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Weekly Letter 10.30.17

Dear Families:


It’s hard to keep up with all of the exciting work going on here at BNS.  

One project that we have been doing for the past 22 years is the building of a life sized replica of a Native American wigwam in Prospect Park at the Lefferts Homestead.  If you spend time in the park, you may have noticed that the wigwam is gone.  Sadly the Homestead had to remove it as it was being used as shelter by homeless people.  


But this year, the wigwam has still been built as a part of our fourth grade study of the Lenni Lenape.  The fourth graders built the wigwam on the roof of the Brooklyn Children's Museum.  They used saplings and reeds as they created this structure in the traditional manner.  They used ropes, which they twisted out of plant fibers in order to bend and secure the saplings into shape.  They also made mats out of reeds. The mats are used to cover the sapling framework.  The wigwam will be on display at the Brooklyn Children's Museum for six weeks.  Other ancient technologies such as friction fire, tracking, hide tanning, stone tool making, and projectile weaponry were also stations that the fourth graders experienced.  Last Thursday, the Red Storm Drum and Dance Troupe performed for the children during their wigwam celebration.  Today  students had the opportunity to meet Tecumseh, a local native artist who works with wampum.  And there you have just a sampling of the experiential learning of the fourth grade curriculum.


Having built the wigwam last year, our fifth graders will also be creating a traditional structure as a part of their study of the Maya.  In November, fifth graders will build a Mayan House in the Urban Meadow Community Garden at 39 President Street.  Using poles and rope, reeds and clay in the traditional wattle and daub technique, they will build a small house and add a thatched roof.  Other hands on activities are cooking and learning about Mayan food, including heating tortillas over an open fire.


Many thanks to Nancye Good, our resident primitive technologist, who teaches us all of this remarkable work.


All for now,



A Reminder:

Tomorrow is Halloween.  We hope that you and your kids will dress up, trick or treat, party and have lots of fun after school.  But please remember that there are no costumes during the day at BNS.  Thanks!