Thursday brings special graduation for ‘Apple Vally School’ third-graders |

Thursday brings special graduation for ‘Apple Vally School’ third-graders

Darian Warden
Sunset Elementary School third-grader Evan Allen, center, plays marbles during a party celebrating the class's graduation from Apple Valley School. Apple Valley School is a unit where students experience what it was like to go to school back in 1853.
Darian Warden

— Stepping into Amber Beaver’s third-grade classroom at Sunset Elementary School on Thursday was like stepping into a time machine.

Her students were dressed in bonnets, dresses and suspenders, and they were scattered around the room playing marbles, checkers and learning to make a cat’s cradle out of yarn.

Third-graders throughout the district participated throughout the past month in the Apple Valley School mock simulation, which sent students back to school in 1853 to teach them about history.

The simulation concluded Thursday with graduation ceremonies, complete with pioneer games and food.

“The kids are so engaged,” Beaver said. “They’re so motivated to learn about the past.”

Beaver said the simulation also met state literacy standards because students were required to do comparisons between what it was like to attend school during the two time periods.

“It was pretty darn fun,” third-grader Madison Hadley said.

Darian Warden can be reached at 875-1793 or

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