Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Learning About the Pilgrims and the Mayflower

As we were walking to lunch a few weeks ago, one of our students said, "We need to get our Pow Wow stuff out like the other classes." It's hard for the current First Graders to understand that we don't have the Pow Wow celebration in First Grade, just Kindergarten. But it is a time to reflect and talk about our tribe from last year and discuss what we remember about it. For the past few weeks, we have been learning about the Pilgrims, Mayflower, and how the Native Americans helped these early settlers through harsh winters. We have been reading a few chapters a day of the book, "...If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620." This book is written in a question and answer format which is very familiar to the students because we just finished a writing unit on nonfiction question and answer books. Questions such as "Who were the Pilgrims?", "What could the children take with them on the trip?", and "Did the children go to school?" are a few of the very interesting questions in this book. Students also learned that the Pilgrims had to stay in the same clothes for months and one of the first things they did when they came to shore was wash their clothes!
We are complimenting this text with a class book where students are drawing the Mayflower, Pilgrims, Native Americans, and of course turkeys. They are writing some fun facts that they have learned about the Pilgrims journey to the New World in their books. The students have learned that the Pilgrims were thankful to their Native American friends because without them they would have never survived. For the Pilgrims, it was a time to give thanks and we share that tradition with them on Thanksgiving Day!

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