October 26, 2021

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What Things Remind You of Your Childhood?

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Have you ever smelled something that reminded you of a meal your grandparent cooked when you were younger? Or seen the cover of a book that you used to read and suddenly missed being a little kid? Heard a song that reminded you of a lullaby someone would sing to you?

These moments can give you a feeling of nostalgia or a longing for something in the past.

In “Nostalgia, Inc.,” Julia Rothman and Shaina Feinberg write about a store that sells things that remind people of their childhoods — old toys, games, comic books and more. Read the first panel of the comic at the top of this post, then continue below:

Students, read the entire article, then tell us:

  • Would you like to visit this store? If you could purchase one item listed in the article, what would it be and why?

  • What is one question you would like to ask the owners of the store?

  • If you were to open a store filled with toys and mementos, what kinds of things would a shopper find?

  • What was your favorite toy when you were younger? Write a short description of the toy and why it was special to you.

  • What is something else — that is not a toy — that transports you back to your childhood? It might be the flavors of a special holiday meal, the smell of mothballs in a grandparent’s closet or the sight of a pile of leaves in the fall. Describe the memory, and what reminds you of it, using vivid details. You might start with a sentence stem like, “Every time I smell/taste/see/touch/hear ___, I am reminded of ___.”


Learn more about Student Opinion here and find all of our questions in this column. Teachers, see how you can incorporate this feature into your classroom routine here.

Students 13 and older in the United States and the United Kingdom, and 16 and older elsewhere, are invited to comment. All comments are moderated by the Learning Network staff, but please keep in mind that once your comment is accepted, it will be made public.

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