BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – Fourth-graders at Bronxville Elementary School were able to take part in a voyage of discovery on Henry Hudson’s ship, the Half Moon, through an in-school field trip offering hands-on activities and the examination of replica artifacts via the New Netherland Museum.
A historian from the museum brought to life the experience of sailors aboard the Half Moon, the culture of the Algonquian Indians in the Hudson River Valley and the interaction between the Algonquians and the European settlers.
Students learned about the rigors of daily life aboard the ship and tried on replicas of the traditional apparel worn by European sailors.
Students also saw and smelled samples of the limited food choices aboard the Half Moon, such as cheeses and dried fish.
The historian shared stories of Algonquian life and replica artifacts of tools and woodcarvings. The students reflected on how all of these items came from the resources of the land and how making them required a great deal of careful craftsmanship. They also learned how the Algonquians hunted deer and bear for meat and used their fur to make clothing.
The children then participated in an exercise called the Trade Game and broke into groups, in which they played the roles of the Europeans and Algonquians and traded goods.
After the exercise, the children reflected on the strategies they used to negotiate in their roles and how they saw things play out as a result of their conflicting interests, learning that many of the difficulties they had encountered in trying to barter with each other were similar to what actually happened between the Europeans and the Algonquians.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.