“I’m an Indian Mrs. Maurer.”
Even though the speaker was one of my blondest blue-eyed children I didn’t doubt that he might indeed have as much Native American ancestry as my own family. It is common here in the Choctaw Nation to know family blood lines down to the most infinitesimal drop of NA.
“And I’m a Mexican.”
Now we might be pushing the boundaries of truth. LOL You never know when children are telling you what they have been told, what they have heard, what they have hoped, or what they have imagined. I had an uncle who had me convinced for years that my parents had indeed found me under a rock!
My young man’s proud declarations were prompted by several recent stories of our ancestors’ trips to America. My students were vaguely interested in Columbus and his ships. But they have been fascinated by the Mayflower, the Pilgrims, and their adventures! One boy told me the Mayflower was “like Titanic, only it didn’t sink”. Another told me the Indians shared their tents with the Pilgrims so they wouldn’t get cold.
However misunderstood and misinterpreted and amusing, our country’s history becomes a reality for children as we celebrate our uniquely American holiday, Thanksgiving. My students love the stories of the Pilgrims and the Indians, especially the stories that portray children. Yesterday we read a sweet story about a girl who was too young and little to help with anything in the village, until she discovered that she was not too young and little to make friends with an Indian girl.
My students are also enjoying the activities that go along with this holiday. We have been coloring turkeys and graphing favorite foods and making decorations for Friday’s parent luncheon. Yesterday we painted our hands for our Thanksgiving cards. Today we will write little messages on them. This is when the purpose of “reading, writing, and arithmetic” becomes fun!