Realia is the term used to refer to objects or activities that relate classroom teaching to real life, especially of a population or historic period being studied. US History students brought in items from the Roaring 20s or Great Depression. One young lady wore a flapper dress and played a song on her guitar. Other students brought in washboards, small appliances, 78 RPM records, the first Blondie comic strip, Depression-era glass, knobs and tubes on a wall stud showing 1920s electrical wiring in houses, and tube style radios. The best part of the assignment was that students had opportunities to talk with their grandparents or great grandparents about their ancestors who lived through the 20s and the 30s.
One student brought an Erector Set from the 1930s. The Erector Set was borrowed from Wisco's Director of Residential Life, Mr. Doug Carter. The toy was Mr. Carter's father's from when his family moved to Washington State from North Dakota. He could take only one toy with him as they escaped the dust bowl in the 1930s.
Seeing all of these items and hearing stories helps make the period come to life in a special way that makes us appreciate how God has blessed us through our ancestors. The family Bibles the students brought in especially helps students appreciate how God used our ancestors to make sure we know about Jesus.