Friday, October 31, 2014

Native American Indian Honor Roll Party

      I’d been wanting to do this one for awhile.  We are studying American History this year, and it was perfect timing to have an Native American Indian Honor Roll Party.  

      The invitations were just rocks with “Iddo’s 6:15”, “Porch 6:15”  or both written on them.  They figured out they were to meet on Iddo’s porch at 6:15.  Once they had all arrived, the eldest student was given an envelope with a letter inside explaining that they were colonists, that they had run out of food, and that the supply ship wasn’t coming anytime soon.  They were instructed to find the nearest Indian village and try to survive by living with the Indians.  (We have studied about the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island and Jamestown--two of my favorite history stories.)

     So, I gave them some corn nuts I had in a wooden bowl and led them across a field, over a ravine, up a little hill, and to our village. 

     When we arrived, the chief wasn’t very impressed that all these lazy white men wanted some food.  He told them that they had to work first and made them gather firewood.  

     Then he told them he wanted them to entertain him by playing a few games.  In the first one they had to throw the hoop over the animal skull. He said they could not eat until both a girl and a boy had a successful throw.  The first graders amazingly were the best at this one.  

     Next he made them play the bean game.  They sat down around the fire in pairs on old blankets that they had been told to bring.   Each pair was given ten pinto beans in a wooden bowl.  Each bean had a black dot on one side.  Then they shook the bowl until told to stop and counted the dots.  

      At this point, the chief said if they sang him a song they could eat.  They sang.  In true hunter-gatherer fashion we served them water, beef jerky, bread, corn on the cob, pop corn, peanuts, raisins, and dried cranberries.  A helpful mom had made pumpkin muffins, but in my hurry to gather everything up after school, I left them there.  We enjoyed them the next day instead.

     After the meal we moved closer to the fire and read the story about the Hosteler family which was non-resistant when they were attacked by Indians.  (Our students are well aware that the whites attacked the Indians too, as well as infringed on their land and did not honor treaties.)

     Next we had a “talking circle”,  which several tribes actually practiced.  Anyone who wanted to could say something.  A teacher blessed the students for their good attitudes and uniqueness, a student complimented fellow students, another asked for forgiveness, and we all looked up and enjoyed the beautiful, starlit night.  Then sadly, it was time to go home.

      While two teachers each took a carload of students home, the third teacher stayed and supervised the tearing down of our quaint little village.  They worked together as a team, singing in three part harmony as they worked, and soon the teepee was disassembled, the baskets and bowls were stacked, the bones were collected, and the fire was smothered.  I honestly didn’t want to leave.  

     Here is where we got our “stuff”.  (One of my favorites quotes is:  “Good teachers have lots of stuff.”)

Jerky, bread, corn on the cob, peanuts, raisins, cranberries - Sam’s Club

Bones -  we have collect these throughout the years when the students bring them in for morning science

Teepee-  Four ten foot 1/2 inch conduit poles for $3.50 each at the local hardware store

Teepee fabric -  Stuff a huge bag for $1 at some fabric store in Lancaster County, PA
(I stuffed two bags full, then squished them under the van seats on the way home.)

Baskets, wooden bowls, wooden spoons -  Goodwill 

Costumes - Goodwill and homemade from brown fabric

Rocks- Dollar Store

Accessories - feathers from my chickens and ducks, leather scraps $3 a bag at a craft store - the strips of leather were hot glued together and then feathers were glued on top of these