The Free Press, Mankato, MN

November 8, 2012

Circling the wagon: Fourth-graders get at taste of pioneer life

By Amanda Dyslin
Free Press Staff Writer

NORTH MANKATO — They could be heard but not seen cruising down Lake Street in lower North Mankato at a cool 5 mph Thursday morning.

“I bet the cars behind us are really mad right now,” said one voice in the middle of the large slow-moving vehicle.

Chattering away beneath a tan tarp that hid all of their little faces, Monroe Elementary School fourth-graders were taking a pretty interesting ride from North Mankato Taylor Library back to school. With a North Mankato police escort, Sandy Hatlestad’s fourth-graders were riding in a real covered wagon, pulled by horses, just like they’d been learning about in social studies.

Hatlestad said her students have been studying pioneering, and the class took a field trip to the Taylor Library Thursday for a presentation by Jessica Potter, executive director of the Blue Earth County Historical Society.

When the program was over, they piled into the wagon for a unique trip back to school.

“It’s great for them to see history come alive,” Hatlestad said as students climbed out of the back of the wagon.