November 3, 2011

Let's Talk Turkey and Wampum!

With the arrival of November comes the beginning of our Thanksgiving unit--which is going to go from now until Thanksgiving. I have been snagging great ideas for arts/crafts, math, social studies, language arts, etc from all my wonderful blogging friends as well as some E-books I downloaded from the Scholastic Teacher Express site. Yesterday was the first day of our studies and we started off my making Turkey Magnets. Talk about a little boy in heaven! He ADORES paint and really got into this activity. These are turkeys of which you have NEVER seen the like! LOL! We made several since Little Britches wanted to make sure one graced the refrigerator of all his main relatives!

Baby Britches has been going crazy seeing them on the fridge and signs "please" and points at them! LOL!
We cut each one out and now I'm making a little card to go with them before we bag them up and mail them out!
Today I introduces the history of Thanksgiving to Little Britches. I found a really good simple story in my What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know book. There are no dates. Just a basic summary of why they left England. Then a bit about their voyage--including a sample (pretend) diary entry for a small child on the voyage. Little Britches enjoyed that because it was written from a kids point of view--making it easier for him to understand. After we read the chapter, we talked about it and discussed the Indians who helped the Pilgrims and what it was like for them. I referenced the way the Indians helped them to our scripture of the week "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39).

Next we looked at images online of the Mayflower including a cross-section of the ship to get an idea about what it would be like to have to stay below deck for so long. Little Britches favorite part? The Poop Deck of course! LOL! We pulled down our world map to see how big the ocean is from England (which he remembered from our FIAR of How to make an Apple Pie and see the World)to the "New World" and then compared that to the distance from our house (in Kentucky) to "Mum-Mum's House" (in Washougal, WA). We decided the ocean distance was at least TWICE as big!

We spoke about the Indians a bit more than I explained that the indians used beads as a way to buy things--instead of money. We talked about Wampum and experimented with dyeing our own purple "wampum". My color of purple was gorgeous, but I guess it doesn't work well on whole wheat pasta! LOL! I didn't even think about that! LOL! I will go buy some regular tomorrow to try again. In the meantime we used white and purple plastic pony beads. He strung them on a piece of yarn--purple on one side, white on the other. 

Then throughout the day he had to pay me "wampum" for different things. Using the phone to call Papaw. Getting a drink of water. Getting an apple. We'll continue doing this for awhile so he gets the idea--or until he gets tired of it.

We had an excellent day of class and I'm excited that he's enjoying learning about the history of Thanksgiving...I think his favorite thing to do today was to! 

I too made a turkey; however, my turkey did not look as cool as his, so it didn't get photographed! LOL!

If you need any more details or want a supplies list of what we used, please let me know! This is a great activity and one that could easily be adapted for even a classroom!

1 comment:

Michelle said...

lol about your turkey, Lisa! ha ha! I really can relate to that. Love that you made one though. =) Sounds like you are off to a great start with your unit! Your turkey magnets came out cute. Can't wait to see what else you do! We are rowing Cranberry Thanksgiving and this is the first time I have taught on Thanksgiving!

Have a blessed time in your learning. =)