On The Mailbox Facebook page, we often note significant anniversaries, birthdays, and historical dates that have a connection to education, specifically elementary and early-childhood classrooms. Recently, we noted the birthday of André Cassagnes, the Frenchman who created the Etch A Sketch; Robert McCloskey, the author of “Make Way for Ducklings”; and Virginia Lee Burton, author and illustrator of “Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel.”
Why do we do this? Well, we like to recognize the classics. Although you’d be hard pressed to find a working example of a steam shovel just about anywhere in the world, the lesson Burton teaches through her simple and beautifully illustrated story is timeless. And I’ll bet plenty of “today’s kids” would easily spend hours with one of Cassagnes’ creations, drawing, shaking, and beginning again. They’re called classics because classics never go out of style; like a fine wine, they only get better with age.
Let’s hear it for the classics! What classics live on in your classroom? Maybe it’s an easy science experiment you’ve been doing for 18 years. Maybe it’s a tattered poster that hangs prominently every school year, encouraging your students. Perhaps you’re still using a particular set of worksheets from The Mailbox circa 1999. Share your classics with us!