News Post

Connecting with a 200 Year Old Era

English teacher, Kathryn Dadio wanted to challenge her English 10 Honors class with Enrichment Projects while reading through Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. The story's time period, the Regency Era, lent itself to some group work and exploration.

Ms. Dadio wanted to stretch her students' way of thinking. "I was thinking, what can I do?" she said. "Teenagers, 200 years later, are disconnected from Jane Austen's time period."

She assigned her students to take an aspect of the Regency era, research it and make a presentation to the class. The students, working in small groups, explored many parts of the era including the food, leisure activities and jewelry.

"Some of my students made Regency era scones," said Ms. Dadio. "They only used the ingredients that were used back then. They were surprised by how dry they were since the food preservatives we have today didn't exist back then. Another group taught us the rules of pouring tea while other students recreated Jane Austen's ring."

Smart phones and other electronics were also not a part of Jane Austen's world. Another group learned card games such as set back and black jack. In the process, the students learned this was an era where friends truly bonded, delved into conversation, used their brain and talked about the important things in life over a game of cards.

"The kids of 2017 have grown up a lot faster because they have witnessed a lot more in the world," said Ms. Dadio. "When we looked back 200 years ago, we realized that the kids of that era were much more innocent and naïve."

The English 10 Honors students experienced and learned many things throughout this Enrichment Project; however, one lesson prevailed. "I told the students that they are the future of the world," said Ms. Dadio. "They need to form their own thoughts and use their brains, not technology, to make their points."