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US History Week 2- Pilgrims

This week in US History, we learned about the early colonies, including the Pilgrims at Plymouth and the Dutch in New Amsterdam.  The kids were all surprised to learn that Thanksgiving had anything to do with the Pilgrims, which I found amusing since I know we talked about it last year.  I even put together a list of Youtube videos about Thanksgiving for them.

For our main notebooking activity, I printed off the map to the New World page from this Thanksgiving early reader and had them color it.  We talked about how difficult the journey would have been and how long it took.  Together, we imagined what it might have been like to arrive in a place without already built houses, grocery stores, transportation, etc.  It's so foreign to anything we experience in this era.

This week, our hands-on history project was Beeswax Candles!  I bought the sheets of wax from Amazon and cut one in thirds for the kids to try rolling them into candles.  We haven't lit them yet, as they decided to wait until Christmas and perhaps use them for our Advent Wreath.  The kids loved the project, and wanted to do it all day.  I loved that it was a beautiful and quick craft, which results in something useful that can be used up (less clutter).

If you're putting together a theme unit on Pilgrims or want to make Thanksgiving more interesting, check out these fun books and toys!  Scroll to the bottom of the post for more Thanksgiving ideas.

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