Monday, November 26, 2012

Another Way to Give Thanks

The Perkins kids left for the long Thanksgiving weekend thinking of turkey, stuffing (and, of course, a mini-vacation). Now, however the kids also knew that other Americans had  different fall harvest holidays to celebrate.

Ms. Jannette Vanderhoop is a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah / Gay Head on Martha’s Vineyard.  She came to talk to the Perkin kids about what it means to be a member of a Native American tribe – in the present 21st century and at the time the Pilgrims arrived in North America in the 17th century.

Her book Cranberry Day explains the major thanksgiving festival the Wampanoag Tribe celebrated long before the Pilgrims came to their land. In the old days, the celebration of the cranberry harvest was three days long.  Nowadays it is just one, but it is still lots of fun.  Kids don't go to school.  Elders of the tribe share stories of the past with them and everyone eats a feast--including cranberries, of course.

Ms. Vanderhoop also brought some of the cloths and traditional jewelry her people used to wear.

After she left, the kids had their own celebration; many classes turned much of what they learned into beautiful bulletin board displays.

Ms. Leverett-King's class demonstrated that the cranberry can be used for another purpose besides food and a good way to get enough vitamin C.

It can also be used for painting!