An American Pioneer Christmas by fjzhangweiqun

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									                     An American Pioneer Christmas:
                   A Journey Through the Cumberland Gap
                                     A Lesson Plan


Pioneer Life                                                                2
Preparing for the Theater Experience & Pre-Show Activities                  10
Theatre and Pioneer Life Terms                                              13
Post-show Activities                                                        16
Worksheet & Quiz                                                            18
Answer Key                                                                  20
Academic Standards (by state)                                               20

                   For more information about Blue Apple Players contact:
                                     Blue Apple Players
                                        P O Box 4261
                                   Louisville, KY 40204
                  (502) 587-7990 • (800) 587-7990 • FAX: (502) 587-7928

An American Pioneer Christmas
Book, Music and Lyrics by Geraldine Ann Snyder
Directed by Paul Lenzi

This original Blue Apple Players musical is based on the adventures of one traveling pioneer family who
meet up with Kasper Mansker, a long hunter who leads them through the Cumberland Gap to Kentucky.
The characters take to the stage to share this lively and informative tale. Read the following with your
class to get to know the ways of life of the Pioneer before the show.


The pioneers were hard working people. They grew or hunted what they ate. They built their own homes
and made their own clothing. The pioneers were familiar with all things in their homes. They had made

The life of early settlers was not easy. The men and women had to be strong.
At times, they lived in fear of Indians. Each day they worked hard. The clothes
got washed. The cows got milked. The children were taught. The fields got
cleared and the barns were built. From sunup to sundown, each family member
did the daily tasks to survive.

These pioneers had chosen some of the oldest mountains, for their new homes.
These Appalachian pioneers had many children - six to ten. The children grew up, married and moved a
few miles deeper into the wilderness to build their homes.

                               Many pioneer settlers had little or no schooling. But they had the skills and
                               help of their parents and grandparents. They came from different
                               backgrounds. Some were English, Scottish, Irish or German. These
                               pioneers were proud people. They wanted to be free.

                               The mountain people believed in the rights of individuals. Settlers of this
                               area now known as Kentucky and Tennessee helped to start the new
                               government in America. Many of these mountain men fought in the
                               Revolutionary War. They showed their courage and love for America.
                               They helped build the early towns of this area.

                               The life of a pioneer settler was often a life of discipline and religion was
an important part. Religion gave them a purpose and a comfort. In most areas, religion was practiced
within each home with the family Bible, psalm books and sermon books. Log churches were built. Prayer
meetings were held.

                         Mountain people really liked to sing. They sang to feel good about themselves.
                         While they worked, they would sing. These songs tell us about their feelings of
                         hope, happiness, sadness and fear. Music was not written down. One learned a
                         song from someone else. The music did not belong to one person. It belonged to
                         all of the people. Some musical instruments of mountain people were the fiddle
                         and the dulcimer.

The pioneer family was largely concerned with existing. Each day was filled with struggles of survival.
Each family member had chores to do. They would help each other. Meeting the needs for shelter, food
and clothing was an endless task.


The pioneer woman made the clothes for her family. It was a lot of work. It took many steps. This meant
sewing of the clothing, the weaving of cloth, the spinning of yarn, and the raising of wool or flax. In the
home of the pioneers, the spinning wheel, loom, dye pots, and quilting frames could be found.

Before one could start the spinning, the wool of the sheep had to be cut off. The wool was then washed. It
took several steps to get the wool ready for spinning.

Besides woo1 the fibers of flax plants could be used. The cloth made from flax was called linen. The
pioneer family grew flax plants. The fiber in the stalk of the flax plant was used for spinning. It was
removed by breaking the tough bark. Flax breaking was work for the men. Like wool, it took many steps
to get the flax fibers ready to be spun.

                     A big task before the spinning was carding the wool. This was usually a job for the
                     grandmother and children. Carding would remove the dust particles from the wool. It
                     would also straighten the wool fibers so they could be spun easily. It is said that it
                     took two days of carding to prepare enough wool for one day of spinning.

                                                The spinning wheel had its special place near the fireplace
                                                when it was being used. The pioneer woman or her
                                                daughter did the spinning. They used either the big wool
                                                wheel or the small flax wheel.

                                                When using the big wool wheel, the spinner stood as she
                                                worked. She walked backwards. She pulled out the wool
                                                fibers and turned the wheel to make yarn. From time to
                                                time, she walked forward. The yarn would wind on the
                                                spindle as she turned the
                                                wheel in the other direction.

The small spinning wheel was called a flax wheel. It was invented after the
big wheel. The spinner could sit down and do her spinning. Both wool and
flax could be spun on this wheel. Spinning is just the twisting of fibers into
                      yarn. It took a lot of practice not to get thick or thin
                      spots in the yarn.

                      Women often got together to do their spinning. This
                      became a fun event. They could talk and sing while
                      their hands worked. At times, the spinner would have to unwind the yarn from the
                      spindle. She put this yarn onto a handmade clock reel or niddy-noddy. This also let
                      the spinner know how long the yarn was. Different lengths were called by names
                      like a skein. Six skeins was a good days work. The spinner had walked miles, half
                      of them backwards.

                      Taking the spun yarn and making cloth was the next task. This was called weaving.
                      Most of this weaving was done at home on a barn loom. The barn loom was very
                      big. It was tall and took up more floor space than a double bed. The pioneers often
                      built their own loom.

How did they do the weaving? The weaver would raise and lower different threads and pass a shuttle with
another thread between them. Then the weaver could swing the heavy beater toward her. This comb-like
reed beater would be bumped against the new thread from the shuttle. This would pack it into place
making cloth. Women generally did weaving but men would also help.

This American homespun cloth had fresh colors and simple designs. The pioneer
wife made her own colors. Dye colors came from the bark, roots, flowers or other
parts of plants or trees. These plants might grow in the garden or come from the
fields and forests. The yarn was often dyed before it was woven. This way there
could be more than one color in the woven cloth.

Common things used as dyes were walnut hulls, sassafras roots, sycamore bark, sumac berries,
broomsedge, wild aster flowers, onion skins, indigo and madder. For example, brown color came from

walnuts. Yellow colors came from the petals of asters. The indigo made blue. Madder roots made red.
Green was a hard-color to-get.

Most cloth was made from wool, flax or cotton. The hides of deer and other animals were also used to
make clothing. There was no exact recipe for tanning leather. Wood ashes and lime were put on the hides.
This helped to remove the hair as it was scraped. The hides were then put in a tanning vat. This was
usually a hollowed-out 1og of a poplar tree. Layers of oak bark chips were put on top and under the hide.
The hides would be left in this vat for weeks or months. This made the leather useable as cloth, which
could be sewn. The cloth would now last a long time and not rot easily. Besides clothing, the shoes or
moccasins were made from home tanned leather.

Most early pioneers did not have many clothes. It took a lot of work and a long time to make them. The
extra clothing of the pioneer family hung from pegs in their log home. Sometimes the family owned a
piece of furniture called a clothes press. This was a wooden closet.

Their clothes got dirty and were washed. Washing, like most household tasks was a big job. The soiled
clothes were first boiled in a large kettle with handmade soap. They were then hammered on the early
washboard, or on stones of the stream bank.

                                     In order to make soap, the ash hopper was filled with ashes from the
fireplace. Then, water was poured into the hopper. The liquid that came out at the bottom of the hopper
was lye. Lye was added to old fat and boiled in an iron kettle to make soap.


A lot of time was spent by the pioneer in the getting, growing, and preparing foods. Once the pioneer
farmer worked out the supply problems, the family ate well. With the cedar sticks and oak logs burning
many good smells came from the fireplace; the boiling of hominy, the steaming of sassafras tea, the
baking of cornbread, and the frying of meat.

Each farm had a garden. First, the land was cleared. Then the crops were planted. No matter what was
grown, it had a fence around it to keep out the livestock.

Common garden crops included corn, potatoes, beans, onions, squash, pumpkins, and turnips. Fruit trees
took time to grow, so it took a few years to have their own apples, but other wild berries and fruits were
picked. In the forest, there was meat from deer, bear, turkey, squirrel and wild pigeons. The pioneer
                    farmer also raised chickens, hogs, sheep and cattle.

                   Things used to cook food in were dutch ovens, brass kettles, large and small iron pots
                   and skillets. Jars, crocks and mugs were also needed. Early potters found clay to make
                   dishes. The firing of the pottery was done in a huge oven of brick with a slow fire of
                   poplar wood. This firing took twenty-four to thirty-six hours. The pioneer often ate on
                   a trencher. This was a wooden plate made from a board. Some plates were made from
                   a metal called pewter. Spoons and forks were made of wood horn or pewter.

Baskets were made for carrying, measuring and storing food. Splits of white
oak, hickory1 ash or buckeye made good baskets. Honeysuckle vine, willow
cane, and cornhusks were also used. Baskets would last many years. Other
containers such as pails and buckets were made of wood. All day-to-day
cooking was done in the fireplace. These fireplaces were usually big enough
that you could walk into them. Apple butters and soap making were done outdoors.

                Corn was a common food of the pioneer family. It had to be shelled before it could be
                ground into meal. Shelling of corn was a chore for small children. It: was often done in
                front of the fireplace on winter nights. Corncobs were saved to help start a fire and to
                smoke some meats.

                The most common bread was made from corn meal, salt, and water. This was known as
                corn pone or hoecake. Cornbread was made from corn meal, eggs and buttermilk. It was
                cooked in a dutch oven covered with coals.

                 Pumpkins were one of the most useful of the vegetables. They could be kept fresh by
putting them in a dry, cool place. Pumpkin was mixed with corn meal to
make pumpkin bread. It could be baked whole or mashed up. Pumpkins were
also fed to the animals.

Butter was made in churns. After the butter formed in the churn, it was lifted
out into a wooden bowl and washed several times. A little salt was added. It
was then put into pretty molds.

                               There was not much sugar in the pioneer’s
                               kitchen. Honey, maple syrup and sorghum
                               molasses were used to sweeten foods. Bees
                               were kept in hollow pieces of the tree trunks.
                               The bees made the honey. Maple sugar could be made by boiling down

maple tree sap. Molasses was made by boiling down the liquid from mashed sorghum cane. Fresh meat
was cooked by broiling, frying, boiling, and roasting. Meat was preserved by being salted, smoked or
pickled. Pork or ham was the most common meat of the mountain people.

Vegetables and fruits were cooked fresh or preserved by drying or pickling. Jelly could be made from
wild grapes and blackberries. The entire family helped with the making of apple butter. Long hours were
spent cutting up the apples. Before sunup of the big day a fire was started under a large copper kettle. The
apples were added and the cooking began. All day the apples cooked over a slow fire. The apples always
had to be stirred, so as not to burn them. By the end of the day, the apple butter would be done and put
away in jars for the winter.

Drinks of the pioneers were sassafras tea, buttermilk, apple cider, fruit wines and spirits. The family liked
hickory nuts and walnuts. Children gathered nuts each fall.

During the summer, the diet of the pioneer family was good. Common farm tools used to plant, grow, and
pick crops were the harrow, plow, hand cradle, flail, hoe, rake and pitch fork. The diet was not as good in
                                              the winter months because foods were hard to keep. The
                                              root cellar was used to keep vegetables (potatoes, cabbage,
                                              turnips) and fruits (apples, pears, quince). Smoked meats
                                              might have hung from its ceiling. The root cellar was often
                                              dug into a hillside. This helped make the room both cool
                                              and dark. Foods needing to be kept cool and dry were kept
                                              in the loft of the log house or hung from the ceiling beams.
                                              Corn, dried beans, pumpkins and apples were examples of
                                              these foods.

                                             The springhouse was the walk-in refrigerator of the pioneer
                                             time. It was built over a mountain spring. In the summer, it
                                             became a storehouse for good things like fresh milk, butter,
eggs, buttermilk, sweet cream and cheese. These foods were kept in bowls and placed in the cool spring


The pioneers moved westward to the Appalachian Mountains and Ohio River Valley. They wanted to start
a new life. First, shelter for his family was needed.

Early log shelters were called cabins. They had only one room, no windows, and a single door and were
made of round logs. The chimneys were often made of sticks and mud. This temporary shelter was used
until a strong hewn log house could be built.

Basically two types of log houses existed. The Appalachian Log House, sixteen by twenty feet, had one
room. It had a stone chimney at the end. It had one or two doors and a few windows. The hewn logs were
squared with a broad ax instead of being left round. The roof was made of split oak shingles. The floor of
the house was either smooth wooden boards or hard packed dirt.

                          This new home soon became filled with the family and the things they needed to
                          exist. This included the spinning wheel, a loom, tables, chairs, benches, and
                          maybe a bed. The children slept in the loft on a cornshuck mattress covered with
                          quilts. Their parents would sleep below in a cord bed. They built most of their
                          furniture. It was simple and plain. The quilts and coverlets added some color to
                          their home.

                          To make another room, a lean-to shed was often built onto the back of the
                          house. For even more room, another log house could be built right up against the
                          first house on the fireplace side. The chimney was used in both houses. This was

called a "saddlebag" house.

A second house could also be built close to the first house. The roofs of the
two houses would be joined together. The people and the dog could walk
between the two houses. This kind of house was called a "dog trot" house.

The log house was held together by notches at the ends of the logs. This
was done very carefully. Different kinds of notches were the dovetail, the
half dovetail, the square, and the round. Some log houses have lasted for 200 years. The ends of the logs
were often sawed off next to the building. Rain and water would not collect and rot the logs.

The spaces between the logs were filled with mud and sticks. This helped keep out the cold weather. Door
hinges and latches were made of wood or leather straps.

The most important place in an early log house was the fireplace. At the fireplace, the pioneer family
cooked their food and kept warm. The fireplace gave out light to see inside their home. Candles were also
used for light.

At first, most candles were made by dipping the wicks again and again into a pot of
melted wax. The candles had to be cooled after each dipping. The pot of melted wax
had to be kept at the right temperature. If the wax was too hot, It would not stick to the
candle. If it was too cold, the candle would come out lumpy. Candle molds came later
and making of candles became easier to do. A wick was put in each tube. The mold
was then filled with hot wax and allowed to cool.

The log home and its furniture were made of wood. There was lots of wood to use. The
pioneer used the tools he had to make the things his family needed.

                                         The ax was the most important tool. With an ax, the pioneer could
                                         clear the land, build a house, cut firewood, and build fences.
                                         Different tools were used to do different kinds of tasks. A felling
                                         ax was used to cut down the tree. The logs were squared or hewn
                                         with the broad ax. The adz made the floor boards smooth.

                                       Splitting wood was done easily with a froe.
                                       Roof shingles were made this way. A mallet
                                       or maul was used like a hammer on the top of
                                       the froe. A drawknife could be used to make
handles for axes, rakes, 6'Loe and many other tools. The drawknife was also useful
in making furniture.

                          After building a home for the family and harvesting the first
                          crops, the mountain farmers then built the farm buildings and fences. These
                          buildings were the barn, spring house, root cellar, corn cribs and chicken house.

                          Some barns were made of hewn logs that were square. Other barns were made of
round logs with a saddle notch. This kind of barn could be built faster. To protect the animals from the
cold, the space between the log were filled just like the log house. The logs in the loft or the upstairs of
the barn were often not filled. The hay that filled the loft kept out the cold winter winds and snow.

Fences were made of either wooden split rails or stones. These rails were usually split from the chestnut
tree. Chestnut rails lasted a long time. The common types of rail fence were the snake, post and rail, and
buck. Look at the pictures below. Miles of stone fences were built in the mountains. These fences helped
to keep their hogs where they belonged.

Many pioneer families feared Indian attacks. At first, their log homes provided them some protection. As
more settlers came and lived together, 1og structures were built for protection. These places of defense
were known as blockhouses, stockades, or forts. The blockhouse was a two story building with the upper
story reaching out beyond the first story. This kept Indians from easy climbing of its walls. Stockades
were often a place with a strong fence of upright logs built around it. A fort may have had both the
blockhouse and stockade around it with homes built inside of it.

When you attend a play you are entering a special world. Remind your students what they are expected to
do as members of an audience. A good audience member will:
       Listen attentively to the actors on stage.
       Stay in his or her seat during the performance.
       Suspend disbelief and pretend the characters and stage action are real.
       Respond vocally to the action on stage only when the actors address the audience directly. This is
       a form of audience participation Blue Apple Players incorporates in every show.
       Clap at the end of the production to show your appreciation of the hard work actors and other
       people in the production have done.


       Before seeing a production, students can make predictions about what they will experience at the
       show based on knowledge of theater terms and familiarity with the story.

~ State Standards Met: KY: RD-EP-2.0.7, IN: Eng. Lang. Arts Standard 2, TN: 1.09, OH: Reading
Process, GA: Reading (Draws conclusions, makes predictions and comparisons), WV: RLA.S.1

       While watching the production, students can immediately identify the elements of drama you have
       introduced and practiced in the classroom and practice the role of an audience.

~ State Standards Met: KY: AH-EP-3.3.1, IN: Theater Standard 3, TN: Audience, Concentration,
Technical Elements, OH: Historical, Cultural, and Social Contexts, GA: Artistic Knowledge, WV: TH.S.3

       After the production, students can practice knowledge of age-appropriate theater vocabulary by
       critiquing the performance.

~ State Standards Met: KY: AH-EP-1.3.1, IN: Theater Standards 4, 5, TN: Aesthetic response, Elements
of Drama, OH: Analyzing and Responding, GA: Critical Analysis and Aesthetic Understanding, WV:

An American Pioneer Christmas: PRE-SHOW TALKING POINTS
Break up into small discussion groups. The topic for discussion is “What if you woke up tomorrow and
you and your family realized that it was 1776 instead of 2006?”
With your team, try to find the answers to the following questions:
   1. What is your everyday dress?
   2. What might you have for dinner tonight?
   3. How do you spend your leisure time?
   4. How do you receive your education?
   5. What are your career opportunities? Hint: What is a trade?

Some Fun Pre-Show Activities
Discussion: Considering answers from question #3 above, it has probably already been discovered that
there were many differences in the way children of the Pioneer days and the children of today entertained
themselves. These are two fun activities that children today can participate in to really experience the
games of those times.

Apple Dolls: This activity combines an art with social studies by having K-6 students make a pioneer
children's toy, an apple doll.

Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Description: Students will learn about a toy created by pioneer children.
   • Interdisciplinary
   • Arts/Visual Arts
   • Science/Botany
   • Social Studies/US History

Objective: Each student will be able to create an apple doll.

  • plastic knives
  • apples
  • felt-tip pens
  • cloves
  • beads
  • wire
  • fabric
  • needle and thread
  • glue
  • dowels or popsicle sticks

         1. Each student will peel a large, hard apple. leaving a little skin at the top and bottom so it
            will dry in a round shape.
         2. Features (slits for eyes) will be carved, not very deep but wide apart.
         3. The apples need to be cored and placed on a dowel or popsicle stick and let dry for 3-4
         4. The face can be decorated with beads for the eyes, teeth or the like.
         5. The body can be formed by wire with cloth strips wrapped around it. Then clothes and
            extras can be added for character.

2 Outdoor or Large Indoor Space Games:
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1,2,3,4,5
    • Physical Education
    • Games (educational)
    • Social Studies – experiments in living other lifestyles.
Objective: Students will be introduced to games that date back to pioneer children and will improve
certain skills.
Small stones, wooden bowls, plum pits, twigs (12 for each child), markers, various game equipment.

Game #1
   • Student stands behind a line.
   • Each student hops, landing on one foot, balances, then takes a big step forward with the other foot.
   • Then the student brings up the back foot and jumps with both feet together.
   • Mark landing spot with a marker for identification.
Game #2
   • Students need 6 plum pits, small wooden bowl. Make a line on one side of each pit with marker.
       Place pits in bowl.
   • Students take turns, lightly tossing the pits, catching them again in bowl.
   • Count the number of pits with the line up. This is your score.
   • Each student keeps track of his score with twigs.

Variations and Extensions:
Through discussion, compare some of the time-tested games that have never grown old: Tag, jump rope
and rhymes, ball games, marbles, Cat's Cradle, blowing bubbles. (Critical Analysis and Aesthetic
Understanding) In small groups, students will select items from a pile of materials (i.e. stones, sticks,
spools, etc.) and invent a game. They will set up rules, play it with the other groups, and evaluate the
results. (Historical, Cultural, and Social Contexts)

Building Literacy: A Pioneer Child’s Journal
        In this activity, students take on the persona of a pioneer boy or girl, and write a fictional series of
journal entries describing, from a child's view, some of the events, hardships and adventures of traveling.
Use construction paper and encourage illustrations along with their writing. Once all the entries have been
collected, have the children create their own cover and with a hole-punch, secure the book together.


Acting - Pretending something and communicating what is being pretended
Character - The person, animal, or object in a story
Dialogue - The passages of talking in a play, at least two characters talking to each other
Drama -Written work that tells a story and is intended to be acted out on stage
Foreshadowing - Something that gives the audience advance suggestion of what will happen next
Monologue - A speech given by one person who is speaking to himself, the audience, or others on stage
Plot - The pattern of events or main story in the narrative or drama
Props - The objects on stage used to create the setting of a play
Scenery - Painted screens, backdrops, hangings used on the stage to represent surroundings in a play
Set - The arrangement of scenery where a play is enacted
Setting - The time and place a story takes place
Theme - The main idea of the story that connects the characters, setting, and plot

Understanding Some Pioneer Terms

Awl - One hand tool/pointed instrument for making small holes in wood or leather.
Basin - Bowl-shaped container that was used to hold pudding, stew, and other semi-liquid foods.
Chaff Bed - A mattress stuffed with grain husks.
Cobbler - One who mends or makes boots and shoes.
Drugget - Coarse woven fabric, all of wool or half silk or linen, formerly used as dress material.
Flail - Universal tool for threshing used to separate the grain or seed from the plant stalk (straw).
Gimblet - A small auger turned with one hand that makes a round hole in wood.
Mason - One who builds or works with stone or brick.
Noggin - A small mug or cup.
Pipkin - A small cooking pot or earthenware.
Sickle - An implement with a crescent-shaped blade mounted on a short handle, used for cutting tall
grass, grains, etc.
Tallow - A mixture of animal fat refined for use in candles.
Tribe – a social group comprising numerous families, clans, or generations.
Yeoman – A farmer, small land owner.

Using our Imaginations
This is a fun exercise in which you can have the children close their eyes and listen to this narration.
Afterwards, have them write an entry for their Pioneer Child’s Journal.

                                  An Exercise for Imagining the Times:
                               "A View of the Station" by James Kindred

Middle Tennessee was a long way from the civilized Eastern Seaboard. Travelers had to make their way
up and through the Cumberland Gap and then across the vast forest and cane breaks of an almost
unfathomably vast wilderness.

Imagine, if you can, what a traveler in the late 18th Century would have faced as he pushed through the
frontier of the Middle Ground. Let's try to put ourselves in that time and place and see what it must have
been like.

You have been traveling for weeks through a frontier so vast that your imagination is overwhelmed by it’s
unending forests. Your little band has been fearful of hostile natives ever since you found the bodies of
another party scalped and stripped of every useable article. Every step and move for the last two weeks
has been carefully and fearfully made, never knowing if the next one will be your last.

Suddenly, as you top a small ridgeline, you smell woodsmoke. Everyone freezes and looks into every
shadow for fear of Indians! Fearing the worst, you creep to the ridge and look over. There in the clearing
below, much to your relief, you see a log palisade, cabins and a blockhouse. You hear the lowing of cattle,
and there! There's a white man! And another!!

You signal to your party to move on up! It's safe! You've finally reached Mansker's Station and the
protection of it's walls and the safety it's numbers of settlers provide.

You'll be able to eat a hot meal and sleep soundly inside the walls of a European settlement tonight for the
first time in weeks!

Who Was Kasper Mansker?

       Kasper Mansker, along with eight or ten others, built boats they called "dug-outs," and followed
the hunt down the Cumberland river. They were, doubtless, the first white men that navigated that stream.
They discovered the French Lick; and Mansker stated that he had never before seen such vast herds of
buffalo - -the whole face of the country seeming to be alive with them. The voyagers continued down
stream into the Ohio River, and thence to Natchez, which then belonged to Spain. There they sold the
earnings of their hunt; after which Mansker, with some others, returned to New River, in Virginia, and the
remainder of the company settled at Natchez. The adventurers who returned to Virginia and North
Carolina gave such wonderful, glowing accounts of the abundance of game and the fertility of the soil on
the Cumberland river, that the fever of exploring the West became very intense.

Kentucky began as Native American Country: Facts and Topics of Discussion

Did you know the name "Kentucky" comes from an Iroquoian Indian word?
                                  It comes from Ken-ta-ke, which means "meadow land."

The original inhabitants of the area that is now Kentucky included:
       The Cherokee Tribe
       The Chickasaw Tribe
       The Shawnee Tribe
       The Yuchi Tribe

Even though it occupied a smaller portion of what is now our state, the most famous of these tribes were
the Cherokee. Can you point out where Louisville is today?

How do you pronounce the word "Cherokee"? What does it mean?
It's pronounced "CHAIR-uh-kee." It comes from a Muskogee word meaning 'speakers of another
language.' Cherokee Indians originally called themselves An-i-yun-wi-ya, "the principal people," but
today they accept the name Cherokee, which is spelled and pronounced Tsa-la-gi in their own language.

How do Cherokee Indian children live, and what did they do in the past?
They do the same things all children do--play with each other, go to school and help around the house.
Many Cherokee children like to go hunting and fishing with their fathers. In the past, Indian kids had
more chores and less time to play, just like colonial children. But they did have dolls, toys, and games to
play, such as one game where kids tried to throw a dart through a moving hoop. Lacrosse was a popular
sport among Cherokee teenagers as it was among adult men. Cherokee mothers, like many Native
Americans, traditionally carried their babies in cradleboards on their backs--a custom which many
American parents have adopted now.

What were Cherokee homes like in the past?
The Cherokee Indians lived in settled villages. Cherokee houses were made of rivercane and plaster, with
thatched roofs. These dwellings were about as strong and warm as log cabins. The Cherokees also built
larger seven-sided buildings for ceremonial purposes, and each village usually had a lacrosse field with
benches for spectators. Many Cherokee villages had palisades (reinforced walls) around them for
protection. Today, Cherokee families live in a modern house or apartment building, just like you.

• Have the students fill out this chart. Students could complete it individually or use a similar chart on
  the board for a whole class discussion.

       What did you know before           What did you want to learn        What did you actually learn?
       you saw An American                from the show?
       Pioneer Christmas

•   Discussion/Writing: The following statements are useful for starting a discussion or doing individual
    exploratory writing.

       The moment I liked best in the play was. . .

       My favorite costume was. . .

       If I could learn one of the songs in the play, I would choose. . .

       What I learned from the play is. . . .

•   Extension of the Writing Experience: Trans-active/Persuasive Writing

Now that your class has had the opportunity to think about and discuss the theatre experience, have the
students write a persuasive letter about the show.

        Persuasive letters are just what you'd imagine--an attempt to convince someone to do something.
There are two types of persuasive letters: requests which the reader is likely to grant and requests which
the reader is likely to reject. Obviously the second type of letter is much more challenging to write.
When writing letters of request which the reader is very likely to grant, simply bottom-line the request
then give all the necessary details. Keep in mind, though, that your reader will be much less likely to
grant your request if you do not give all the details.

First, write a Purpose Statement:

    Greetings! We are from __________________ and today we are writing a persuasive letter to
    _________________ because we would like to __________________________.

    The children could write to a friend to recommend the show, write to Blue Apple Players to suggest a
change in the production, to the sponsor of the show (information given to the teacher at the show) to
express appreciation of their support of the arts, or another audience and request of their choice. The
letter should make it clear to the audience what you want them to do after reading it.

Name: _____________________________________            Date: ___________

Directions: Use all the letters in the words AMERICAN PIONEER to make as
many other words as possible. Three letter words are great – but see how many
4 letter words you can make too!

  1. ______________________                 10._____________________

  2. ______________________                 11. ______________________

  3. ______________________                 12. ______________________

  4. ______________________                 13. ______________________

  5. ______________________                 14. ______________________

  6. ______________________                 15. ______________________

  7. ______________________                 16. ______________________

  8. ______________________                 17. ______________________

  9. ______________________                 18. ______________________

Name: _____________________________________                   Date: ___________

Directions: Learn the definitions and facts about the terms in the word box. Then read each
statement that follows. Who or what does each statement tell about? Write the letter that
corresponds with the character’s name on the line before the statement.

A. Kasper Mansker             B. Props               C. Character
D. Cobbler                    E. Acting              F. Tribe
G. Cherokee Indians           H. Ken-ta-ke           I. Dulcimer
J. Lacrosse                   K. Soap                L. Drinks of the Pioneers

1. __________         A social group comprising numerous families, clans, or generations.

2. __________         One of the favorite musical instruments of mountain people.

3. __________         Pretending something and communicating what is being pretended.

4. __________         Originally called themselves An-i-yun-wi-ya.

5. __________         Sassafras tea, buttermilk, apple cider, fruit wines and spirits.

6. __________         One of the first American Pioneers, called a “Long Hunter”.

7. __________         This was a popular sport among Cherokee boys and men.

8. __________         Pioneers made this was made from ashes and old fat.

9. __________         Iroquoian Indian word meaning “meadow lands”

10. __________        The person, animal or object in a story.

11. __________        A Pioneer craftsman who mends or makes boots and shoes.

12. __________        The objects on stage used to create the setting of a play.

Answer Key to above quiz: 1. F; 2. I; 3. E; 4. G; 5. L; 6. A; 7. J; 8. K; 9. H; 10. C; 11. D; 12. B

Academic Standards by State

Kentucky Core Content

RD-EP-2.0.7      Students will make inferences or draw conclusions based on what is read.
RD-EP-4.0.1      Students will connect information from a passage to students’ lives (text-to-self), real world issues
                 (text-to-world) or other texts (text-to-text - e.g., novel, short story, song, film, website, etc.).
RD-EP-5.0.2      Students will identify literary devices such as foreshadowing, imagery or figurative language
                 (similes and personification).
WR-EP-2.3.2      Personal Expressive/Literary Writing

AH-EP-2.3.1      Students will identify folktales, legends or myths from the following cultures and periods.

Georgia Performance Standards
ELAKR6, ELA1R6, ELA2R4, ELA3R3, ELA41 - Comprehension

ELAKW1-ELA4W1, ELA4W2 – The student demonstrates competency in the writing process

Listening, Speaking, and Viewing
ELAKLSV1-ELA4LSV1 – The student uses oral and visual skills/strategies to communicate.

Tennessee Learning Expectations
1.02 Develop listening skills.
1.09 Use active comprehension strategies to derive meaning while reading and check for understanding after
1.13 Experience various literary genres.

2.10 Write in response to literature.

Ohio Academic Content Standards
English Language Arts
Concepts of Print, Comprehension Strategies and Self-Monitoring Strategies Standard
A. Establish a purpose for reading and use a range of reading comprehension strategies to understand literary
passages and text.
C. Draw conclusions from information in the text.
E. Demonstrate comprehension by responding to questions (e.g., literal, informational and evaluative).
Writing Process Standard
A. Generate ideas for written composition.

Indiana Academic Standards
Reading: Literary Response and Analysis
K.3.1, 1.3.4, 2.3.6       Distinguish fantasy from reality

3.3.3            Determine what characters are like by what they say or do or how the author or
                 illustrator portrays them
4.3.5            Define figurative language, such as similes, metaphors, hyperbole, or personification, and identify
                 its use in literary works.

Writing: Applications (Different Types of Writing and Their Characteristics)
K.5.1               Draw pictures and write words for a specific reason.
1.5.4, 2.5.5        Use descriptive words when writing.
1.5.5, 2.5.6, 4.5.6 Write for different purposes and to a specific audience or person.
3.5.2             Write descriptive pieces about people, places, things, or experiences.
West Virginia Education Standards
Reading and Language Arts
Standard 1: Reading (RLA.S.1)
        Students will:
        Recognize basic comprehension concepts
        Make connections between literary work and people in own life and other cultures
Standard 2: Writing (RLA.S.2)
        Students will employ a wide range of writing strategies to communicate effectively for different purposes
Standard 3: Listening, Speaking and Viewing (RLA.S.3)
        Students will:
        Listen, recite and respond to familiar stories


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