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THANKSGIVING UNIT STUDY FUN FAMILY IDEAS

 For learning with real life!
 

Thanksgiving should be a time for family and friends
and learning the real meaning behind the holiday. 
It should also be a time to apply what we've learned
into practical outreach and giving activities and
family share time together.


     THE PILGRIMS
    Some study and research questions -
     1.  Where did the pilgrim's come from?
     2.  Why did the pilgrim's come to America?
     3.  How did they get here and at what cost to themselves?
     4.  Did America prove to be the asylum that they had hoped? Why or why not?
     5.  What did the pilgrim's do for a living before coming to America?
     6.  How did they provide for themselves in the New World?
     7.  What religious liberty did the pilgrim's seek?
     8.  Why not just go along with the King's religious laws to make
          for peace?  Were the Pilgrim's right?  Where can you support
          your answer from the scriptures.
     9.  What is a Puritan?  What is a separatist?

  RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
     Today we think very little of what true religious liberty.  It is taken for granted because right now, here in America, we still have the liberty to worship and honor God according to the dictates of conscience.  Revelation speaks of a time when this gift of liberty will be threatened.  What a precious time to give Thanksgiving to God for the ability to worship Him in peace and truth!
   * Do a research paper on what Religious Liberty is.
   * Where in Revelation does it speak of us being forced to "worship the beast"?
   * The pilgrims took a stand for truth and had faith in God to walk in it.  God honored that faith.  Has there been a time in your life or in the life of someone you know where they have had to stand for truth?

  JOURNALING ACTIVITIES
  * Write out a daily journal for a week in the life of someone on the Mayflower - this may include daily chores, conversations with others aboard, etc.
   * Explain how the pilgrims ended up in Holland before coming to America.
   * Write out the words to one of Thanksgiving Hymns listed below.
   * Write out several Bible verses on Thanksgiving.
   * Retell the first Thanksgiving story and draw pictures to illustrate it.
   * Write a letter as if you were a pilgrim after the first hard winter.  Write this letter to a family member back home in England.  Tell about the experiences of that hard winter.  What would you say?
   * Write out your thanksgiving menu.  Write out invitations to family and friends to invite either to Thanksgiving or to a simple thankfulness meal at your home.

  MAP SKILLS

     On a globe or wall map of the world find Holland (where the pilgrims    came from).
     With a finger trace the route to America.
     1.  Where was the Mayflower supposed to take the Pilgrim's?
     2.  Where did the Mayflower end up?  And why?  Could that have been
           providential?  If so, why?

     Draw on a small map - the route of the Mayflower - draw a small Mayflower ship to indicate the ship's voyage path with dotted lines to America.

  CREATIVE PLAY 
     - Make miniature Pilgrim's and Native Americans out of Paper dolls, puppets, cardboard etc. and act out the Pilgrim's story with the First Thanksgiving.
     - Make a shoe box (or larger) scene of one aspect of the Pilgrim's voyage or life in America.
     - Make a book retelling the Pilgrim Story.  You can bind it using the techniques from Valerie Bendt's book Creating Books with Children.
     - Draw a scene on a large wall or hall of paper showing the first Thanksgiving.

  MAYFLOWER 
     - Find a book that shows the Mayflower and if possible what it was like to ride on the ship.  What did the ship look like?  Where did the Pilgrim's stay?  What was it like?    A good book is "On the Mayflower" by Kate Waters.
     - Draw and color a picture of the Mayflower.  Or make your
         own model of one.
     - What type of food would you eat on the Mayflower?
     - What a day on the ship be like?  What types of chores or activities
         would an adult or a child do?
     - During the voyage to America the ship encountered a fierce storm.
         During the storm a baby was born. What was the Baby's name?
     - How many pilgrims boarded the ship?  How many survived?
     - How many crew members were aboard?
     - Read "If you sailed on the Mayflower" by Ann McGovern.

   PLYMOUTH
     - When the Pilgrims arrived in America, there were no homes for them
  to stay in.  What did they do?  How many homes if any could be built
  quickly before winter?  Where did the pilgrim's stay for the winter?
     - Locate on a map where the Pilgrims settled.
     - How many people died that first winter?  How did they bury their
  dead?  And why did they bury them the way they did?
     - What type of home did the Pilgrims build?  What were they made of?
  Draw a picture of this type of home.

   NATIVE AMERICANS
     - Samoset and Squanto became friends to the pilgrims.  There help was very much needed.  Samoset was an Algonquin and Squanto was a Patuxet Indian.  Find some information on both of these people.  God used them to help the pilgrims begin a new life in America.
     - Read a book on Squanto or listen to the Focus on the Family Audio story of his life.  It is a fascinating account.  God's preservation of his life enabled him to help preserve the lives of the pilgrims.
     - Chief Massasoit agreed to a peace treaty.  There was peace between the settlers and the Native Americans for over 50 years.  What is a peace treaty?  What would be the obligation of both the settlers and the Indians toward each other?

   NATIVE AMERICAN CRAFTS & FUN 
     - A pair of moccasins can be made by locating an old leather coat at the Salvation Army or Thrift store.  Use that to cut out patterns of moccasins for your children.  There are many Indian craft books that will give you slightly different directions.  A child can add beadwork to their finished moccasins.
     - Create a picture with beads.  First draw/color a small picture onto graph paper.  Don't go more than 10 or 12 beads/graphsquares high and 25 or 30 wide.  Then thread your beads together with ribbon or tough string. Ribbon is a little easier to use. Take a ribbon about 6 or 8 feet long and fold in half.  Attach the center of your ribbon onto a ring or clasp and double not it - there should be two equal lengths of ribbon extending from the ring. For each row (high) thread the correct number and color onto one length of ribbon and then run the 2nd length of ribbon through the same beads from the opposite direction. Pull tight and then thread the next row of beads onto one length of ribbon and then follow the 2nd ribbon through the opposite direction - pull tight.  Keep this same threading going until your beadwork is finished.  Tie off at the end.
     - Make Corn Husk Dolls or Indian dolls.
     - The book Algonquin and Iroquois Crafts for you to Make by Janet & Alex D'Amato has many craft projects - birch bark canoes, indian village, clothes, weaving and more.
     - Learn to play the Indian Flute or Ocarina.
     - Draw Write Now Book 3 has drawing and writing activities based on the Native Americans, North America and the Pilgrims.  These would be good for helping a child to draw the pictures he would like to.

   FOOD 
     - What did the Native Americans eat?  What did the Pilgrims eat?  How is it different from what we eat today?
     - What are some foods that the pilgrims learned to grow from the Native Americans?
     - What types of nuts and berries, grains, herbs, fruits and wild vegetables would the Native Americans and pilgrims have eaten?  Remember they lived in the New England area.
     - Make a simple nature notebook/field book of the different animals and plants that the pilgrims used.
     - The book "My Very Own Thanksgiving - a book of cooking and crafts" by Robin West, contains wonderful kid fun recipes.  Some recipes included: Squanto's Squash, Basket O' Biscuits, Veggie Pizza, Sparkling Cider, Pilgrim Peas and then recipes for crafts for Napkin Rings, Thanksgiving Centerpieces, paper dolls and many other food and crafty fun recipes too.  A neat little book.
     -Take the time to make some pies (apple, mince, pumpkin, berry etc.).  Also make some special holiday dishes throughout the month of November.  Stuff a squash with some stuffing and bake it, make a healthy roast, make pumpkin pie from scratch with a small pumpkin (and roast the seeds - yum!), make popcorn balls, homemade bread or rolls and other goodies.

  THANKSGIVING
    - What was the first Thanksgiving like?  Why did they have the feast together with the Native Americans? Make a list of all the foods you think that they had on that first thanksgiving.
    -  The first Thanksgiving feast lasted for several days.  What did they do?  What games and activities did they enjoy together?
    - Read "The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving" by Ann McGovern.
    - Make a list of the things that you are thankful for this Thanksgiving.  Have a special family worship together talking about the first Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving this year.  Talk of the providence in God for the first pilgrims and us today.  Then hold a special family prayer thanking God for His providential hand in your lives.
    - Make Thanksgiving Place cards for each person coming for Thanksgiving Dinner.  On the card either write a Thanksgiving Bible Text (a text of praise to God) or something you are thankful to God for about that person.

HYMNS OF THANKSGIVING
  ~ Here are a few Hymn titles to research and learn to sing as a family during worship time.  These would make excellent copy work into journals.

* Come, Ye Thankful People by Henry Alford
* For the Beauty of the Earth by Folliott S. Pierpoint
* We Plow the Fields by Matthias Claudius
* For Sunrise Hope and Sunset Calm by Amy Carmichael
* Now Thank we all our God  by Martin Rinkart
* As Saints of Old by Frank von Christierson

AUDIO TAPES
 * Persecuted and Betrayed & The First Thanksgiving - Two Stories From Volume 6 of Your Story Hour.
 * Johnny Appleseed - Two Stories from Great New Stories Volume 3 of Your Story Hour
  * Tape 2 from Diana Warings "What in the World's Going on here Volume 2" - deals with colonization from a Judeo Christian perspective.

BOOKS TO READ TOGETHER:

On the May Flower by Kate Waters
Sarah Morton's Day - A day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl by Kate Waters
Samuel Eaton's Day - A day in the Life of a Pilgrim  Boy by Kate Waters
Stories of the Pilgrims by Margaret Pumphrey
The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern
My Very Own Thanksgiving - a book of cooking and crafts by Robin West
Food and Recipes of the Pilgrims by George Erdosh
If you sailed on the Mayflower by Ann McGovern
Pilgrim Thanksgiving by Wilma Pitchford Hays
Christmas on the Mayflower by Wilma Pitchford Hays
The Landing of the Pilgrims by James Daugherty
The First Thanksgiving by Linda Hayward
Meet the Pilgrim Fathers by Elizabeth Payne
Squanto, Friend of Pilgrims by Clyde Robert Bulla
Molly's Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen
Pilgrims Plantation by June Behrens
Pilgrim children on the Mayflower by Ida DeLage
Three Young Pilgrims by Cheryl Harness
Indian Corn and other gifts by S.A. Lavine
Maize is  Corn by Aliki
Eating the Plates by Lucille Penner
A Child's Story of America by Christian Librety Academy Edition
Squanto the Pilgrim Adventure by kate Jassem
175 Easy-to-do Thanksgiving crafts by Sharon Umnit
Indians by Edwin Tunis

VIDEOS
Plimoth Plantation by Video Tours History Collection  1989 (we found this at through
    interlibrary loan
Squanto and the First Thanksgiving  by Rabbit Ears Productions 1993
Old Salem by Video Tours History Colleciton 1990
Where America Began:  Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown by Finley-Holiday Film Corp

     ~ Take time to enjoy the specialness of this Thanksgiving as a family.

  COPYRIGHT 2000 by Joan LaCelle and LaCelle Family Ministries
 
 

Clipart on this webpage is used by permission.

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