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Jones Elementary Treasures History

Photo of JES Historical Museum When H.T. Jones Elementary (JES) Third-Grade Teacher Nicolle Granderson noticed her students were struggling in two areas: connecting with history and fiction/nonfiction vocabulary; she had a clever idea. What if, they created a museum? Through the project, she hoped to engage students with real-world application to enhance vocabulary and history appreciation.

“I knew my mom had a lot of antiques that I could bring to school to show my students,” Granderson said. “So I had an idea, why not create a museum to give all students at Jones the opportunity to learn about items from the past?”

Granderson collected antique items from her mother and JES staff members Paula Williams, Chasity Moore, Nicole Bolar, Dakota Smith, Brandi Bradley, and Joni Beliz. Some antiques present were a typewriter, rotary phone, iron, toaster, and straightening comb. Every student researched one of the items to report on. They prepared written and oral reports to present in class. Using Flipgrid, a video discussion platform, students also created 90-second videos to showcase at the museum. During reading classes, all other grade levels and classes were able to visit the library to view and learn about the items.

The response was overwhelmingly positive. Students who researched were thrilled to share what they learned and students who visited learned a lot about the uses of historic items and how they could be compared to what we see and use today. Students and staff had the opportunity to touch many of the items on display. Granderson hopes to continue the museum in future school years.

“Many of my reserved students found their voice and displayed confidence that I’ve never seen and they never knew they had,” Granderson said. “They understand that history is something that should not create anxiety or fear, but should be appreciated and embraced.”