As It Happens

Oklahoma school uncovers century-old blackboard lessons

Renovators at Oklahoma City's Emerson high school have found something hidden behind the blackboards: an older set of boards with chalk lessons from 1917.
(Oklahoma City Schools)
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Workers at an Oklahoma City school have discovered blackboards covered in chalk drawings and lessons from 1917. 
(Oklahoma City Schools)
The workers made the discovery last week as they began renovating and replacing the existing blackboards at Emerson High School. Hidden behind the blackboards in several class rooms, they found older boards covered in lessons from nearly a century before. 
(Oklahoma City Schools)

"I was just amazed," says Emerson teacher Sherry Read. "It's like finding a mural in King Tut's tomb."

"It's kind of like a time capsule. These were old slate chalkboards from the pioneering days." On them are lessons on math, hygiene and vocabulary. The lessons on pilgrims and drawings of turkeys suggest they date from the run-up to the American Thanksgiving holiday. 
(Oklahoma City Schools)
Seeing the boards for the first time, Read had the feeling of traveling back in time. "We teach vocabulary today. They had their vocabulary up for the day in my class room. One of the words was 'woa,' like, 'Woa!' to stop your horse."

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