Monday, February 22, 2010

5th Grade Mashantucket Pequot Field Trip

Children were involved in their daily lessons. One youngster studied how each part of the deer is useful to his people. Another youth practiced using a bow and arrow. Yet another learned how to make a corn soup called succotash. If you think that these lessons are not found in a typical classroom in the 21st century, you are probably right. These "children”, statues actually, were part of a Mashantucket Pequot village exhibit and a guided tour called “Through the Eyes of a Pequot Child.” This exhibit gave students from the 21st century an idea of what life was like for the Mashantucket Pequot child in the 16th century.

In October 2009, the Ashford School fifth grade, which has been studying Native Americans as a part of their social studies curriculum, journeyed to the Mashantucket Pequot and Research Center in Connecticut to explore the Mashantucket Pequot culture. In addition to the guided tour of the village mentioned above, students took part in an interactive workshop entitled “Life Without a Super Market.” What if you were living in the 16th Century and there wasn’t a Stop and Shop or a West Farms Mall? How did the Pequot’s get the materials they needed? This workshop focused on answering these questions. Students broke into four groups. Each group was given a box of artifacts, which centered on different aspects of Pequot life; constructing canoes, building houses, enhancing personal appearance, and preparing food. Students examined the materials in the box using museum displays as guide, determined a possible use for each item. After completing the task, students reported their findings to the rest of the group with guidance from the museum leader.