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Archive

Living History and Custom Programs

Living History (Contact Us to schedule).

RECENTLY-HELD LIVING HISTORY PROGRAMS AT THESE LOCAL SCHOOLS:

  • Ann T. Dunphy School, Williamsburg, 3rd Grade and Showcase–Primitive Stone Tools, Fire Marking, Archaeology, Atl Atl Throwing (“what’s ‘atl atl’?” you ask…it’s a predecessor to the bow and arrow–an ancient art of spear!). “This Program is supported in part by a grant from the Williamsburg Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.”
  • New Hingham Elementary School, Chesterfield, 3rd Grade and Showcase for 2nd and 6th Grade
  • Sanderson Academy, Ashfield, MA
  • Hampshire Regional High School, Westhampton, MA, full-day Program for High Schoolers…have done this for several years now!

From end-of-year science evaluation at a local high school, the question asked about the students’ favorite science activity this year…here’s a great response that involved our Living History Program: “Well we went on a field trip literally out to the field in the back of the school and I attempted to make fire with my friends. It was so fun, and interesting! We made the fire too!”

What is Living History? It’s a unique classroom and outdoor program with hands-on participation, demonstrations, artifacts and slides. While the focus is on Northeast Woodland Culture, such as the Iroquois and the Algonquin-speaking tribes of the Mahicans and Lene Lenape, they are contrasted with the Western Cultures to show the diversity of Native Americans.

Living History Programs are fully customizable, and topics can include:

  • Games and Sports
  • Hunting and Fishing
  • Stories and Myths
  • Tools
  • Medicine and Food Preparation
  • Homes
  • Music
  • Toys
  • Travel
  • Cordage/Rope Making
  • Clothing
  • Native Weaving
  • Fire Making
  • Ceremony and Religion
  • Edible Plants

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Custom Programs (Contact Us to schedule).
The Earthwork team of dedicated and experienced instructors can come to your location offering many programs in a variety of settings:

  • Outdoor and environmental centers
  • Public and private schools
  • Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts
  • Birthday parties
  • After school programs
  • Family and individual mentoring
  • Home study and correspondence programs
  • Wilderness rites of passage for young adults
  • Slide show presentations
  • Nature museums
  • Workshops
  • Demonstrations
  • Expeditions
  • Conferences
  • Storytelling

“The Native Ways Programs for the New Hingham Elementary School’s fourth-graders was very successful. Students learned through interaction and discovery how to make arrowheads, build a fire and shelter themselves, appropriately and effectively in the, similar to the way local Native Americans have in the past. The presenters treated the children with respect and answered questions with patience and clarity. We would be happy to sponsor this Program in the future.”Michael Fredette, Principal, New Hingham Elementary School, Chesterfield, MA

“Last Tuesday’s native ways programs supported in part by a grant from the local Williamsburg cultural council and its parent agency the Massachusetts cultural council was a huge success. The children watched an archaeologist make arrowheads from quartz. Then they were able to make their own. Most of us ended up with a nick or two on our knuckles or a patch of poison ivy in the process, but we were thrilled to have a chance to do something so authentic. In the afternoon, we actually succeeded in making fire without matches. The more traditional method involved a bow and spindle. The post European contact method involved catching a spark from steel struck on Flint on a small piece of char cloth and putting it in a “mouse nest” of frayed jute rope. Blowing gently made the spark become a flame. I left the program with a deeper appreciation of the skills of native people and matches!”
Diana Braman, Ann T. Dunphy School, Williamsburg, MA

“Many of our students were truly inspired by Frank. They already had a keen interest in learning about the animals in our watershed, but Frank cinched that with his widespread knowledge and the heartfelt manner in which he interacted with them. He has a magical way of accepting children for who they are while simultaneously empowering them to see the world and themselves in other ways.

Frank intends to get kids thinking about nature in a deep way. With his emphasis on the mystery of animal behavior in the wild, and his interesting stories, he intrigues the listener. He encourages us to “become the animal” experience the world from its perspective, ask questions, and imagine. For some that is a new challenge because they want the answers, and have perhaps become accustomed to being told. That dissonance is his touchstone.

Frank’s enthusiasm for his work, his belief in children and their power, and his deep love of nature, are palpable in his presence. We are very grateful for the seed he planted with us and our students, and the modeling he provided for us to continue inspiring our students to look, listen, smell and feel more deeply their connection to Mother Earth.”
Michele Cunningham, Grant Coordinator, Athol/Royalston Middle School, Athol, MA