Saturday, January 19

We Were There With the Mayflower Pilgrims

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When King Henry VIII made himself head of the Church of England in 1534, many people were unhappy.  Some of them created a new church and called themselves "Separatists.”  They were treated poorly because they did not conform, so many moved to Holland for religious freedom.

About a decade later, they joined with a group of investors to get ships so that they could sail to 
America.  The investors provided them with supplies for the journey, and the Separatists agreed to send fish, timber, and fur back to England for seven years to pay off their debts.

The colonists began with two ships – the Mayflower and Speedwell – but had to leave the Speedwell in England due to it taking on water.  Some people stayed in England, and the rest crowded onto the Mayflower.  Not everyone aboard was a Separatist; some were “Strangers” who were coming to the New World for its opportunities.  There were 102 colonists and 26 crew members on the 66 day journey.  Two people died and one baby, Oceanus Hopkins, was born on the ship.

In November 1620, the Mayflower reached Provincetown.  About 24,000 Native Americans of the Wampanoag tribe lived in the area at the time.  There were minor skirmishes between the two groups.  Still aboard the ship, the men signed the Mayflower Compact, which was an agreement of government.

They pulled into Plymouth Harbor in December 1620, and began the arduous task of setting up a home site.  They found land that the Patuxet tribe had abandoned (due to a smallpox epidemic), and this provided them with a good harbor, a clean supply of water, cleared fields for planting, a hill to build a fort on, and no nearby hostile natives.  One Patuxet remained who did not die from the plague; Squanto helped these colonists survive the first winter.

Still living on the Mayflower while homes were being built, people began to get sick from disease.  They contracted pneumonia and scurvy, and two or three died each day during the first months in Plymouth.  Half of the crew died; the remaining crew returned to England in the spring.

Squanto, Samoset, and Massasoit helped the colonists to plant seeds, hunt, and live like the Native Americans.  They lived in relative peace alongside the colonists, and brought much food to the first harvest gathering, which we call Thanksgiving today.

Check out this Charlotte-Mason style Thankful activity bundle....these morning time plans will make your gentle learning a delight for this season of gratitude and reflection!


Make / Do
  • Take a virtual field trip at Plimoth Plantation
  • Write ten negative things in your life; then find a reason to be thankful for them.  For example, I’m thankful for the spot I find at the far side of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking

Watch / Listen

Define / Identify
  • Pilgrims
  • Vestments
  • Squanto
  • Indentured servants
  • Mayflower Compact
  • William Bradford
  • Wampanoag
  • Samoset
  • Massasoit
  • Patuxet
  • Pneumonia
  • Scurvy
  • Sachem
  • Separatists
  • New World
  • Colony
  • Leyden
  • Investor
  • Puritan                          
  • Common House
  • The Pilgrims made a peace treaty with Chief Massasoit.  What do you think would be important to include in a treaty?
  • Read “THE WAMPANOAG SIDE OF THE FIRST THANKSGIVING STORY.” .”  Why do you think the story of Thanksgiving changed so much through the years?  What do you think of the Native American tribes referring to this as the “Day of Mourning?”
  • Write a newspaper article describing the first Thanksgiving as though you were there.  Remember to address the questions : who, what, when, where, why, and how.

Pilgrim Hat

  • black construction paper
  • yellow construction paper
  • scissors
  • white construction paper
  • staples
  • glue stick

  • Cut out a strip of black paper that is 2" long by as far around as your head is.  Staple the ends together to make the band that will hold the hat on your head.
  • Cut out a hat shape from black paper, at least 12" tall (from top to bottom).  Make it look like the one in the picture.
  • Cut out a strip of white paper that is 1" wide to make a hat band.
  • Cut out a 4" square of yellow paper, and then fold it in half and cut out a square from the center that is half the size (like the picture) to make a hat buckle.
  • Glue the white band to the black hat, then glue the yellow buckle on top of that.  Glue the hat to the big, black hat band that will go around your head.  Let it dry, then you can wear it.

Access the complete unit in the 'We Were There' Novel Studies Bundle!

Includes THIRTY-SIX unit studies covering World & American History. Each unit addresses a new topic, spanning the the ancient world through post-WW2.  Each unit has introductory text, which will give the student basic background information about the topic at hand.

  • There are photographs and illustrations, and we have also included primary documents when available.
  • After this text, there are featured videos, which augment the background information and help make the topic more accessible for more visual students.
  • You will also find a short list of reading books, including a featured novel that the unit builds upon.
  • There are vocabulary words, places, and people to identify.
  • Reading comprehension, critical thinking questions, and writing assignments are included.
  • We add fun with hands-on activities and extra videos to watch that will bring the era to life.

These studies are directed toward upper grades students, but some have resources for younger students so that the whole family can work together. Our family has used unit studies as curriculum for many years, and we hope that your family will enjoy these, too!

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1 comment:

  1. i like your make/do... good to remember to find a way to be thankful even for the hard (or sometimes just slightly annoying things).


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