Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thanksgiving Part 1: Native Americans

When I began thinking about how we would incorporate Thanksgiving into our lessons this year, I took into account that we would be in Washington, D.C., the week before Thanksgiving, the big election on November 4th, and that the kids have been asking to learn more about Native Americans.

So we're doing an American History/Patriotic unit that will last the whole month of November:

Week 1: Native Americans (Our focus is on the tribes of Pocahontas, Squanto, and our ancestors the Cherokees. We also took Tuesday to talk about the election, and Superman went with me to the polls after participating in Currclick's mock election.)
Week 2: The American Revolution (with a focus on George Washington and our National Symbols)
Week 3: Field Trip to D.C.!
Week 4: Thanksgiving week (We'll recover from our trip, tie up any loose ends, and wrap up the whole study with our Thanksgiving celebration!)

Whew...this looks like a lot, and we probably won't get around to everything I've planned. My main goal, though, is for our family to come away from our study with a greater understanding of God's hand in the history of our nation and a deepened gratitude for the freedoms and blessings God has granted to the American people.

This week we have spent a lot of time with Pocahontas and the Jamestown colony, and Squanto and the Pilgrims. We've had a lot of fun playing Native American games, making their crafts, and eating their food. Many of the activities we've done came from More Than Moccasins: A Kid's Activity Guide to Traditional North American Indian Lifeby Laurie Carlson. I highly recommend this resource if you're planning any type of Native American unit. Our focus has been on the tribes of Pocahantas and Squanto, as well as the tribe from which we are descended, the Cherokee, but this book contains activities from tribes all across North America.

A sampling of things we've done this week:
-We've eaten popcorn and fruit leather, foods enjoyed by the Native Americans.

-Made wampum (beads used for trading) from modeling clay and traded it for snacks, tools, and "weapons"

-Played Shinny (a game played by many tribes that is similar to hockey and soccer)

We've also read some wonderful books this week. Hopefully I'll have time to post those tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. I'm looking forward to your list of books on this study.

    BTW, I've been having trouble leaving comments here. So I'm trying as Anonymous to see if it goes through. I really liked your final bee project but couldn't get a comment through.



I enjoy reading your comments and so appreciate them. It usually takes me a few days to reply, so thanks for your patience and for dropping by!