Saturday, November 19, 2011

pilgrims & native americans.

We've been talking turkey the past week or so but with a short week ahead it only makes sense to theme it up, right?!  :)  Monday we will become Pilgrims & Tuesday we'll be Native Americans.  If you'd like to participate {or just pick and choose a few items} here are some of the things we'll be doing as we work toward our long holiday weekend!

I don't know how I taught Thanksgiving before finding these books.  With vocab galore they have photographs to depict the time, tell the story from a child's perspective and help my five year olds really get into character.  If you do not own them, stop what you're doing and go make a purchase. Seriously...Google is your friend. And I wouldn't be if I didn't require you to get them. Off you go.

I found these pictures somewhere on the internet but I thought it was a great writing and vocabulary activity for my students so I put the pictures into a Word document for a labeling activity!  Don't worry teachers...answers included.  ;)

To dress the part you have to have authentic {construction paper} headgear, right?!  My helper and I created a step-by-step guide.  Start with a full sheet of white for the ladies.  Fold it in half hamburger style and cut out one of the corners.  When you open it up, fold back the long side {this will frame the face}.
Take the back corners and staple them to each side corner.  The staples will be at the bottom of the back of the bonnet.  Voila!  Hole punch each front side to attach yarn and tie under little pilgrim chins.

For the gents, start with a full sheet of black.  {I only had brown at home this morning!}  Fold it in half  hamburger style twice.

Start cutting over on the open side {on the right in the above picture} then slant up toward the top folds.

When you open it up, you should have a hat like this. Staple either side of their little pilgrim heads to ensure a nice snug fit!
I also give the boys a piece of yellow paper to cut a buckle and glue on to their hats.

Is any holiday ever complete without Charlie Brown?!  Watch it on YouTube to see the Peanuts characters' voyage to America. 

{native americans}
I hope you still have that bookstore browser open...because here's another great one by Kate Waters!

I believe these pictures were given to me by my children's art professor when I was student teaching so I can't give credit as to where they came from, but they're too good not to share!  Students can copy them into a journal, use them to write a rebus story or draw them on paperbag vests.
The vests {while cute} drive me a little bonkers because the kids never want to wear them for more than 30 seconds and it takes me forever to cut out the pieces to get them prepped.  So I've gotten away from those and we add these symbols to our Native American headdresses, which guessed it...sentence strips with feathers glued to the back.  :)  We usually use real feathers but if you don't have any, just cut apart any feather coloring sheet and let the kids design their own!

{1st Thanksgiving}
I created this vocabulary journal for use in a writing center or as a whole group activity.  If you don't want to print out individual copies, you could also do it whole group on the SmartBoard.  If you don't have that luxury, I did make half pages to help cut down on your copies!  There's a word bank at the end to choose from and instead of one large blank there's one small blank per letter to make it a little easier to figure out.
This Venn diagram allows your children to compare Thanksgiving foods from the first feast to theirs today.  I like seeing the different foods that my students eat based on their family traditions and cultures so not all diagrams will be the same!  My kids always love to learn that they ate popcorn at the first Thanksgiving but aren't so enthused to hear about the oysters and mussels or venison!

P.S. If you like these adorable graphics from {Lettering Delights} sign up for their newsletter to get 9 free fonts!  {They won't bombard your inbox but you'll get emails about sales and new products.}

I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving and take some time to not only recognize what it is you're thankful for, but to share it with others and let those special people in your life know how blessed you are to have them.

{Shout out} to Chappy, Mama, Gram, Baby Sis, Pants & Hubs.  I'm thankful for you every day!
And remember...calories don't count when you're with family!  ;)


  1. You have a great blog! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I just gave you the Sunshine Award 2011! Come on over if you haven't got it yet and grab the image! I ♥Love♥ your blog!
    Fern Smith’s Classroom Ideas!

  3. Wow! Thank you Fern! There's a shout out coming your way!!! ;)


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