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Friday, November 26, 2010

Students in Orange learned ways of Native Americans

ORANGE - Students and teachers donned native dress for the 12th annual fourth-grade Pow Wow recently at Race Brook School.
Teachers Valerie Anton, Karen Dandelske and Jo-Anne Escandon organized the full day’s activities with the help of parent volunteers.
The Pow Wow is a component of a study unit on Eastern Woodland Indians, prefaced by students having an opportunity to visit the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, where they took notes that would later assist them in their first research project.
Children experienced many aspects of traditional native peoples’ lives, including food. Guided by parent leaders, students made and tasted Indian Fry Bread, maple sugar candy and fruit mint punch.
The classroom teacher, school nurse and parents collaborated to assure children with allergies could eat the native treats. Students also warmed themselves by the campfire outside the trading post, which featured popcorn, corn bread, beans and squash, as well as venison stew made by a former parent of Race Brook school who annually contributes to the festivities. Wampum shells, placed in hand-made wampum bags for each student, were exchanged for the snacks.
Pumpkin pie was a favorite among the students and adults.
In addition, students created a group story using native symbols on dyed paper to simulate writings on deer skin.
Playing native games with baskets, sticks, feathers and twine balls helped the youngsters demonstrate their dexterity and eye-hand coordination. The craft room was a favorite, where children made dream catchers, beaded necklaces and a Native American buzzer toy. Students also sang songs that tell stories of the daily lives of native people, accompanied by the beating of the ceremonial drum.
The teachers used the drum to announce the rotation of students to the different stations throughout the day. Culminating the event were dramatic interpretations by parents of the legends of “How the Wolverine Came To Be” and “How the Raccoon Got Its Mask.”

Editor's Note: The information in this post was contributed wholly by Race Brook School.


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