Negaunee students bring history to life

MARQUETTE — Third-graders from Lakeview Elementary School in Negaunee traveled back in time Friday at the Marquette Regional History Center.

Students got an interactive look at how French voyageurs traded with the Ojibwa people in the 1600s. The class was split in two, half of the students assuming roles of the voyageurs, the other half Native Americans.

“History comes to life for them,” Lakeview Elementary third-grade teacher Michelle Anderson said. “They get to participate in a real fur trade as a voyageur or as a Native American, and it’s all funded by our Lakeview Parent Teacher Partnership, which is an awesome organization. They do as much as they can to give our kids these great experiences.”

The students have been learning about the fur trade for some time, but many still came away with something they hadn’t previously known.

“I didn’t really know there was a head trader,” third-grader James Thomson said. “I thought they just went into it right away.”

“This is the stuff they remember,” Anderson said. “This is what they take away from it. This brings it all together. They read about it in the book, we do some novels about this time period with the voyageurs and the Native Americans, and then they come here and they actually get to participate in history.”

Thanks to a transportation grant from the Michigan Youth Arts program, Lakeview students will get to return to the MRHC in the spring to learn more about the area’s settlers.