Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday! Although I absolutely love Christmas, I really appreciate the simplicity that Thanksgiving brings. No pressure to get presents or have everything perfect, just time spent with family and friends over good food; giving thanks to God for all that he has given us and where he has brought us.
Our school year slows down quite a bit during Thanksgiving and Christmas as we enjoy the season and all that we can learn about these special holidays. For a few years now we have done a unit study, learning about the true story of how Thanksgiving started and also finding ways to incorporate the traditions of the fall season into our studies.
Here are some resources we have used and projects we have done that I hope will help you with your own unit study!
Books/Audio and Movies
The whole book is so insightful and gives an indepth look at how our country started and was rooted in Christian faith. Chapter 6 gives the details of what “really” transpired on the first Thanksgiving!
The Legend Of Squanto Audio CD
You can count these activities as using Science and Math
Use a pumpkin and make some predictions about it on a chart.
1. Does it float?
2. How much does it weigh?
3. What is the distance around it horizontally and vertically?
4. How many seeds does it have?
Document your observations on your chart.
Afterwards observe and document decomposition of pumpkin.
Make toasted pumpkin seeds
Get all seeds from pumpkins. Wash and dry. Place on pan with aluminum foil. Coat in olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and any other seasonings you like. I like to use a little chili powder and/ or cinnamon. Bake for 30-45 minutes in 350 oven.
Grow pumpkin seeds
Plant pumpkin seed in potting soil in a plastic cup. Plant other seeds like corn, bean, etc. Make a chart to see which seeds come up first and measure growth.
Make Pumpkin Recipes
Fall is a great time to learn about the changing of the seasons!
*Have students write about all that you are thankful for this year/ prayers that God has answered/ praise reports/ ongoing prayers.
*Study and read about the Pilgrims/Indians. Have students do a report on how the pilgrims came to America and how the Indians were influential in their survival and the 1st Thanksgiving.
*Write about how Thanksgiving started and how it morphed into what it is today/ traditions/ food. How and when it became a national holiday.
* Write about how life was back then for the Pilgrims and Indians and how it is now.
Thanksgiving didn’t come easy to the Pilgrims. They went through many hard times of starvation and trials. But through it all, they sought God’s hand of provision and guidance and were blessed with a bountiful harvest, thanks to the help of the Indians.
It can be easy for us to forget all that God has brought us through. I love that not only is Thanksgiving my favorite meal of the year, but such a great reminder to remember all that God has done in our lives and where he has brought us to, and how he has provided for us.
I hope that these resources and activities not only give you some fun ideas this fall season, but inspire you to delve deeper into how Thanksgiving came about and make you take a closer look at all that you have to be thankful for as well!
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