New Era One Room School

*A Paper Drinking Cup*

adapted from Cobblestone, Nov. 1981, p. 41.

Early schools did not have running water, so a bucket of water was drawn from a nearby stream, spring, or well. Pupils would then dip water from the bucket and drink directly from the dipper! As this was not sanitary, teachers encouraged their pupils to bring their own cups from home.  Some may have had cups, folding cups, jelly jars. If they had none, they could make their own cups from paper.

To make a cup:

bulletFold a square of paper on the diagonal (figure 1)
bulletFold point A to D dotted line
bulletFold point B to C dotted line
bulletFold down point E to front of cup, tucking it into the slot. (figure 2)
bulletFold down point F to back of cup
The center pocket will hold water until the paper is soaked through!
                    (This is how we get drinks at our little one room  school!)
Words to explore:  spring, bucket, pupil, sanitary, dipper, folding cup
Challenge:  How large would the square need to be to hold 1/4 cup of liquid after it is folded?
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S.S.WV.5.3 Compare and contrast past and present lifestyles of West Virginians