Long, Long, Ago

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Grade Level
Length of Time
20 minutes

Children will learn that the world has not always been as it is today by discovering things they use in every day life that were not available long ago. They'll use reasoning and imagination to think of ways to live without those items and experiment with pioneer life.


Children will understand that many things they take for granted have not always existed. This prepares them for future cultural history lessons.

Materials Needed

A variety of items that were not used in days before the children were born. Toys and pictures may be used to represent these items. Typical items might include: a lamp with a light bulb in it, a computer, a toy telephone, a toy car, and a television. You should also have items that would have been available then, such as a dish, a dress, a rag doll, and food item.

You will also need materials for whatever games you choose to teach. To teach the games recommended, you will need a jump rope, a bucket, rocks or fruit pits, and a way to make hand shadows.


Set out the items you've collected. Say, "Before you were born, before your mother and father were born, before your grandma and grandpa were born...the world was very different. I have some things today to show you. I want you to guess if children who lived long ago, even before your grandma and grandpa were born, might have had these things."

Hold up one item at a time and let the children guess. When they've guessed and you've given the right answer, discuss the item with them. If it wasn't invented in those days, ask the children to guess what people did instead. "If there wasn't a telephone in the olden days, what did people do when they needed to tell someone something?"

When you're finished, tell the children that in pioneer days, when the country was newer, children had to make their own fun. Most children didn't go to the store and buy lots of fancy toys. They made toys or played with what they could find. Tech them to play a few pioneer games:

Children enjoyed making hand shadows. Help the children learn a few simple hand shadows. They also enjoyed tossing things into a bucket or a basket, moving further away each time to see how far they could toss. They tossed whatever they had-the pits of fruit, rocks, or other items they could find. Children also liked to jump rope. Your students may be too young to play, but an older student can demonstrate or you can do very simple jump roping, just holding the rope still and letting the children jump as best they can.


This Lesson Plan Does Not Requre A Grading Structure.

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