First we learned about the Mayflower, as it was fitting to explain who was here in the New World when the Pilgrims and Puritans arrived. We used this great virtual field trip at Scholastic to learn about the ship.
Afterwards we created sails out of construction paper. We discussed and wrote some important facts on the sails. We then glued them to craft sticks, and painted an empty butter container brown. Lastly, we took a handful of clay and placed it into the boat, stuck the craft sticks into it, and the ship was complete!
After that activity we watched "This is America Charlie Brown (The Mayflower Voyages)" which can be viewed here.
We then proceeded to a learning activity that was sparked by my sons interest. He had previously seen teepe's at a local Native American festival, and was interested in learning more about how they were built and used. The book Look Inside a Tepee provided a great overview, and helped him to understand that it was the Plain's Indians who used teepes. After reading the book we created our own teepe's with craft sticks, construction paper and washi tape.
We revisited the story of the first Thanksgiving by completing this story bracelet. I found the free printable over at Inspired by Kindergarten.
We were missing a couple of colors for the beads, but we substituted, and the activity was a hit! Our son was able to repeat the story and tell others what each bead represented.
After the activity our son was still interested in learning more about how the Native Americans lived prior to the Pilgrims arriving. Even though the book America's REAL First Thanksgiving is admittedly for more advanced readers, and disputes the first Thanksgiving we had been learning about, we decided to use it to gain some more insight into the Native American community of the Timucua.
Our reading sparked my son's interest in canoes and how the Native Americans designed them. We did some extended reading about their use of canoes at the website Indians.org.
This sparked his interest even more, so we decided to do a trial and error canoe building activity. We actually completed this activity with a group of kids I teach at a co-op. We gathered a ton of random materials (paper towel tubes, straws, craft sticks, duct tape, aluminum foil, saran wrap, rubber bands, brads, paperclips, pipe cleaners, etc.) and they went to work to create a "canoe" that would float without taking on water for at least 3 minutes. He did a great job- and so did the others!
We had read about the diet of Native Americans and then proceeded to read Corn is Maize: The Gift of the Indians. We learned all about glorious corn, and how vital it was to Native Americans and their quality of life.
For an activity to follow our reading I took some of the most important facts about Native Americans and corn found in the text, and typed them up. We then read and discussed each one. He colored them and then cut and glued them onto corn stalks that we cut out of construction paper. We used "Indian Corn" colors as described in the book.
Lastly we used a brown paper bag to create this Thankful Turkey. We talked about what we thought the Native Americans would have been thankful for at the first Thanksgiving. We then made a list of the things we are thankful for. Our son wrote his on the paper bag turkeys feathers. We glued them onto the turkey for an awesome thankful display.
We are planning on continuing our learning by completing more activities over the holiday week from the book American Indian Crafts Kids Can Do!
Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!!
I am joining other fantastic bloggers for this Adventure Story Book Club blog series.
We'll be doing a post similar to this one each month.
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For more Book, Craft, & Activity ideas check out Adventure Story Book Club’s Around the World Pinterest Board.