Henley Elementary Pioneer Day

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Students learn history near Thanksgiving holiday

Third- and fourth-graders at Henley Elementary learned a little of what it was like to live in Oregon during frontier times and earlier, at the annual Pioneer Day at the school on Friday, Nov. 17.

Some students dressed in pioneer outfits and all students learned about games, food and crafts. Classes rotated through the classrooms in their wing of the school, getting to make ornaments, God’s eyes and button spinners, and learn to play Jacks, Nine Man Morris and hop-scotch. In Jessica DeLonge’s room, they made butter by shaking heavy cream inside glass jars and passing the jars from student to student. After they’d made the butter, they all tried a bite with crackers.

“If you want to make this for your family at home for Thanksgiving, ask your parents to buy heavy whipping cream,” DeLonge told the students. “You can try any kind. You can experiment with your family.”

She said the activities on Pioneer Day show students ways to have fun with family during the holiday. 

“It’s just to take them into their family time at Thanksgiving,” she said. “And hopefully it’s something they can share with their families.”

The lessons also had historical content. The week leading up to Pioneer Day, third graders completed reports on Native American Tribes, gave presentations and made projects.

Teacher Debra Hullman said it gave students a chance to learn about the local history. Students with Native American heritage learned about history from their own families and shared that history with the class.

“They can ask their parents about it, or grandparents or family members,” Hullman said.

~Samantha Tipler, Klamath County School District.