;

Lanigan students learn about Iroquois

Fourth-grade students at Lanigan Elementary received a unique history lesson Thursday morning as performer and educator Dave Ruch used music to engage his audience and teach them about Iroquois culture.

During the presentation, students displayed their knowledge on the topic while Ruch peppered them with questions about every aspect of Iroquois life.

Entertainer and educator Dave Ruch (far right) leads Lanigan Elementary students in song during a performance Thursday morning. Helping Ruch pull off the musical act are (from left) fourth-graders Alicia Halsdorf, Nathan Mazur-Christaldi, Olivia Saunderson, Alexandra Jaskowiak, Jacob Green and Quinn Backenstross.
Entertainer and educator Dave Ruch (far right) leads Lanigan Elementary students in song during a performance Thursday morning. Helping Ruch pull off the musical act are (from left) fourth-graders Alicia Halsdorf, Nathan Mazur-Christaldi, Olivia Saunderson, Alexandra Jaskowiak, Jacob Green and Quinn Backenstross.

Students answered questions concerning Iroquois lifestyle, shelter, food habits, varying roles of men and women, and discussed the musical instruments that the Native Americans used.

Ruch, who travels the Northeast to entertain and educate youths about history, brought a few of those ancient instruments along to demonstrate the different sounds and play some history-themed songs. Using a water drum, a guitar, a variety of rattles and other instruments, Ruch led the students in a sing-along of a smoke dance song and a pigeon dance song.

With laughter, smiles, singing and squeals of delight, the history lesson was not a typical one, but its value was obvious as the students came away with more knowledge of the Iroquois culture.

Lanigan Elementary School fourth-graders Joslyn Thomas and Mark Smith shake their rattles while accompanying performer Dave Ruch during an assembly Thursday morning focusing on Iroquois culture.
Lanigan Elementary School fourth-graders Joslyn Thomas and Mark Smith shake their rattles while accompanying performer Dave Ruch during an assembly Thursday morning focusing on Iroquois culture.