I love when I plan something and than someone else comes along and adds a whole new dimension. Sometimes my students do that. Sometimes it’s my coteacher and sometimes it’s a random friends or family. 

We have 3 third graders who have birthdays in the summer. We wanted to celebrate their birthdays anyhow and since their life revolves around how much time they have to play Indian, we thought we’d give them a new dimension. We planned a Pioneer day.

It started out as a plan to dress up and eat pioneer food. It turned into so much more. My students, I believe, have had a day to remember. They have not learned about pioneers. They have been pioneers. 

This was our school house. Generously given us to use for the day. It made our preparation easy.

We packed lunches of biscuits and apples into cloth lined baskets. It’s the little things, I realized, that add up and make a big difference. It’s hard to pack lunches when you cant use plastic wrap. Or plastic containers. Or Ziploc bags.

I was so proud of them when they came. Dressed in sunbonnets  and 3-cornered hats, breeches and aprons. I felt like I was there. Like it was real.

The cold was real. It was cold. Very cold. My boots and socks were soaked with dew. I wished desperately for a dry pair of socks.  

The best part of the day happened first. I didn’t get a picture because I took a video. And because I was shaking with laughter. Mr Vendley came for devotions. He was dressed in the spirit of the day. His message was valid for us as well. He told us about seeing Indians that morning on the way to school and he reminded us of Jesus’s words “love your enemies”. He was almost finished when we heard a loud Indian war whoop right outside our schoolhouse. 

 They burst in the door in a royal rampage. They did a great demonstration of an Indian raid. Dv did a good job of loving his enemies. The children loved it. They quickly saw who it was and burst into laughter. Not exactly the appropriate response to an Indian raid, but a fun one anyway.

The “Indians” captured Dv and hauled him out. They seem to have resolved the fight immediately after leaving our school. We went on to other things
Reciting lessons, working on their ‘skates (I don’t apologize for our modern substitute. I have a strong aversion to chalkboards that can be scratched)

playing marbles and London Bridge

We ate lunch on the green hillside. I read them a story from “Christy’. The story of her first day of school in Cutter Gap and her introduction to the mountain people. They could relate to the story that happened not far from here and in a culture that still grips the mountain people this many years later.

We had sack races. (I know you couldn’t miss it but please do notice the color of the sky in this photo.) We pulled taffy and ate it along with big handfuls of popcorn

As we cleaned up and put everything back on little girl asked me “Why didn’t we do history today?”

I said “Dearie, you lived history today”

It took her a minute to understand but then she smiled. “I guess we did!”


2 thoughts on “To be a Pioneer

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