This past Friday night it was time for the first honor roll party. We've been studying American history, so I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
The invitations were wrapped around arrows we made out of bamboo, washi tape, feathers, and pointed erasers. Jeff had never heard of washi tape and wanted to know if we had dryee tape as well. Each student got one of these placed on their desks on Tuesday morning. We invited every student to this honor roll party regardless of their grades. We are hoping it will motivate them to make good grades for the rest of the year.
We began by telling them the scenario: they were Anabaptists seeking refuge in the New Land and had had a bad year of hunting and crop failure. Now their only hope for survival was to beg for food from the local tribe of Native Americans. I was the translator; Jeff was the chief. He acted like he wasn't very happy about the situation and told them to gather fire wood. Then he said they looked too much like white men, so I put feather headbands on all of them. Next we played a few games which included throwing a hoop around a deer skull, a spear throw, and "Chiefy, Chiefy", better known as prisoner's base, which is more fun to play out in the woods.
We found a lovely spot by a stream and set up a few teepees the evening before. I had grand visions of a twenty-foot high teepee which we actually accomplished. (Keep scrolling down and you can see it as it was before it broke and crashed down.) So we ended up with two ten-foot teepees which was still pretty neat.We wanted this to be as educational and authentic as possible, so after the white men proved their worthiness to the chief, we shared beef jerky, popcorn, peanuts, raisins, cranberries, and corn muffins with our guests. One of the moms made some scrumptious pumpkin muffins for dessert.
Mr. Martin, the 7th grade homeroom teacher, with the twenty foot teepee before its demise
After the party we walked over to the parent pick-up location, Weaver's Store. Our family tries to go there every weekend because not only is it Jeff's favorite store, but we also love those amazing, yummy donuts they sell in the front of the foyer.
So, as we were already dressed up and the students had their feather headbands on, we decided to go shopping. Students were asking for bows and arrows back in the hunting department. A few more went to the shoe department and asked if they sold moccasins. I spotted Jeff down a hardware aisle testing out an axe that looked like a tomahawk. I then found two of the ladies in the fabric department asking the lady if she had any "teepee fabric". I tried not to laugh, but they were being polite and everyone had a smile on his face. That was one of the best parts of the party, I think.
Two notes from the editor:
1. There were actually students at the party, but because of a school policy, they cannot be in the photos posted here.
2. Before the party we were a little cold, tired, and frustrated because of all the work and logistics (like getting thirty-four students out in the woods and having twenty-foot high teepees crashing.) After the party we were even more tired, but incredibly enthused as well. We all had enjoyed a great evening, and I so enjoy being with these wonderful humans I am blessed to have as students. On the way home Jeff stopped and got himself a pizza (he doesn't like beef jerky), and I began planning the next party. And so it goes.