Third grade students at Chapin Street School have been learning about the Native American Wampanoag Indians, who inhabited Massachusetts in the 1600's (and still do today). Students discovered that the lifestyle of the Wampanoag Indians although similar in some ways, was also different than their current day lifestyle; including the type of house they lived in.
For a homework assignment students became architects, creating their own model of a wetu they would have built in the 1600’s. They were encouraged to use natural materials and to be able to explain the design of their wetu and how it was made.
Stephen Ostrowski explained, “A wetu is a house that Native Americans lived in a long time ago. I made my wetu all natural.”
“I added a pond by my wetu cause in the old days they got water from a pond and carried it to their house in a basket, ” shared Abigail Coelho.
Myalis Dejesus said that to build her wetu she "glued together cardboard for the base and found leaves in the back yard for the roof.”
When asked why there was a hole in the roof of her wetu, Britney Rae responded, “They had a fire in the wetu to keep them warm, and the hole in the top is for the smoke to come out.”
Students had the opportunity to proudly exhibit their wetus to other classes, teachers and LPS staff on November 30th and December 1st. This exhibition was a dynamic combination of students demonstrating what they learned, and highlighting their personal creativity.
“Every wetu was unique and wonderful,” proudly shared Chapin Street Principal, Mrs. Nikki Reed. “It’s great to see such positive and meaningful student engagement.”