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A Day in the Life of A Wampanoag Village

Anna Papayannopoulos

It is dawn at my village in Plimoth Plantation. The sky blooms with color. I am a Wampanoag girl. I’m 9 years old. My mother tells me to get water for breakfast while she wakes up my little sister. I run down to the stream with my bucket. Suddenly, I hear a noise. I freeze with fright. I quietly tiptoe behind a tree and peek out. There I see a deer rustling through the plummeting leaves. I feel less afraid now. I hear my mother calling to me to hurry up with the water.

As I run back to our wetu, the ground feels very damp. I hear the trees whispering, “Hello.” The deer follows me back to the wetu. Mother says, “I think it likes you.” We feed the deer some food. A few minutes later the deer prances back to the stream. The sun is almost full. Leaves are starting to fall off the trees. Mother says, “You can play before you do your chores.”

My father wakes up and we go to the woods to set a pit trap. The ground is very warm. We find the perfect spot. We dig a hole and cover the pit trap with leaves. We put the fish on the rope and hide behind a tree. We wait eagerly. We wait and we wait. My legs feel very sore from standing still for so long. The sky begins to turn into sunset. We decide to try again tomorrow.

As we walk back to our village, I notice the sky getting darker. It is very breezy. Mother says I can go night fishing with my father if I eat my dinner first. We have deer meat and soup. It is delicious. My father says, “We need to hurry up”. The sun is going down. It will be dark soon.”

Sunset has almost melted away. The full moon reflects on the rippling water. I feel excited and nervous because it is very dark outside. We have the spear and the fire to see the fish. Our mishoon rocks back and forth. We wait and look closely into the water until we see a fish nearby. “We got one,� I shout as my father pushes the spear into the fish! We catch a lot more after the first one. My father says it is time to go back to our wetu to get some rest.

I feel a tiny raindrop on my palm. We head back to the wetu with bundles of fish. I think about how tasty the fish will be. The sky grows darker than normal. My father says, “We need to hurry up before your mother starts to get worried.” So we walk a little faster. Our walk turns into a run. As we run I can feel more raindrops. My father hears thunder. A storm is coming. We dash into the wetu. It is raining harder than ever. My mother is glad we are home. I can’t wait until tomorrow. I hope we catch an animal in our pit trap.

This is one of the many books which came to life while the students of Mrs. Mattson’s 3rd grade class explored the rich relationship between visual imagery and the written word. This Time of Day book was created as a part of Picturing Writing: Fostering Literacy Through Art®, an art-andliterature-based Olshansky


writing the




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program is designed to support the acquisition of literacy skills in children with diverse learning styles. A researchbased literacy program, Picturing Writing has proven its effectiveness in dramatically improving student writing. After








Massachusetts, our class combined the Time of Day unit with our study of the Wampanoag Indians and Pilgrims to create our own, unique visions of “A Day in the Life of Plantation.”

December, 2010

Anna's Book  
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