Celebration of Native American Culture:
Just two and one-half hours
by road from New York City, the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Learning Center
in northeast Connecticut takes you on a journey stretching back 1800 years
and to the present again.
Here, amazing state-of-the
art interactive displays and lifelike immersion environments provide an intimate
look at the history and living culture of the Pequot and other Native American
tribes for visitors of all ages. However, the extensive museum programs for
educators, from reduced price previews, to special workshops and vast library
resources, make it prime territory for study and field trips and the focus
in this story.
During a typical
classroom visit, a one-hour-guided tour offers students an overview of the
exhibits, ranging from prehistoric times when our land was covered with glaciers
to life on the reservation now, to spotlighting the key concepts of the 85,000
square-foot facility: Land, People, Community and Family. After your tour,
you can continue exploring on your own. Tours also can be tailored to any age
a tour for kids in kindergarten through grade six might focus on the exhibit, “Through
The Eyes Of A Pequot Child,” where they can explore the half-acre, life-size
Pequot village and compare it to life today. The seven to 12-grade tour might
concentrate on, “Life On The Reservation Today,” a colorful explanation
of how the Pequots survived for three generations on their shrinking Connecticut
reservation. Everyone 12 and older (or with adult supervision) should make
a point of seeing the museum’s 30-minute film, “The Witness,” which
vividly depicts the tragic Pequot War.
The 20 plus museum highlights
also include the sights, sounds and giant mammals of the ice age, life-size
dioramas showing techniques for growing essential foods and tribal portraits
of Pequots today. Among the videos are artisans at work and the build up to
the Pequot war.
Crafts, workshops and in-depth
enrichment programs in archeology, social studies, clash of cultures and ecology
offer additional learning opportunities.#
Can’t make it to Mashantucket?
The museum’s outreach program will send an educator to your classroom.
(110 Pequot Trail, Mashantucket, CT; Tel.1-800-411-9761).