This past week I was honored again to be asked to demonstrate early American redware pottery at New Harmony’s Heritage Days. This is in conjunction with Indiana children learning about Indiana history, although there were plenty of students from States across the rivers; Illinois and Kentucky. As I started with each group I would look down at my work table and was reminded that this was the first time many children had touched clay, learned where it came from, and believe it or not, saw a rolling pin!
I would begin with “gather ’round the table”; a fitting phrase to bring friends and folks together to share a moment of fun, refreshment and discussion. We sometimes forget that children engage in different ways, so I am weary when I think they may not care or are not paying attention. But then the questions come, and I realize by them “gathering”, they have learned and take a little bit of me out into the world.
So, bring the children to the table, teach them what you know; they may help keep what is important from the past alive so their future will be balanced with reason and understanding of our history.