First graders recently visited Plimoth Plantation as part of their extensive study of the Wampanoag tribe and the first Thanksgiving. At the Plantation, a “living history” museum focused on the interwoven stories of the English and Native populations in 17th century New England, students saw what an actual wetu (traditional Wampanoag dwelling) looked like and asked questions about life in the 1600s.
Students learned that Wampanoag families erected wetus on their coastal planting grounds and lived in them throughout the growing season. They took note of the features that distinguished wetus, such as their dome shape, door, and chimney holes. Back at school, students designed and built model wetus using wooden bases, bark, and grasses, just as the Wampanoag would have.
Photo (top): Curious first grader Juan Alvarado-Gonzalez asks “Myles Standish” what life was like in Plymouth Colony in the 17th century.
Photo (bottom): PCS first grader Joell Martinez displays his handmade wetu, modeled after the Wampanoag dwellings he observed at Plimoth Plantation