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Drinking and Washing in a Rural School, c. 1912

Education. Arrangements for Drinking and Washing in Rural School
New York State Archives, NYSA_A3045-78_A446
Document Description
A table for drinking and washing at a rural school which includes: a washbasin, folding cups, an earthen jar with a cover and a spigot, soap, and paper towels, circa 1912.
What are the items in this picture?
What was each item used for?
Do you still use items like this in school? Which ones?
What sanitary concerns might you have if you attended this school?
Do you think this washroom was in a rural or city school? Explain your answer.
Historical Challenges
Research what changes have been made in American schools in the past two hundred years to make them healthier environments for students.
Interdisciplinary Connections
Math: How many water fountains per student does your school have? How many restrooms per student?
Science: Make a chart showing how much water, juice, soda, and other beverages you drink every day for a week. How much water should you drink every day? Why is it important to drink water?
Science: In this photograph, there is just one cup for drinking water. What risks did students face by drinking out of the same cup?
Science: There appears to be a roll of paper towels in this photograph. When were paper towels invented?
English Language Arts: Write a letter to a school board member suggesting changes that could be made in your school to make it a healthier environment for students.
Art: Make a poster encouraging students in your school to wash their hands.
Bagley, Katie. Keep Clean: A Look At Hygiene. Capstone Press, August 2001. ISBN: 0736809740
Gaff, Jackie. Why Must I Wash My Hands? Cherrytree Books, August 2005. ISBN: 1842343505
Roysten, Angela. Why Does My Body Smell? And Other Questions about Hygiene. Heinemann, September 2002. ISBN: 1403402086
Berger, Melvin. Germs Make Me Sick! HarperCollins Children's Books, Augsut 1995. ISBN: 0064451542
Marsh, Carole. Kid's Official Guide to Germs. Gallopade International, January 2004. ISBN: 0635010828

Historical Context
In the early 1900s, schools were aware of the importance of comfortable facilities for students in the school building.
Essential Question
How do human settlement patterns impact individual health and quality of life?
Check for Understanding
Describe the objects in the photograph and explain the purpose of these objects.