Kids Get Hands On History Lesson

Wednesday, September 19th 2007, 5:00 pm
By: News On 6

There are hundreds of events across the state to mark Oklahoma's centennial. Some kids in Green Country are marking Oklahoma's 100th birthday with something you've got to see. News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports they’re taking us all back in time to the days of the pioneers, and learning a lot about Oklahoma history at the same time.

Kids at Bailey Elementary in Owasso are getting dirty, and no teacher or parent or anyone minds. That’s because it’s hard to build a sod house and not get dirty. That's right, the Owasso students are building a sod house, just like their great-great grandparents may have done.

"We're just trying to celebrate the 100th birthday of Oklahoma, so we're trying to make a house," said Bailey Elementary fourth grader Stephanie Lamb.

One strip of donated sod after another, the kids are getting closer to finishing that house. Along the way, they're getting help from some high schoolers from a stage craft class who researched and designed the soddie.

"We normally build sets and work with lights and sound in the theatre and Performing Arts Center, and this is way different from what we normally do,” PAC manager Doug Woolery said.

"It's cool. We just got to pick it up and put it on there, it's cool," fourth grader Nick Hodge said.

It's cool because it's a different way of learning about Oklahoma history. When the pioneers came west, trees were scarce, so many early day settlers in Indian Territory and Oklahoma built sod homes.

"Anytime kids can touch something and build it and really do it, it just goes down into their long term memory,” Owasso teacher Lilli Lyon said. “It's just different from learning it from a textbook and paper and pencil."

A few more work sessions and the students will have the walls finished, and the sod house will be ready for a roof. A hole will then be cut into the side of the soddie for a door, and the old fashioned classroom will be ready. Teachers and students will use the sod house for a variety of activities. They plan to have it finished by statehood day in November.

If you would like to see an authentic, historic sod home, Oklahoma has a state historic site you may want to visit. The Sod House Museum is located in Alfalfa County in Northwestern Oklahoma. You can call 580-463-2441 for more details or visit their website,

Watch the video: Students Go Back In Time To Pioneer Days