Thursday, November 8, 2012

Gobble up some Freebies!

Y'all...can you believe it?  We only have 8 school days left before Thanksgiving break!  I don't know how in the world I'll even get through explorers and jump ahead to Pilgrims by then, but we're on our way.  I found a great video on today.  It held every single one of my babies' attention at the end of the day, after testing in the morning, and after a be-a-utiful recess!  It's called Animated Hero Classics:  Christopher Columbus, and does a really nice job of explaining the childhood dream of travel, the quest for funding the voyage, and the accurate portrayal of Columbus' discovery of the West Indies.  I'm telling you, my kids have never been more interested in history!  I'm planning one more day with a few explorers, and then moving fast to the English Pilgrims' arrival.  We've already studied Native Americans, and I've previewed the Cherokee Trail of Tears to my babies, because our focus in South Carolina is change over time in our local community, and the Cherokee are the most prominent Native Americans in the upstate of S.C.  They're hooked!  I think after Thanksgiving, we'll move forward quickly, again, to the Indian Removal Act.  I know, history buffs - I'm skipping YEARS of history, but I really like the idea of comparing the Pilgrims' arrival and relationship with the Native Americans to the continuous push westward, including taking over Native American lands.  Maybe I'm just a sucker for the dramatic, but the irony of our history intrigues me, especially given our nation's current policies on immigration!

So, I got a little ahead of myself!  I wanted to share some Pilgrim activities with you.  One of my favorite books is Three Young Pilgrims, by Cheryl Harness.  It's a little long for reading in one lesson, but is full of information about the Pilgrims' motivation to travel to America, chronicles the lives of three documented siblings aboard the Mayflower, has diagrams galore, and is a touching story about the difficult and deadly trip from England to America.  We use the book to make booklets similar to these pictured, and this anchor chart.  Although I found the booklets on Pinterest a few years ago, I can't remember who first posted them, so if they're your's, please let me know, and please know that I'm not claiming your work, but wanted to share the ideas, and a great resource for doing them!

We also make Pilgrims and write personal narratives about all that for which we're thankful.  They are so stinkin' cute - we use pink colored chalk on their little cheeks to blend in some rosiness, and then spray them with hairspray to "set" the chalk.  My kiddos are amazed to see chalk, and even more amazed to see it "set".  Their parents love these projects, too!  You can click HERE to get your pilgrim collars and hats, as well as our list of facts about the Mayflower for free.  Just cut big circles for the Pilgrim faces - I'll get y'all some photos soon - I can't find any of the ones we made last year :(

Happy Turkey Day!

P.S. Friends, I'm still working on learning about Google Docs, and only the first page of each of the above documents shows up, so for now, get those for free at my TPT shop.  Sorry!


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