Source: Sherman Publications

Pelts for floats

by CJ Carnacchio

March 12, 2014

It’s been a long time since beaver pelts have been a major form of currency in the United States, but it appears they’ve made a comeback at Leonard Elementary School.

Last week, the school’s gymnasium was transformed into an old-fashioned trading post where students could purchase goods using furs.

“The students have been busy learning about French trading posts,” explained third-grade teacher Shannon Huhta. “The French built the trading posts to keep the American Indians from trading with other European countries. The entire third-grade class re-created a French trading post in school in order to understand what trading was like for the French and the American Indians.

“Students were asked to create handmade items or homemade items to trade,” Huhta continued. “To help them trade, they earned beaver pelts in class.”

Instead of offering dry goods like salted meat, clothing and gunpowder, the post featured more modern items such as rootbeer floats and cake pops.

The students didn’t actually use beaver pelts, so there’s no need for animal rights groups to march on Leonard. They traded little slips of paper with a picture of a beaver on them.