On May 15, East Elementary third grade students filled the one room schoolhouse at Pioneer Village where they learned about Native Americans, pioneers, and the history of Kearney County. Jane Christensen brings the lessons to life as she continues a tradition her mother started more than 40 years ago.
In 1976, Christensen’s mother, Mary Jensen, visited East Elementary to share stories from her father’s book “Heroes Without Medals” as part of the third grade Nebraska history lesson. The book is a compilation of stories that tell the pioneer and Native American history of Kearney County. She chose stories from the book that she believed would appeal to her young audience.
“There’s a mix between pioneers and Native Americans. She chose stories she thought would be memorable,” Christensen explained. “One story is about how Native Americans made paint from natural elements, including catching duck droppings in the hand to make vivid blue; the kids find this gross. Another is the story of how Native Pawnees got married at 10 years for girls and 12 for boys. Of course modern 9 year old third graders are shocked at this!”
see May 22 Courier for full story