About 50 second graders at Neosho's Central Elementary School got a chance to learn about school and everyday life in the late 1870s Monday, as 20 Missouri State University students converged on the Newton County Historical Society Park for a teaching exercise.

The group, all education majors at MSU in Springfield, demonstrated a variety of crafts, games, chores, and occupations from the 1880s. Activities included chores such as cutting wood and doing laundry, games such as jacks and marbles, school lessons on math and spelling, writing with a quill pen, publishing and more.

"We picked that time period because the school house was built in 1878," said Susan Lineberry, MSU instructor. "The university students researched a little bit about their activity."

MSU students manned 10 different stations, and each was attired in period costumes, provided with the help of the university's theatre department. Second graders spent an average of seven to eight minutes at each station. Stations were held on the grounds, in the log cabin, in the school house, on the museum porch, and inside the museum itself.

The university students, Lineberry said, are required to complete the exercise to fulfill their methods in teaching social studies requirement.

While the university students fulfill a requirement for their education degrees, the second graders will also take home something, Lineberry said.

"I hope they get a little bit of the sense of the difference in life in the 1800s, compared to today," she said.