Native American Culture & History Brought to Life

(Gibsonia, PA – November 25, 2015) Students studied the history and life of Native Americans during the month of November during Native American Days at Hance Elementary School. Second graders learned more about the Iroquois, the Sioux, the Navajo, the Tlingit, the Seminole, and the Inuit. They examined how they cultivated crops, hunted and lived off the land as well as their culture including music, dance and art.
During the unit, students created many projects that represented the Native American culture. The children also decorated Native American shirts that they created with beading and designs.  Each student, including second grader Marianna Zahorchak, approached their projects differently.
“I tried to focus on the colors that I like and incorporate Native American patterns,” she said. 
The school invited Lenora "Lee" Dingus, who is a Seneca artist, and Earl Dingus, a Cherokee artist and silversmith, who shared more insight and artifacts into Native American way of life. The two have taught courses about Native American History at Community College of Allegheny College. They brought their expertise to students and shared music and storytelling excerpts.
During a special rotation day, second graders visited each second grade classroom for an activity, which included making jewelry, learning more about buffalo and more.
"I can honestly say that our Native American Rotation Day which culminates our Native American Unit is a favorite among Hance Second Graders and their teachers,” said Teacher Kerry Schurman. “It is truly wonderful to see their excitement and enthusiasm as they participate in meaningful activities that are a reflection of the Native American culture and tradition that they've been learning. Sporting their Native American shirts which they've beaded and designed themselves is the highlight of their day."