SINCLAIRVILLE - Learning how Native Americans lived was the focus of a day-long study for Cassadaga Valley's fourth-grade students.
The Cassadaga and Sinclairville Elementary School students gathered in Sinclairville classrooms to learn how to make toys, food, lodging and sing Native American songs.
It was a day filled with a host of learning experiences and a good deal of fun.
It takes many hands, including teacher Mark Brown’s, to put together a model that is to resemble a long house Native Americans lived in. Note the glue gun being used. That’s a tool the Native Americans didn’t have.
Cassadaga Valley fourth grader Spencer Greenawalt carefully stirs the vegetables he helped chop to make Three Sisters Stew, a Native American food he and his fellow students learned how to make.
The students made corn husk dolls under the direction of art teacher Alice Cunningham.
They also made a meal using corn, beans and squash which is known among Native Americans as Three Sister stew and Journey cake, a flat cornbread carried by traveling northeastern Native Americans, according to a paper that contained the recipe.
Model lodges that demonstrated extended Native American families' living quarters were constructed out of sticks gathered by the teaching staff.
These sticks were tied together with twine that resembled leather lashings but there were also glue guns in action - a tool the Native Americans did not have access to.
Class by class, the students traveled through the Sinclairville School stopping at each workshop to make, shape and put together items that have been associated with the Native American culture.
The fourth graders also learned the Native Americans, enjoyed making music.
Under the leadership of elementary music teacher Nicole Zenns, the students performed Native American songs, accompanying themselves with rhythm instruments that featured a number of drums.
There were no out door events, even though there was enough snow around the school to accommodate the snow shoes that lined the front hallway.
A snow snake contest also was held in doors using the Sinclairville School's long hallway as the competition site.
It's likely the lessons learned will stay with everyone who participated in this Native American history and culture event.