Morenci fourth grade class studies voyageurs 3.19

Written by David Green.

Students in Ruth Marlatt’s class at Morenci Elementary School started off their study of 18th century voyageurs with a book, but the experience didn’t end there.

The fourth grade students tasted a lot of voyageur food before wrapping up the segment last week.

Students read the historic novel “The Young Voyageur” by Dirk Gringhis, a story that centers around Fort Michilimackinac in what is now Mackinaw City.

The students explained that voyageurs explored large areas of northern territory collecting furs, both from trapping animals and trading with the native population.

The fur trade was fashion driven, Mrs. Marlatt said, with furs shipped back to Europe to be made into clothing.

When on the open water, the voyageurs sang songs to coordinate the paddling of their large canoes. When water ran out along rivers, or when they came to impediments, they lifted their canoes and portaged their loads on foot.

Students took turns working together to create food items commonly eaten by the voyageurs, including teacakes, currant scones, soft gingerbread, shortbread, northern cornbread, Sally Lunn bread, sticky tablet candies and fried bannock bread.

Shortbread and teacakes were cited as favorites while bannock bread was rated on the nasty side by several students.

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