In their last Cultural History unit, “The Iroquois and Mississippian Cultures,” grade 4 students research topics related to the Iroquois in areas such as government structure and rules, shelters, clans, written and oral language, community life, food, clothing, games and sports, spiritual beliefs, trade, and festivals. Yesterday, the class orchestrated Ross Lower School’s second annual Green Corn Festival, held on the campus. Visitors meandered around the grounds, stopping at exhibits to hear about important aspects of Native American history and culture, including ceremonial dress, wampum, weapons, and medicines.
To gather in-depth information about the festival and to decide what to include for each exhibition, students learned about and discussed early Native American cultures in North America, focusing on Iroquois myths depicting social, cultural, and spiritual beliefs as well as the tribe’s connection to nature. This in-depth analysis was evident at the festival, and the connections made are likely to stick with both the learners and festival attendees for a long time to come.