Students listening to the tour guide in Cherokee.

Fifth graders from Charles C. Bell Elementary, and fourth graders from Glen Arden Elementary spent an entire day in Cherokee where they soaked up all there is to know about Cherokee Nation history. Students saw replica homes of how people lived in the past. Everyone was immersed in the culture as they saw firsthand how Cherokee tools were made and used, and how they are used today.

“This trip expanded students' background knowledge of understanding the history and culture of the Native American tribes,” said fifth grade teacher Olga Luchinina. “We have been reading about the customs and traditions of the Nez Perce, and this trip was an excellent opportunity to compare and contrast their lifestyle to Cherokee's.”

Cherokee is rich in all kinds of history, especially Western North Carolina history. Students toured the Cherokee Museum and the Oconaluftee Village. Ms. Luchinina said the trip offered so many learning opportunities and hands-on experiences for students. 

“The museum taught us about the history and culture of the Cherokee Indians,” she said. “The interactive exhibits were captivating. At Oconaluftee we had a guided tour, where our tour guide explained how the purpose each craft and tool provides the Cherokee people. There were re-enactors dressed in the traditional clothing of that time period and the students were able to ask them any questions they had. We were lucky to see one of their traditional dances as well.”

Students walking the trail at the Oconaluftee Village.

Fifth graders from Bell Elementary standing in a bamboo forest in Cherokee.

Bell students standing in front of a statue in Cherokee.