Students in Mrs. Krystal Foley and Mrs. Alicia Gauvin’s 3rd grade classroom recently traveled back in time to experience life back as Wampanoag children in the 1600’s. Foley explained that after researching the history and lifestyle of the Wampanoag Native Americans and learning that they dined with the pilgrims at the First Thanksgiving, students stepped into a world where children did not have access to electronics and televisions.
During their research students learned that Wampanoag children had many household responsibilities and very little time to play. Gauvin shared that after learning this information students were very curious to learn more about how fun life could be without soccer balls, basketball courts, YouTube and playing games on tablets and cell phones.
Gauvin explained that after a little research of her own, she gathered materials to recreate the classroom into a time period where children’s games were somewhat simpler, but as students learned, definitely filled with just as much fun as games today. Wanting to emphasize the fact that Wampanoag children, or their parents, would make games from items they could find in and around their home, Gauvin challenged herself to not use any premade, store bought games.
For example she created a ring toss challenge by using pipe cleaners, string and pencils. Ariana Ramirez was excited to take part in this game, sharing, "This game is a lot harder than it looks!"
Edward Deragon enjoyed learning about, and making, dream catchers using paper plates and yarn stating, “This will be great to keep bad dreams away.”
Students learned that some of the activities such as basket weaving and making clay pottery combined both fun and creativity along with practical use. As Natalie Germain learned after weaving a basket, "This is what they used to carry their stuff everywhere." Adia Padden commented, "They made plates, bowls and cups with clay. They couldn't buy them at a store like we do."
Gauvin and Foley commented that this lesson was met with an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the students. Both agreed that having students experience these hands-on activities, allowing them the opportunity to bring history to life, gave them an important perspective about how life in the 1600’s was both similar and different to life today.
Photo credits- Mrs. Krystal Foley