Monday, November 12, 2018

Pilgrim Activities

These pilgrim activities are sure to make your lessons on long ago and today engaging and memorable for your students. Are you learning about the first Thanksgiving? It's the perfect time to fit those social studies standards on life long ago into your lessons.

We have been learning all about Thanksgiving and what life was like for the Pilgrims.  We decided to spend one day comparing our life to theirs, so we stepped into the shoes of a Pilgrim and tried out some of their daily chores with these pilgrim activities.  

I set up 8 different stations and the students rotated around to each one, doing a different activity that the Pilgrim children would have done in their daily life.  Take a look at everything we did!

Station 1 - The pilgrims wrote with a feather quill.

At this area, students tried writing with a feather quill.  The quickly found out that using a pencil was much easier!

Station 2 - The pilgrims made quilts.

At this station, the students created their own paper quilt square using pre cut triangles.  They glued them on their square and then we mounted all of our quilt pieces together to make a class friendship quilt!

Station 3 - The pilgrims cooked.

Now it was time for the students to try a little cooking! We worked together to make a pumpkin pie and then the kids did a sequencing page when they were finished. 

Station 4 - The pilgrims planted gardens.

At this station, each child planted a seed.  We will water them and watch them grow in our classroom Pilgrim garden.

Station 5 - The pilgrims hunted.

The students loved this Thanksgiving themed write the room activity.  I hid 9 different animal pictures around the classroom.  They were woodland animals that the pilgrims might have seen when they were out hunting.  The students looked around the room for animals and wrote them down as they spotted them on their hunt!

Station 6 - The pilgrims fished.

What kid can resist a magnetic fishing pole? At this station, the students fished for addition facts.  Each time they caught a fish they had to find the correct answer on their worksheet and color it in. 

Station 7 - The pilgrims built houses.

During our unit on the first Thanksgiving, we learned that the pilgrims had to build their homes.  We used mini pretzel sticks and a cute worksheet to built our own pilgrim houses.

Station 8 - The pilgrims made clothing.

Finally, at our last station, the children practiced sewing using lacing cards of pilgrim dresses and shirts. 

If you're looking for some new activities for Thanksgiving, these stations are sure to keep your students engaged and learning! Hop over here to take a closer look at everything that's included.  

Looking for more First Thanksgiving Ideas? Take a look at the companion resource - The First Thanksgiving Interactive Book. 

Sunday, November 4, 2018

The First Thanksgiving

The story of the first Thanksgiving is always popular during the month of November and this lesson is a big hit in my classroom with the interactive activities and crafts.  This non-fiction lesson is sure to fit in with your history and social studies standards this month!

We make an interactive book about the first Thanksgiving.  We spend 5 days learning about the holiday and each day we do a different page in our book. Since we live in Ohio, we can't go on a field trip to Plymouth Plantation.  We do the next best thing and visit Scholastic's website,  The First Thanksgiving, which has some great virtual field trips and videos that we also use.

Day 1

Begin your lesson with the book The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern. This book describes the voyage of the Mayflower and the difficulties encountered by the Pilgrims during their first year in the New World and recounts how they celebrated their first harvest.

After your read aloud, make a T chart with your class comparing Thanksgiving long ago to today.

If you are lucky enough to have a subscription to Scholastic News Magazine, be sure to check out the back issues.  They have some great short videos about the first Thanksgiving and the Wampanoag people. (Insert Shout out to Scholastic here!!!) Seriously, the Scholastic News Magazine is the best. Run to your principals office right now and ask them to get you a subscription to this little gem.

Next, we make the first page of our interactive book about the first Thanksgiving.  The students make this cute pilgrim craft and complete the missing vocabulary word on each page. 

Day 2

On day two, it's time to watch a video about the Mayflower on the Scholastic website called The First Thanksgiving.  Have you visited this site?  It's a treasure trove of information on Thanksgiving and perfect for your K-2 students.  It has virtual tours of Plymouth Plantation, the Mayflower replica and a Wampanoag Village.   It's a great site....just right for young students and they will learn so much about the Pilgrims voyage on the Mayflower.  

On day two, students make the second page of our interactive book.  They make a simple Mayflower craft and fill in the missing vocabulary word. 

Day 3 

On day 3, a great book to read is Sarah Morton's Day. It describes the life of a Pilgrim child and some of the chores that she did each day. 

Next,  revisit the Scholastic website and learn all about the Pilgrim's housing and way of life. Finally, make the next page of the interactive book which is all about the pilgrims homes.  

Day 4 

Next, we learn about the Wampanoag people. We read the book Tapenum's Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy In Pilgrim Times.

We visit Scholastic once again to compare the daily life of the Wampanoag and the pilgrims.  We also do the next page of our interactive book, which is about the Wampanoag. 

Day 5  

On the final day, of this unit, students will learn about the feast. Pilgrims of Plymouth  is a simple book about the pilgrims, full of real photos from Plymouth Plantation.  Take one last visit to Scholastic to watch a slideshow all about the feast.  Finish up the unit with the final page of the interactive book which is all about the feast. 

These interactive books always turn out adorable and make a nice little Thanksgiving gift for someone at home! Take a closer look at The First Thanksgiving Interactive Book here. 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Halloween Writing Activities

Halloween writing activities wouldn't be complete without a few monsters, wouldn't you agree?  We had a great time this week making and writing about some spooky creatures!

Day 1

We started out the lesson by reading aloud When a Monster Is Born by Sean Taylor.  This circle story begins with a tale about what happens when monsters are born and it was perfect for our lesson on adopting our own monster!

After we read the story, we talked about what monsters looked like.  We worked together in interactive writing to create this chart with adjectives that describe monsters. 

When we were finished, my firsties made their own monsters! I had trays filled with different patterns for bodies, eyes, ears, hands feet, etc and the kids could choose whatever they wanted to make their own silly monster. 

Next, it was time for the students to write their own list of adjectives to describe their monster.

Day 2

The next day, the students made a little baby book about their monster.  They gave their monster a name, wrote about where it was born, it's first outing and it's "beastie" friends!

Day 3

Finally, it was time for the students to write a little story about their monster. I began by reading them the story Go Away, Big Green Monster!  by Ed Emberly.  We reviewed our adjectives chart describing monsters. 

Next,  I made my own large monster and show the students how to write a story about a monster in shared writing. I showed them how to include adjectives to describe their monster.  We also practiced writing commas in a series. 

Then,  it was time for the students to write their own stories. They used their list of adjectives from the day before to help them in their writing. 

Want to adopt some monsters in your room too? Grab Adopt a Monster here. 

Have you seen the other resources in my Adopt series? Click here to check them all out!