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Back to School

Posted on August 15 2021

Back to School

Dear Educators,

Many of you are already back to teaching, while many others are preparing for what the new year will bring. Here at Maps101, we are taking a look at school from many angles. School was quite different in the 1800s. We will delve into what schooling was like in those times. Social reforms that benefited children were an important step toward recognizing the unique needs of children and women, as well as others. Then we will head to the modern era and look at the cost of K-12 education across the country. Finally, we provide insight into managing schoolwork from home. Let’s begin!

Geography News Network

GNN articles go deep into topics across all subject areas. This week, we are first exploring what school was like during the 1800s. Students may not realize how different school is today from the way it was in the past. It wasn’t even mandatory to attend! Use the questions at the end to prompt classroom discussion.

Lesson Map

The 1800s became known as the era of social reforms, including those that affected children. Many children worked for low pay, in factories and coal mines in particular. This Lesson Map focuses on that era. It is a helpful reminder to students how far we have come as a society. Lesson Maps include a complete student edition that includes images, the full text needed to understand the topic, and additional resources. The teacher edition is a complete wraparound-style to provide point-of-use instruction. Activities focus on critical-thinking skills aligned with Bloom’s Taxonomy. There are Direct Instruction activities, as well as activities for students at all learning levels, and ELL students.

Geography News Network

Running a school is expensive. Reports show that the cost of K-12 schools, public or private, is increasing. In part, this is because of the higher need for technology in the classroom. This article explores the costs of schooling. It may be a topic your students haven’t thought about, but schooling is expensive!

Geography News Network

With COVID-19 forcing students to do their schooling completely from home, they need to develop skills to get their work done. This GNN article explores this important topic, especially for the new year, as schools are not all necessarily able to return to a full schedule on site.


Exploring Economics Ask students to brainstorm what types of costs schools face. Write their answers on the board. Help them understand the hidden costs, such as salaries, building upkeep, supplies, and more. Then ask students to think about the money their family invests in their education in addition to these costs. Examples include clothing, extracurricular activity costs, supplies, and more. Finally, discuss what America should do about the rising costs of schooling.


SEL Activity

Comparing to Gain Understanding Ask students to research more on what school life was like in the 1800s, to help them compare then to now. Then, ask students to write a diary or journal entry from the points of view of students from that time, reflecting different social classes. How do their entries differ? What role did work play in the lives of children in the working class in the 1800s? Would they even be able to write a diary entry?

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