Long Ago Versus Today (FREEBIE)

Nov 17, 2014

Last week Maria and I had one of those weird, amazing AHA moments.  It was one of those experiences where I said, "Why didn't I ever think of this in ALL my years of teaching?"  Seriously!  But let me back up just a bit...
 Our long ago and today writing unit was about to start and we were trying to brainstorm how, exactly, we wanted to tie in our social studies standards.  We started using the Laura Ingalls Wilder (My First Little House) books last year to complete an informative writing piece about long ago and today.

The "long ago" time period that we end up studying with the kids is the late 1800s to early 1900s.  We knew that we wanted to do some sorts.  And we wanted to focus on different categories (clothing, food, transportation).  But we were having a hard time finding exactly what we wanted because sorts for all these different categories required a lot of images.  We didn't have much time.

Then it hit me.

My mom.

I grew up around old stuff.  I mean OLD.  My mom collects antiques and she has since, well, forever.  I spent many hours at antique malls, shows, stores. Her house is filled (nope, it requires full caps) FILLED with old stuff.  It is pretty much all from the late 1800s to early 1900s.  Very primitive, very "Laura Ingalls-ish" stuff.
Why didn't I every think to tap into this resource?  My mom knows all there is to know about these objects.  We used to play guessing games when she would come home from an antique shopping trip.  But in all my years of teaching, I have never thought to actually use these objects to teach about long ago.  Maybe it is because I have just always been surrounded by it.  It is the norm to me.

Well...no more!  We called up my mom and two days later she did a full presentation about long ago versus today objects.  And it was AMAZING!

My mom and I brought anything that we thought the kids could connect to.  I wanted them to have a reference point so that they could easily compare and contrast the objects being presented to objects of today.

We ended up with a long lunch table filled with objects.

We had slate pencils, lanterns, rug beaters, bed warmers, wallets, lunch pails, marble bags, muffin pans, butter churner, tooth powder, and so much more.  My mom was thrilled to share her treasures and the kids so excited to guess, connect, and share in her love for old stuff :)

My little Ruby even agreed to dress up in a bonnet, skirt, and apron.  I think she was just as excited to hear her grandma share little pieces of history.  But she had many questions after the presentation :)

What a great experience and I thought it would be great to have a follow up or a way to share this experience with others.  So I created this Powerpoint presentation. It does not include every single object that my mom and I used.  But it contains many.  And it is FREE :)


 I hope you find it helpful!!


  1. Thank you for sharing. My student teacher is focusing on long ago vs. today and she will be thrilled to add this to her lessons!

  2. Thank you so much! How awesome that you mom collects all of those gems! I bet the kids loved the presentation!

  3. Thank you so much. I cannot wait to use this in my classroom. I think it's wonderful that your mom could come in and teach a lesson to your students. I think that impacts our students a lot. They see us in a different light. You make stronger connections with them. Warm wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  4. This was so.much.fun!!!! I loved watching you and your mom share stories of the "old" stuff and engaging our firsties. They learned so much and I can't wait to share this presentation with them!!!!
    You're the best!

  5. I remember being curled up on the couch with my mom, 4 sisters, a brother and a dog listening to my mom read this whole series to us. I love these picture books. What a great lesson for your students. Thanks for your share. We're doing long ago and today next week!!


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