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Activity ideas for teaching about the Pilgrims and the Plymouth settlement in 1620
The real Thanksgiviing story
Posted by:Willjames #117670

The Church of England under King James I was persecuting anyone and everyone who did not recognize its absolute civil and spiritual authority. Those who challenged ecclesiastical authority and those who believed strongly in freedom of worship were hunted down, imprisoned, and sometimes executed for their beliefs.

A group of separatists first fled to Holland and established a community. After eleven years, about forty of them agreed to make a perilous journey to the New World, where they would certainly face hardships, but could live and worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences.

On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community,...

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Posted by:Pauline #67041

We do a faux trip by sailing from england by way of the book ...If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 by Ann McGovern. We will start on Monday by doing a KWL on the first Thanksgiving and pack our suitecases for our trip. The book takes several days to read and provides lots of good info. When we "arrive" to america, we set up some pilgrim homes (by way of milk cartons, brown construction paper and shredded wheat) and wetus. We construct roads and stores as we learn about the pilgrims in our book. The following week we will have a pilgrim boy and pilgrim girl day using books Samuel Eatons Day by Kate Waters and Sarah Mortons Day by Kate Waters also. Another good book is On the Mayflower by kate waters. We also use a book called Giving Thanks The 1621 Harvest Feast by you guesssed it, Kate Waters.

We have a...

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Thanksgiving help
Posted by:Trish #67702

Well that's not very nice to give you 3 days. Egads! I know everyone expects miracles from us but my goodness! I can't imagine you can do more than learn a song - here's one with lots of info:

tune= Oh Susanna

Oh they left their homes in England
And prepared to take a trip.
They climbed aboard the Mayflower
And sailed upon a ship.

The year was 1620 -
On a cold November day
By the shores of Massachusetts
They arrived in Plymouth Bay.

Oh the Pilgrims!
Seeking to be free!
They came here to America
For opportunity!

The first year was the hardest
But their neighbors helped them out.
They met Native Americans
With Squanto as their scout.

They helped the...

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Posted by:Lori #79652

Here are some books I had on my list for Massachusetts -- They are in no particular order.

Schooner by Pat Lowery Collins

Henry David's House by Henry David Thoreau, Steven Schnur, Peter Fiore

Three Young Pilgrims by Cheryl Harness

The Orphan Seal by Fran Hodgkins, Dawn Peterson

M Is for Mayflower: A Massachusetts Alphabet (Discover America State By State. Alphabet Series) by Margot Theis Raven, Jeannie Brett

Tapenum's Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy in Pilgrim Times by Kate Waters, Russ Kendall

On the Mayflower: Voyage of the Ship's Apprentice & A Passenger Girl by Kate Waters, Russ Kendall

Giving Thanks: The 1621 Harvest Feast
by Kate Waters, Russ Kendall

Squanto's Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac, Greg Shed

And Then What Happened, Paul Revere? (Paperstar)
by Jean Fritz, Margot Tomes


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Colonial America Books
Posted by:Dedi #36821

I'm not sure if you are looking for novels or picture books, I have a few thoughts on both--

"Sarah Morton's Day" and "Samuel Eaton's Day" are EXCELLENT photoessays, but they focus on the lives of early Pilgrims. Also, they're picturebooks, but would still be a good reading task for your 5th graders. My third graders loved them.

Right now, my highest group is reading "elizabeth's Diary." It is the story of a young girl in Jamestown, told in 1st person through her journal entries. They are enjoying it. This is a Dear America book. There are also many other colonial and revolution books in the series. I think there are also different levels of difficulty. Also, if you have HBO, check the listings for their televised versions. I just recorded a great one set in 1777, complete with George Washington and...

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read aloud
Posted by:Anneliese #51494

You didn't state the grade level you teach but one book for 4th or higher is Guests by Michael Dorris. It is a different take on the Thanksgiving Story. I also used a chapter book, an older one, called Pilgrim Stories, last year that I really liked because it did not glamorize the story and told more acurately how the pilgrims treated the Native Americans. I also really like Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. It is about a year in the life of a young Obijawa (sorry about the spelling) girl. It is very well written and demonstrates how the Native Americans use their environment to meet their needs and also talks about encounters with settlers including a small pox epidemic.

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Thanksgiving Feast
Posted by:Karen #30713

We have a Thanksgiving Feast with our second graders every year. After studying the history of Thanksgiving, half of the second grade dress as Pilgrims (with paper bonnets/white trash bag aprons for the girls, hats for the boys) and half dress as Native Americans (with head dresses and vests from paper sacks). We all meet in the cafeteria where the cafeteria workers have made us cornbread and serve us apple juice. We make a snack mix with popcorn, peanuts, raisins, m&ms, etc. as seperate classes to bring. The teachers bring beef jerky. The students sit at the tables, alternating Pilgrim/Native American. We say a "Giving Thanks" poem together and have our Feast! The kids really like it!

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Molly's Pilgrim
Posted by:Becky #85856

We make our own "Pilgrims" with empty toilet paper rolls and scraps of fabric. They are a real hit. We line them all up and take their picture for our photo album. We also write our own stories about them, what country they came from, etc. It is lots of fun. I have been doing "Molly's Pilgrim" for years.

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Plimouth Plantation
Posted by:mlg #51891

Plimouth Plantation in Massachusetts has a terrific website on lives of the earliest settlers in Plymouth Bay Colony. One reason that I particularly like it is that it gives a balanced view of the perspectives of both the Puritans and the Wampanoags who were the Native People that inhabited the region. It sure sets the stereotypical view of the earliest days of settlement on its ear. Be sure to use the spelling of Plimouth as that is the "old-world" form of the word.

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