May 28, 2014

It’s history in the butter-making

By Suzanne Werre

The fourth-graders at Underwood Public School have been getting a lot of hands-on experience in their history class this year, recently completing North Dakota history projects and traveling to the interpretive center in Washburn, where they competed in a Missouri River History Bee.

More recently, though, the students found themselves traveling back in time to the days when North Dakota was just being settled, back to the 1800s. The students were making their way around their classroom by "candlelight" (lanterns and flashlights), and many of the girls were wearing long dresses and aprons, with bonnets on their heads.

Their main projects for the day were to make butter and ice cream, just like the old settlers did – almost.

They can’t use candles to light their room, and they don’t actually get to churn the butter, noted teacher DeAnn Brunelle, who was in character as the school marm, also donning a long dress and bonnet. The children were making their butter by putting their ingredients in a Mason jar and shaking until it became solid, just like regular butter. Brunelle figured it would take about 10 minutes.



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