The history detectives of Noble School

Historic detectives at the firestation.
The third graders in Mr. Sustar's and Ms. Smith-Peterson's classes at Noble Elementary School have become history detectives. We found out about the history of Noble School and our neighborhood. First, we split into research groups and then we looked through books. We also looked at photographs, an old school yearbook and maps. Noble parent Mazie Adams helped us with this project. We interviewed a real-life history detective, Mrs. Kara Hamley O’Donnell, who is the preservationist for the city of Cleveland Heights. Then we went on a walk around the school and down Noble Road to visit the places we learned about.

Our research group studied the history of the Noble school buildings. We learned about the 1876 one-room school building, the 1910 school designed by Harlen E. Shimmin, and the current school built in 1922. As more people moved to Cleveland Heights, they had to make the school building bigger and bigger.

We went outside to “read” the building and discovered many things: new walls and old walls (the bricks are darker on the old walls and there are also sandstone parts). The original window openings are covered with 1970s black windows. We found the new wall where students buried time capsules in 1974 and looked at the 1954 addition. We learned a lot just by looking at the building. We had a good time being history detectives! It was fun to learn about the history of Noble school, the people inside the school and the neighborhood around it.

Authors Charlie, Jala, K’vaughn and Lucille are third graders in Mr. Sustar's class at Noble Elementary School in Cleveland Heights. Mazie Adams, who assisted them, is a board member of Cleveland Heights Historical Society and the PTA president at Noble School.

Read More on Heights History
Volume 1, Issue 3, Posted 10:06 PM, 05.22.2008