Sometimes I am distracted by how cute these guys are! I swear a more outgoing, fun, intelligent group of little people couldn’t be found anywhere.
Today we read two chapters from Joseph Bruchac’s, The Trail of Tears. I was actually surprised by how attentive the kids were this week. They listened to the story, which is really a history lesson, and had great things to note when we discussed it. This is difficult subject matter but the reader is designed for small children, so we should be okay. Anyway, we read about John Ross in story form in Chapter 1, then about the history and back story in Chapter 2. It was like American History in a teaspoon.
The children understood that the Cherokee were forced out and had to go without proper provisions. I asked if they thought the people might have found food along the way and thus led them into a discussion about wild foods and foraging. We bundled up and went outside to look at and talk about some different wild foods that we could eat. I managed to keep most of them from consuming anything out of fear of the urban animals that use our church yard as a potty, more than any fear of misidentifying chickweed or a pine tree. A couple had to sample things though.
When they were focused in on the plants I started pointing out other things like geese, seagulls and the water, where there would be fish, shellfish and seaweed. The kids, once I pointed them in the right direction, really came up with great answers about what they may be able to eat from the ground, sky and water. I was very proud of Graham for mentioning seaweed. That seemed to me like the most difficult one.
We went through the first verse of She’ll be Coming Around the Mountain this week. I’m going to teach them the old-school version in which they whack the old red rooster because I hate overly PC things that rob the flavor from the original versions of songs, poem and fairy tales BUT if you want to, you can show them this video by the Wiggles in all its grown-man riding a stuffed pony and acting like a small child PC glory.