History of Thanksgiving: a Trip to America's Hometown

Last weekend, we took a ride to Plymouth, MA, not too far from where I grew up.  We visited Plimoth Plantation, a trip I highly recommend for any family.  The actors there can accurately describe the life in the time of 1627, and are open to questions from everyone- especially little kids!

During Montessori Training (forever ago, it feels!) I did a unit study on a local Native American Tribe, the Wampanoag.  Below you'll see photos of recreated homes of both the English Settlers and Wampanoag.  Also, feel free to use the definition cards pasted below in your classroom or home school.  The lesson for Practical Life, Tweezing Corn is below as well.  Happy Thanksgiving from the place that started it all!!!

A rare photo of Montessori Parents (we are always behind a camera), Brian and I in the Wampanoag Village
Wampanoag Children's Toys
Wampanoag actor tells us that they only eat meals the size of their fists, 7x a day!
The girls enjoying a fire in the longhouse
Sarah testing out a Mishoon, a boat made from a tree, burned by fire, scraped into shape by shells.
An English Settler's home interior, this house had SEVEN children!
English Settler Village, Plimoth Plantation
Pulling corn off the cob
Dolls in the English village
Sarah in the museum's child room, playing Pilgrim
Pilgrim Dress Up
Cooking on the child sized Mayflower
Plimouth Rock
Experimenting with pulleys
The Mayflower II interior
The Mayflower II masts
Surveying the water from Mayflower II

Wampanoag definitions: simply print, and mount on cards and laminate.  If you are interested in more Wampanoag work, comment with your email and I'll share more.  Enjoy!

A Wetu is a Wampanoag home for one family.

Wampum is what the Wampanoag used for money.  It is made from seashells.

A Mishoon is a boat that the Wampanoag carved out of tree trunks.

During the winter, the Wampanoag lived with several other families inside a longhouse.

The Wampanoag used animal skins for clothing.

The Wampanoag used a roaster to cook their meals outside.

The Wampanoag had to cook inside the wetu to make meals when weather was bad.

NAME OF ACTIVITY:  Tweezing Corn on the Cob 

GENERAL:  Practical Life
SPECIFIC:  Physical Skills- Squeezing

MATERIALS:  Basket, Native American corn on the cob, bowl, tweezers, vase for tweezers

DIRECT:  Coordination, Concentration, Independence, Order 
INDIRECT:  To build fine motor skills and strength through squeezing.

PREPARATION:  Squeezing activities with a larger tool

AGE:  First year Montessori student

*  Grasp corn with dominant hand, and transfer to sub-dominant hand
*  Pick up tweezers with dominant hand, and squeeze them to test the difficulty of the tweezers
*  Starting with the tip of the cob, choose one piece of corn to take off
*  Tweeze the piece of corn until it comes or falls off
*  Place in jar
*  If corn falls out of tweezers, be sure that it ends up in the jar
*  Repeat process until satisfied, or the corn is all off
*  If there is some corn left, place into basket for the next friend
*  If all of the corn is gone, replace it with another full cob
*  Return tweezers to vase
*  Be sure that all pieces of corn are in jar
*  If the bowl is full, pour it into the glass collecting jar on the nature shelf
*  Return material to shelf

*  Capturing the corn with the tweezers
*  Listen to the sound of the corn falling into the ceramic jar
*  Grip on tweezers
*  Opening and closing tweezers

*  Tweezers
*  Native American Corn
*  Corn on the cob
*  Pinch

*  Attractive materials
*  Producing a jar full of corn
*  Sounds of corn
*  Tweezers

*  Tweezers gets things off/out
*  All corn comes off a cob

*  Tweezers can only hold one corn piece at a time
*  Spilled corn, or corn that isn’t coming off

*  Using a different color/type of corn on the cob

*  Using the corn they tweezed for a pouring activity
*  Sorting the different colors of the corn into different jars


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