Elementary students staked their claims to the undeveloped land of the playground Tuesday during the fifth annual Wilson Elementary land run event.


Carrying their lunches and shelter in the wagons, the third-, fourth- and fifth-graders reenacted the Land Run of 1889 that opened areas of central Oklahoma to settlers.


“It’s always more fun to take what we learn in the textbook and make it outside and hands-on,” said Misty Chapman, district Indian Education director and event organizer.


Elementary students staked their claims to the undeveloped land of the playground Tuesday during the fifth annual Wilson Elementary land run event.

 

Carrying their lunches and shelter in the wagons, the third-, fourth- and fifth-graders reenacted the Land Run of 1889 that opened areas of central Oklahoma to settlers.

 

“It’s always more fun to take what we learn in the textbook and make it outside and hands-on,” said Misty Chapman, district Indian Education director and event organizer.

 

Students spent the last month learning about the land run and planning their teams and building their wagons.

 

For the Dirt Road Boys, location was everything as they planned where to run.

 

“We wanted somewhere with a lot of space with no one around and away from the fifth-graders,” fourth-grader Justice Hartman said.

 

However, they also learned to adapt their plans.

 

“We wanted the corner, but everyone was headed there."
 

 

“We went with our backup plan,” fourth-grader Kyle Lamb said. “Here we are next to the fence, just not the corner.”

 

The Scissor-tailed Flycatchers won the best wagon contest.

 

“Our wagon took a lot of hard work and sweat and gnat bites,” Scissor-tailed Flycatcher and fifth-grader Jadyn McMillen said.

 

The Buckskin Babes won the sign making contest.

 

In addition to the land run, students learned about ranching and Native American cultures.

 

New activities this year included taking black and white photos in costumes in front of an old west backdrop provided by Jarvis Whatley and seeing a stocked chuck wagon.

 

Fred Ricks brought the chuck wagon and made apple cobbler in a Dutch oven in the ground.

 

“It’s cool how you make it and put it in the ground,” fourth-grader Gaylee Bethea said.

 

Students also enjoyed the taste of the cobbler.

 

“It’s really good, and it’s sweeter than usual,” fourth-grader Chryssy Rosenberger said.

 

Jim Standing Bear Wheatley showed the students various Native American artifacts such as Sitting Bull’s autograph and different animal pelts.

 

Wheatley also discussed Native American culture and various misconceptions the children may have from movies.

 

“We have a very rich history and people need to remember the stories of their elders, no matter who they are descended from,” Wheatley said. “Children are our future. They are like little sponges and a lot of fun.”

 

In the afternoon, Wheatley shared a Native American dance with the students.