The VIIIs Stroll into the Play Process

The VIIIs’ play is approaching quickly, and they are rushing to prepare. “Recently we have been making our costumes for our play. We do not even know what it is going to be about yet,” said Nina Shefferman, VIIIsN. “But we have only worked on the mural, our clothes, and our songs.”

The VIIIsN have finalized their research topics on the Lenape. Some people are studying the language while others are researching wigwams and food preperation. However, every VIII agrees that the naming ceremony is one of the best parts.

“We had to skip rhythms and sat down in a circle and nancy strung shells on necklaces and gave them to us for the naming ceremony. My name is Roaming Eagle, while Nina’s name is Learning Otter,” said Yakov (Yasha) Kegeles, VIIIsN.

To better understand their research topics, they went to the Natural History Museum. There they explored and witnessed different hunting tools and traps.

“We saw this really interesting bear trap,” said Nina.

“They basically put meat hanging on a string and when the bear comes, a bunch of logs with spikes fall on the bear.” Yasha described.

Meanwhile, in the VIIIsJ room, as Zachery quotes, the whole day is “all Lenape basically.” They mainly have been working on the big mural for their play, but the VIIIsJ have not disclosed any information about the topic. However, they did hint that a big Wigwam with an open door will be involved. We were also able to find out that the VIIIs will be making shirts, pouches, and bags.

In addition to creating the mural and props for their play, the VIIIsJ are preparing songs in Rhythms for their play. They have built an impressive repertoire of songs including “My Padel”, “Rain Dance”, and “The Duck Song”. They learn about Lenape drumming and dances. “Raindance is my favorite song, I like the melody. It’s really nice” said Zachary. The VIIIsJ have also started to write stories like the ones the Lenape told. “The Lenape stories usually teach you something,” says Brynn Jones. Zachary’s story is about a girl who berries from the same tree every day. Eventually, the tree poisons her and she learns not to steal again. Brynn said stories are going to be really long since Jackie wants them to add every detail to fully flesh out the story. Brynn says she wishes she could type it out, incorporating all of the new typing skills and tricks they have learned in Computer this year. Not only have they learned to type in Computer class, but they are working with robots as well. They are learning how to send signals to make the robots move and function. The VIIIsJ have started reading Dicken Among the Indians, and because of this, they have learned Lenape words like Wanishi, which means “thank you.” Not only have they learned the language but they learned about the culture and what it is like living as a Native American. Recently, the most exciting part of class was their visit to the Museum Natural History to see the Eastern Woodland Indians exhibit. They saw life-sized models of Native American clothing (mainly moccasins), boats and other structures like houses and Wigwams. They wrote about what they saw, but they also answered specific questions they had to answer like “What did the Woodland Indians use for water therapy?” Both VIIIs groups have had a busy week and are getting ready for their plays. With all of the knowledge they learned this year, they will put on a spectacular play.

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