Students bring Iroquois history to life with model village

Tucked in behind Lynnwood Elementary School is something that no one would expect to find there an Iroquois village.

Or, at least, a scaled-back model of one. Featuring a stockade, drying racks, corn garden, a scarecrow lookout, a fire pit and a longhouse, fourth-graders constructed the small village setting after studying Iroquois life in the classroom as part of an annual project at the elementary school to teach the children about the culture and daily life of the Iroquois people.

Just before noon on Thursday, Oct. 26, the students of teacher Valerie Perrotta were going over their notes, written on index cards, to prepare for the tour they were about to give to their fellow students, who had made the short journey from the elementary school -- but a long one from the present to the past -- to learn about local American Indian history and custom.

Since we're studying about New York in fourth grade, we're learning about the Iroquois Indians," said student Megan Goff, stationed outside the stockade that is made of sticks and branches gathered from around the school.

Garnering a base knowledge of American Indian history in the third grade, Megan had some background information from which to work.

"Last year we kind of learned about Native Americans, but we didn't really focus on a certain tribe," she said.

Standing alongside Megan was her tour partner, Reid Vogel, who said giving the tours made learning about it a necessity, something he said he did through research in books and packets.

"We're introducing them to the Iroquois village so we have to learn about it," said Reid.

Along with building of the stockade fence, kids joined parents, grandparents and teachers in the construction of the rest of the village.

One parent was Janelle Robles, mother of 10-year-old Taylor Robles.

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