    Penmanship (30-45 minutes): Students in grades K-3 use a copybook and pencil; those in grades four and higher can use a quill pen with ink and a copybook.

    Mini-Day Program (two hours, appropriate customing encouraged*): The program consisted of opening exercises, arithmetic seat/slate work, penmanship lesson, poetry recitation, bathroom break and play (outdoor recess is weather dependent).

    Day Program (five hours, appropriate customing and packed lunch encouraged**): Students will role-play a variety of grades with age-appropriate lessons. Activities will include opening exercises, reading, arithmetic, composition, penmanship, geography, recitation, spelldown, morning and afternoon bathroom breaks, recess at lunch with outdoor games (weather dependent) and dismissal.

    Classroom Teacher's Choice: A classroom teacher may explore a specific topic or theme that they would like addressed.

    *Girls wore dresses or blouses and skirts with shoes and bonnets. Aprons were also appropriate. Boys wore pants with suspenders, bib overalls or knickers with long socks, button-front shirts with shoes or boots and straw hats. Sweatshirts, jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers were not yet invented. [It's not necessary to purchase items for those customers - treat it like a dress-up box activity.]

    **Lunches were brought in tin lunch pails covered with a cloth that students may borrow for the experience. There was no refrigeration - water was the available beverage and students should bring a cup. Food was wrapped in cloth or wax paper -- cloth napkins were used. Period food items included muffins, buttered bread, cheese or jelly sandwiches (peanut butter was scarce), hard-boiled eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables (carrots, tomatoes, apples, pears, peaches and plums. Oranges and bananas were not available), homemade cookies, popcorn and cakes (no chocolate chips, M&Ms, Fruit Roll-Ups, potato chips).