Last week, Jana’s third grade class stepped back in time to walk a mile, or several thousand miles, in the shoes of the first Americans. They traveled across the great glaciers of Beringia following mammoth and other herds. The First Americans split into smaller tribes, settling across the New World. They made use of natural resources in each region to build homes, hunt or gather food, and make tools. It was difficult at first with the lack of knowledge, but as the tribes tried new ways of thinking, they discovered uses for wood, bark, clay, grasses, animal hide, and other resources. As they developed tools, new resources became available and made life a little easier.
About 9,000 years into their journey, the natives were surprised by a visit with some strangely speaking explorers of France (Ari), England (Jana), and Spain (Hayley). The First Americans found the experience both helpful and oppressive. New materials, such as horses and metal, were brought with the foreigners. However, some explorers were unkind, demanding, and unconcerned with their impact on the culture of the tribes. Their homes were moved, their resources depleted, and many, many tribe members were enslaved or died from smallpox and cholera. It was a very hard time for the First Americans, who decided it might be time to step back into their time machine and enter 2015 once again. Enjoy the photos!