Things you learned in Grade School that are still valid

Somewhere before Grade Seven you were taught (or at least told) something that still holds true today. Don’t count the basics we all were taught like ABC’s and basic arithmetic. I’m thinking stuff about Geography, Science, History, Government, Culture, and all those other subjects that are subject to change and/or interpretation.

I have tried hard to think of anything like that and all that’s coming back is from later on in school. Junior High (for me that started in seventh grade) or later.

For instance, recent threads dealing with the Basic Food Groups and what’s healthy and what isn’t, all have changed markedly since I was in grade school. And, fortunately or not, I was in grade school long before the Duck & Cover fiasco, but there were other silly ideas like that that I was exposed to.

I’m just really having a hard time remembering anything beyond basic language and counting skills that I would have I picked up in those days that’s still accepted as the way things are (or ought to be).


Fourth grade demonstration by the phone company, ca. 1967: When calling someone, let the phone ring ten times before you hang up.


So they had to teach you that in school? :smiley:

I didn’t start learning about poker until high school.

Brush your teeth.

This was kind of sprung on us in 4th grade. The teacher (and maybe a special guest) brought in a special kit where we all brushed our teeth with cotton swabs. Then we put the swabs in vials of a special solution, then labelled the vials with our names. If the solution turned green over the next few days, you had a bit of plaque buildup. Mine didn’t turn very green. One guy’s turned positively Irish.

When someone does something mean to hurt you, never let them know it bothered you.

I was taught the scientific method in 6th grade, and it has held up pretty well over the past half-century.

India and Pakistan are still squabbling over Kashmir.

The definition of igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks and the processes that create them. Crust, mantle, inner core, outer core, nickel-iron. Oh be a fine girl, kiss me. Extrusions. Lava flows. Old river beds. Formations. How mountain chains are created.

Human biological systems, the broad category divisions (skeletal, reproductive, endocrine, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, etc) and how they work

Phonics for English language, general rules for pronunciation of unknown English words, etc

Basic geography: the continents, the oceans, the major river systems and mountain ranges.

Basic meteorology: trophosphere, ionosphere, stratosphere, cirrus versus cumulus versus nimbus versus stratus clouds, major wind patterns, low pressure and high pressure and rain and all that

Basic astronomy: the planets, elliptical orbits and tilted axis and seasons, 93 million miles to the sun, how eclipses work, the sun orbiting the galactic center; and history of astronomy (Galileo, etc)

History in general, such as it was. Way more focused on leaders & rulers and wars than how people lived, and politically slanted at times, certainly focused on “OUR people” but not fundamentally WRONG for all that. Greece, Rome, Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Reformation, Industrial Age. Anglo-Saxons, William the Conqueror, Magna Carta, the rise of Parliament. Christopher Columbus, Pizarro, de Anza, Cortez, Roanoke Colony, Plymouth Rock. French and Indian War. Boston Tea Party. Declaration of Independence. Revolutionary War. Continental Congress. Yadda yadda.

Elements. Periodic table. Marie Curie and Radium. Roentgen and the X-ray. The rise of chemistry.

American Gov. Bicameral legislature. Checks and balances. Reading the Constitution. The rise of political parties. Direct election of Senators. Black vote, women’s vote. Process of amending the Constitution.

Paleozoic, Mesozoic, Cenozoic. Animal and plant origins and a broad overview of life in the Cambrian, Silurian, Devonian, Pennsylvanian, Mississipian, Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, etc. Dinosaurs. The rise of mammals. Eohippus Merychippus and all the other horse ancestors. Early man. OK some of this would now be corrected but in broad terms it was mostly correct.

Some of the geography has changed names, but it’s basically sound - it’s not Zaire anymore, but it’s still got Kinshasa in it.

Then key their car.

(went to a tough school)

All I can say, AHunter3, is that must be some righteous Elementary School. I didn’t get some of that material until High School, and some of it not until I was out on my own and reading books on those topics. And some of it I don’t know even today.

I learned the name and capital of every country, as well as the divisions of Canada, Australia, and (of course) the U.S. As much as the world has changed, it’s mostly still valid. If only my memory were as good.

I learned to do square roots by hand. It’s not that useful, but it’s still valid

I learned pretty much everything I needed to know about grammar. I felt sorry for the kids that apparently didn’t learn this when we had to go back over this in 10th grade.

I learned to spell. And write.

I learned that getting something done is far better than getting it perfect.

I learned that girls are cute.

I learned to control my bladder, so that i can hold it a heck of a lot longer than most. We only got one trip per day, and I was too busy flirting to take advantage of that.

Georgia public schools, believe it or not. 1966-1972.

But was that all elementary? (K-6?)

I actually had a pretty similar ecucation, though not any chemistry till 8th grade, and much less history till then, too.

But a LOT of astronomy, geology, earth sciences, grammar, and geography. Most history in elementary school was the “fake” kind, though (ie, Coluimbus discoverd America, yay pilgrims and indians at first thanksgiving, and what have you) but in 4th-6th we did learn a good deal about Vermont history that was (and is) accurate.

But I am really thankful I had elementary teacxhers that were good at teaching science (theyare probably the reason I like it so much now). I’m still amazed at the number of people (IRL and even here, where we are supossed to be smarter! :-P) that don’t know even know basics the planets in the solar system (or at least not till an adult,) AND their order from the sun (and that the sun is at the center, and is a STAR!), AND their relative sizes. Or the three types of rock, the basics of how weather works, etc…

Yeah, up thru 6th grade.

Most of it was “memorize and regurgitate” and probably most of the kids crammed for the tests then prompty forgot it all, but it was there.

The math I learned never changed. Though I learned the new math and completely understand set theory and can add in difference base, base 2, base 5, base 12 and so on

Almost all the science has been improved upon. We now know genetics isn’t as simple as thought and there are more divisons to atoms, so while what I learned there is still valid, there’s more to it now.

Books and writing are still the same, but that’s just discussion of said required reading.

Hey, I was a little slow, okay?


When I was in 5th grade in 1992, our textbook taught us that man might someday step on the moon.