1. The Books We Read:
A good unit study includes several great books. We read several throughout the course of our studies.
Pilgrims of Plimoth by Marcia Sewall- This story was told from the perspective of a pilgrim, so it worked out very well that we “time traveled” to Plymouth Plantation and I dressed up like a pilgrim and read the book to them, as if from my own experience. It was informative and interesting. And the kids loved my pilgrim outfit. My daughter kept asking me personal questions about my children, home, and clothing, so it was a good thing I read ahead.
N.C. Wyeth’s Pilgrims– Mostly we just looked at the pictures and discussed the events that they depicted. It was a good book for doing art and history together. While looking through it, I had the kids search for certain objects in the paintings. It was a good observation exercise.
Sarah Morton’s Day, Samuel Eaton’s Day, Tapenum’s Day– These were wonderful stories of what children did in those days. It helped my children be able to relate more to these people of long ago.
Pilgrim Stories by Margaret Pumphrey- This book tells little episodes in the lives of the Pilgrims from when they were in England, through their time in Holland and then off to the New World. We have been enjoying it and will finish around Thanksgiving- perfect timing, you’d think I’d planned it that way.
2. Pilgrim Activities:
We dressed up like pilgrims.
We did pilgrim chores. They gathered sticks for our fire, fetched water to wash and to water our garden, washed cloth articles (they were towels), gathered pine needles and leaves to stuff their baby sisters’ mattress, churned cream to make butter and fed chickens and chased them back into their pen when they escaped (this last chore was all pretend, but it was their favorite chore that they read about, so they just had to do it).
We also played a few games the pilgrim children played when they had time. We played Naughts and Crosses (Tic Tac Toe in the dirt), Hop Frog, and Marbles.
3. Crafts. We made candles (another chore the pilgrims did- I got the idea from Dresses and Messes.)
We also made lapbooks.
We include minibooks or cards about the route of the Mayflower, the reason for leaving England, what they brought with them on the ship, Pilgrim children’s chores, Pilgrim children’s games, life at Plymouth Plantation, crops grown by the pilgrims, the first Thanksgiving and Squanto’s help.
4. Food. We ate a modernized Pilgrim meal of succotash and corn bread with our homemade butter. We also had fun making pilgrim hat cookies. We all enjoyed those delicious treats. I think we’ll make these again in a few weeks for Thanksgiving.
Our modern Succotash:
1 can cream of corn
1 lb ground beef
2 cups kidney beans (or 1 can)
1 onion chopped
1 tb oil
Cook the onion in oil until translucent, add the ground beef and brown. Add the beans and cream of corn and cook until heated through. Serve with corn bread.