Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Unit Study

This is a very busy season for us and our history studies do not coincide with the landing of the Pilgrims in America. Even so, I love highlighting the reason why we celebrate Thanksgiving and the attitude of some of the original settlers of our country, so I set aside a day to focus on the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving. 

Chilly Little Pilgrim Boys

The first part of our day involved pretending our living room rug was the Mayflower while I read stories such as On The Mayflower by Kate Waters, with beautiful photographs by Russ Kendall. We also read N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrims, pausing when they got to Plymouth Harbor to interject Samuel Eaton's Day, also by Kate Waters and Russ Kendall. A few days prior we had read Sarah Morton's Day, so we had the Pilgrim's pretty well covered in picture book form. While on the rug-ship the children also composed letters or journal entries in the words of their Pilgrim counterparts.

The Captain

The children enjoyed reading the Bible, singing a Psalm and acting out the eventful journey, especially dramatic events such as a storm. Once the Pilgrims had landed in our stories, we left the rug and did a few crafts.

Intent On His Project
I found some adorable handprint turkeys on Pinterest, and since this was our quick and easy version, we made our turkeys out of construction paper that we had in the house. Unfortunately we were out of yellow, so our feet are a little pale. The example below, was obviously done by our little girl, as seen by the heart embellishments. We added some words describing things we were thankful for to the feathers, and voila, it was an easy handprint-thankfulness turkey.

Since we were also reading about Squanto and the other Native Americans who the Pilgrims encountered we then moved onto making Indian feather headbands. I used the scraps from the turkey project for the feathers and the kids stapled and made their own designs. Ella also took some scrap paper to make a corn cob.


After all the crafting fun and clean up we ate our pottage, which was leftover vegetable beef soup that I had made in the crock pot last night, and then rewarmed this morning with a cup of lentils added.

Our celebrations were fun and easy, and when lunch was over, and the clean up done, I sent the children out to play Indians in the bright sunshine. It was a nice break for them from bookwork and a memorable reminder of the life experiences of some of the first settlers to our country.

1 comment: