Teach Children about Pilgrims the Mayflower and Thanksgiving in the new World
By: R. Renée Bembry
The best way to teach children about the pilgrims is to teach them from pilgrim-oriented books and websites, take them to plays, and provide them with hands on learning materials and assignments.
The types of pilgrim books children should read must depend on their ages and academic ability. It is easy to find storybooks at libraries, bookstores, book aisles in discount stores, and online. Teaching materials are also available online and at bookstores. Discount stores may not have teaching materials per se, however they may have coloring books with pilgrim related pictures and little blurbs on the pages that explain what the pilgrims are doing and why.
When taking children to libraries to get pilgrim books, it is a good idea to check with librarians to find out about Thanksgiving crafts and story times. When librarians read about Thanksgiving, they read about pilgrims. Libraries usually provide crafts and story hour free of charge and children get to sit in classroom like settings to listen to librarians tell about pilgrims, the Mayflower, Native Americans, and so on.
Teaching about pilgrims should include using pilgrim themed workbooks. Children can read little stories and poems, as well as look at illustrations about pilgrims, the Mayflower, Native Americans, Thanksgiving, planting corn and much more. After viewing the materials, children should answer workbook questions regarding their readings and regarding the illustrations.
Another good thing to do when teaching children about pilgrims is to have them make up stories after they learn the provided information. They can write their stories on one or two sheets of paper. Then they can draw pictures showing what their stories are about on plain white paper or cut out pictures from old magazines and glue them to construction paper. Staple, tape, or glue the stories to top or bottom edges of construction paper. After project completion, tack pictures with attached stories to bulletin boards.
Singing songs about pilgrims, of course, is a fun interactive way to teach children about pilgrims. It may be, in fact, the best way to teach young children who have not learned to read and write yet. They can sing about pilgrims with their teachers.
Games and printable activity sheets with pilgrim themes also make excellent choices for teaching children about pilgrims. Games like pilgrim bingo, harvest bingo and pilgrim and harvest word finds, mazes, and crossword puzzles make excellent learning tools.
When teaching children about pilgrims, try to include easy to read maps that show children where pilgrims began their journey and how they crossed the Atlantic from Europe to reach Plymouth Massachusetts where they formed the Plymouth Colony. Seeing where the Mayflower and other pilgrim ships sailed will help children understand what it means to come from lands far away. Children can make costumes to understand how pilgrims dressed and pre-Thanksgiving feasts to learn about foods pilgrims ate.