Ferrell holds Pioneer Days
PICTURE ROCKS – Third grade students from Mrs. Mordan’s class at Ferrell Elementary School in Picture Rocks got to experience what life was like during the American Revolution and Civil War eras.
Both students and parents helped to make the day successful as students got to take turns at hands-on stations set up to depict the historical times. Stephanie Hampton brought in a private collection of first edition prints of textbooks. “This Harper’s Third Reader” was part of the old farmhouse we purchased along with several other grammar and reading texts. I thought it would be perfect for students to see how they learned from the books,” she related. She also had an ink well with a feather pen so the children could do calligraphy using pen and ink.
Most of the children were dressed in period costume or depicted a character from the times. Ryan Sanders chose a costume of a Civil War soldier. “I love this,” he said as he received a lesson on loading guns and setting traps from parent volunteer, Wayne Cordrey.
Ryan Bahr, whose mother Michelle was also a parent volunteer assisting with the event, chose to represent Thomas Edison. “The light bulb really interested me, so I picked Thomas Edison to be my character,” he said. The costumes were supplied by the Sewing B in Muncy and Krystna Yarish from Hughesville also supplied some costumes from her collection.
Throughout the weeks prior to the event, the children read “Sarah, Plain and Tall”by Patricia MacLachlan. It is a tale set in the late 19th century about a widowed midwestern farmer with two children, Anna and Caleb. The farmer advertises for a wife. “We spent quite a bit of time reading the book. I started out by reading it to them, then followed with Skylark and Caleb’s story which the children read,” said their teacher, Carol Mordan. These titles were sequels to the first story and helped the children understand pioneer settings. “This provided a history lesson and they learned the hardships the people went through,” Mordan added.
Earlier in the day the students gave presentations based on research about historical characters they chose such as Abe Lincoln, George Washington, and Pocohontas.
Other stations included making bread, jams and apple butter and washing laundry. Tricia Evangelisti made some pioneer games. “I went online to find the instructions,” she said. She made a Thaumatrope, a whimmy diddle, and hoops and sticks that kept the children entertained. “Imagine no TV in those days. We played these games instead, learning how to walk on stilts and play marbles,” Evangelisti said to the kids.
The 23 third graders will continue their history lesson on pioneer days when they visit the Newman One Room School house in late spring. Many of them said they will dress up in their characters for Halloween.