Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tuesday's Top 10: Learning about Pilgrims

Thanksgiving is such a special time.  We remember the history of our country, enjoy the harvest of crops, spend time with family, and share our blessings with others.  Turkeys are a big part of the Thanksgiving celebration, but this year in our homeschooling we will focus more on the Pilgrims and their journey.  I've gathered together 10 activities that will help us both learn and celebrate the Pilgrims' voyage.

Top 10 Activities for Learning about Pilgrims

As part of our Heart of Dakota curriculum, we will be reading about the faith, bravery, and hardships of the pilgrims.

Stories of the Pilgrims, Second Edition  -     
        By: Margaret B. Pumphrey

2.  Watch Charlie Brown:  The Mayflower Voyagers.
This film is added as a bonus feature in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.  
It is also available on YouTube.

3.  Use Pilgrim and Native American figures to retell the story and for play.
Another mom shared these on our Heart of Dakota facebook page.  These figurines will be perfect to go along with our stories of the pilgrims and their encounters with Native Americans.  

4.  Make a Mayflower craft.
Here are two handprint ideas I have found.

Thanksgiving - Cute Crafts holiday-homeschooling

Handprint Pilgrims on the Mayflower!!!

And here is a Mayflower ship that the boys can easily build.
It will go great with their Jamestown settlers. :)

As a Mayflower craftivity, we will also make a suitcase for the Mayflower with a list of items needed for the journey.  The writing can be expanded to tell a story of someone on the trip.  Many possibilities!!

mayflower writing

5.  Compare and contrast our life today with what we learn about the life of Pilgrims.
We will use a Venn Diagram to compare modern times to Pilgrim times.  

Comparing pilgrim time to now

Two books that describe the life of pilgrim boys and pilgrim girls are Samuel Eaton's Day and Sarah Morton's Day.  After reading them, we can compare and contrast the lives of pilgrim boys and girls.  Here is a Venn Diagram example:


6.  Thanksgiving Story Bracelet
We plan to read this poem about the Pilgrims journey and the first Thanksgiving.  The colored beads on the bracelet match the poem.  You can download the poem here.

First Grader...at Last!: Thanksgiving Story Bracelet

7.  Pilgrims Blessing Mix
Here is a snack mix that represents the Pilgrims' life.  It could make a great gift. :)

Pilgrim blessing mix

8.  Make a Pilgrim hat and Native American headband.
You can find the Pilgrim hat directions here

Thanksgiving Crafts: Pilgrim Hats | Homemade Hats | FamilyFun

And here are the directions for the Native American headband.

native american indian headband kids craft

9.  Visit a Colonial Village
The American Village in Montevallo, AL is a "nationally pioneering classroom and American history education center."  They offer a one-of-a-kind Thanksgiving experience for children...Living America's Story.  This is just one example of such a place near our home.  I'm sure there are many others throughout the states.


This entertaining and historical book shows that God is the hero of Thanksgiving...not white men or Indians.  It comes highly recommended!

After reading about Squanto, we will make a craft (with goldfish and corn) to show the way Squanto taught the white men to plant corn.

Squanto Craft

We will make a Squanto Snack to go along with his planting corn technique.

Squanto snack (and other ideas for talking about Squanto and the Pilgrims)

And we will also create Indian names for everyone.  Hmmm, maybe something like...
"He Who Talks too Much." ;)  This should be fun!

I can't wait to get started!  And I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!



  1. Doesn't the name "He who talks to much" already belong to someone? :) Have fun!

  2. Great roundup of ideas for a REAL Thanksgiving unit!