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6th Graders Welcome a Guest Speaker

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 Story image 1_0
Mr. Floth's Class
Mr. Yates's Class
A Peruvian child
Machu Picchu
The "meeting of the waters", where the Amazon River meets the Rio Negro.

February 22, 2016

by Mrs. Archer


     Mrs. Archer’s sixth grade Geography students have spent the past few weeks studying the countries of South America, and learning about the physical features, government and economy of each. On Monday, February 22nd, they enjoyed having a guest speaker come to their classroom.       

   Mr. David McCracken came to share his pictures and experiences of traveling to South America while involved with the Nebraska agricultural leadership group called LEAD.  He discussed the differences in farming/agriculture and ways of life in Peru, Brazil and Argentina with those in the United States.

  Students enjoyed seeing pictures of Machu Picchu, the Inca City high in the Andes Mountains that lay undiscovered until the early 1900’s. The ability of this tribe to build their city on top of a mountain by carving and stacking huge rocks without the use of a wheel or machinery is amazing.

  Many of the pictures also showed the culture of the Peruvian people, and the poverty they face in their daily lives. He told us about how some people in Peru live in small huts made of tin and cardboard, many without running water or electricity.  He said, “One does not really know what poor is, until visiting a country such as this!”

   Much of the clothing is made from alpaca, an animal that is known in the area for its soft fur. The women spin the fibers into thread by hand and then use it to make sweaters, skirts or moccasin inserts to keep their feet warm. They also use the hide of the animal to make leather products.  A sample of alpaca fur was available so that students could feel how soft it is, and understand how important it would be for the people of this region to keep warm.

   Mr. McCracken also visited Brazil, and described “the meeting of the waters” in which the Amazon River meets the Rio Negro River.  It was interesting to see where these two rivers meet, because the water in one is black and the water in the other is a sandy color.  They do not blend together completely for upwards of 20 miles,and act almost like oil and water when mixed.

   Overall, this presentation tied in very nicely with our study of South America ,and the students enjoyed the pictures and stories told by someone who had experienced the culture of these countries first hand.

    We would like to thank Mr. McCracken for taking time to come and speak with our classes about his experiences in South America!

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