Fourth Grade Information for the History Center

Fourth graders visit the Eight Square Schoolhouse, operated by The History Center of Tompkins County. On this trip, students are immersed in 19th century life via a day spent learning lessons and engaging in activities as they would have done during a typical school day in 1892. A volunteer runs the visit, remaining in character as a 19th century teacher throughout the day. 

*  Ithaca teachers, please note that the Eight Square Schoolhouse can only accommodate one class at a time. Fourth Grade teachers will be partnered with a buddy class and may go on  Buddy Up trips together! Classes particularly enjoy going to the Bemment Billings Farmstead . Ithaca teachers will be provided with information about this trip during the school year.


Additional Pre/Post Trip Lessons


Here's a case study Learning My History:  A History of Learning by Erin Hammes. Students investigate their family values and experiences, and the nature of schooling in Tompkins County in 1892 and today. In doing so, students develop a sense of self and a relationship to their education. Full case study here.


KDT! Book for Fourth Grade

KDT! provides books to all Pre-K through fifth grade children to encourage literacy and reinforce Kids Discover the Trail! curriculum. To prolong the excitement of the trip, some teachers give the book to the children (when appropriate) on a day other than the day of the field trip.

Some helpful hints...

  • Read the book aloud to the children in class before sending the book home.

  • Have the children write their names in the book

  • Use the lesson plans that are posted below

  • Be sure to inform families about the book in your weekly newsletters. Please alert them to the parent flier that gives ideas about how to use the book at home!

The book for 4th grade is "The Secret School". by Avi 

These comprehensive lessons written by Amy Gingrich, include discussions of universal primary education and gender equity. considered in, The Secret School.,
 There are numerous handouts including study guides for each chapter of the book. These guides include vocabulary words and probing questions. Assessments are included. These are incredible lessons. Use them and let us know what you think by clicking here !