Learning about Native Americans was fun and games for fourth graders at Bayville Intermediate School. In conjunction with the curriculum, which includes a unit on Native Americans, a special program was brought in that incorporated authentic Native American tools, clothing, and games. The fourth-graders learned that Native American children their age used to play games in school as a way of learning. However, they discovered that children also had many responsibilities, such as carving toys, fishing, and teaching their younger siblings.

Journeys into American Indian Territory, the group that presented facts and artifacts to the students, brought many actual items such as knives, a mini Iroquois longhouse, a fishing net, a rawhide, a buckskin, and more. The lesson focused on Native American traditions and life from early times through the present.

District Social Studies Chairperson David J. Ethe said bringing in such a program helps the students relate to the lesson. “Playing the games, touching the artifacts, and viewing replicas brings the lesson to life, which in turn will help them better appreciate and understand their lives during these periods in history.”

The unit in Native Americans continues into fifth grade and throughout middle school, making this presentation a wonderful part of their lesson.