Tuesday, November 13, 2012

School Resources and Thanksgiving

I mentioned a few posts back that I had been searching sites for teaching resources with regards to Thanksgiving and wound up with a computer malware virus from an online video.  So after Kevin diligently worked to restore my computer I was a bit hesitant to download anything.

I then went back through the materials I had on hand from early schooling on this subject with Amber and Cameron, plus a few that have been added since those days.  I was pleasantly surprised that I had a  good supply already and could simply add a few activities to make a usable unit study.

I started with background history to help understand this countries beginnings and the groups that first came to settle and why.

I used the DVD,  First Landing that was put out by CBN.  This story follows the trials of the early Jamestown settlement and lays a foundation for the later arrival of the Pilgrims. 

I then had Hannah read the children's book by Ann McGovern ...If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620.  This is a well written and illustrated book that gives factual information as well as the reality of life on the voyage and once you arrived  as life would be for a child at this time.  The reality of how difficult it was, how hard the kids had to work as well as the adults.  An appreciation of things we take for granted every day as simple as cutlery, chairs to sit in for meals, our availability of food, a bed to sleep in not a trundle or sleeping loft.  Then when the kids did have some leasure time their games were with simplistic found or hand made objects.

It offers a well written story of life at this time that is easy for kids to see and understand.  After going through the book with Hannah, I had her read the book and cover what she had learned with Lauren. It's always interesting to hear what points really stood out for your kids as they tell their version of what they've heard and learned.

The next book we are still going through is The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving, also by Ann McGovern.  This book also deals with the Pilgrims voyage and the trials of beginning in this new land.  The dangers and hardships they had to overcome.  The realities of a heavy mortality rate for these early settlers, and the inner strength they had to draw on in holding to their faith and working to survive those very difficult early years.

The blessing of their meeting and interactions with Indians willing to help them and show them how to survive and thrive and the reasons for what would become known as the first Thanksgiving.  Also, the foods they would have eaten then as opposed to what we consider traditional fare today.

Then finally to have some fun and mix it up a bit, we will be watching this week when we complete this second book,  the Peanuts Classic A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.  It will probably stand in stark contrast to the realities of life for those on the Mayflower, but will round out our study in preparation for our own Thanksgiving celebration.   I also intend to let the girls help with some of the cooking preparations and table setting to play their own roles in Thanksgiving traditions for us.

Have had the girls do some of their own drawings and colored some pictures I had in my old files of Pilgrims.  All in conjunction with what they've learned.  So as we celebrate they will have this history lesson under their belts and a better understanding of what the holiday is about.

Still busy making my lists and purchases in preparation for our meal.  After reading these materials for their schooling, I have to say how thankful it makes me for the ease of our ability to buy and prepare our meals today.  For the homes we have to live in and the rich abundance of blessings we have on any given day!!


  1. We dont celebrate thanksgiving over here. But when I lived in the US I loved the celebration.

    1. I didn't know you lived in the US, when was that? It is a time to take pause and be thankful for all you have. It can also be an opportunity for overeating some of your favorite foods : )