Thanksgiving is coming up, and I’ve been wondering how I wanted to approach teaching the kids about the history of Thanksgiving in America. There are many movies, books, websites, and even plays out there, but it can be a bit daunting trying to decide what to use and when to introduce it.
I’m grateful to Homeschool Legacy for giving us an opportunity to review their Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims Once-a-Week Micro-Study. This is a 6 week unit study that is perfect for kids in grades 1-8. It is a true unit study in that it teaches the kids about Thanksgiving through literature, history, geography, vocabulary, government, dictionary work, Bible, art, cooking, language studies, and crafts.
It is available for purchase as a PDF file, which they call Grab-N-Go. You simply download it, print it or read it from your computer or device, and you’re off!
If you want, you can truly only open it up and complete the study once per week for the six weeks. I actually chose to break up each week into 2 different sessions. Each week is split up into 3 assignments, with each one lasting about 30 minutes each. I love that it is not super time consuming, but it also allows you to use this as a base if you wanted to continue on to further study.
The first week starts out with some literature suggestions, but our library seems to have been backed up with requests for these books. Instead, we picked up some similar books and I took out a few picture books from our own collection here at home. The text within the PDF is linked to online resources and information. I loved this, because we were able to seamlessly click through to help us complete assignments and discussions.
I love things that we can just open and use. This curriculum supplement is SO simple to implement.
Each week has a history lesson to begin. The text is all included within the study, so you don’t have to try and find any specific books or anything for that. I had my kids take turn reading the history text, so I printed out hard copies of that.
Week One links out to a world atlas, the definition of indentured servitude, and to a copy of The Bill of Rights as these things are mentioned in the text. For this reason, I do recommend viewing it on or near a computer or other device. We had the PDF file pulled up during our lessons, so it was easy to just look on the corresponding page and click on the links for more information.
Subsequent weeks do the same with the information presented, and there’s even a link to a fun children’s game that would have been typically played by Wampanoag or Pilgrim children at the time.
I love how the activities are varied. One of my kids loved the atlas activity, and it actually sparked his interest to look up many other things. Another kid found the Mayflower Compact to be really interesting. There were 7 critical thinking questions posed in week two based on the document. We had no idea how important this document was! It was considered America’s first step toward creating a government of the people.
Another one of my kids really enjoyed the Bible verses. It was cool to see how Scriptures applied to situations that occurred in our country’s early history. We also had a week of lessons on the Puritans, and it was cool to hear about their faith and laws. We didn’t realize that they printed the first book in America, The Whole Book of Psalms.
The 5th and 6th weeks of the studies start leaning toward Christmas and how it was celebrated during that time period. My kids are begging me to please buy some fresh cranberries so they can complete one of the activities mentioned in the study. It’s on my list!
I have been working on this with all of my kids, with the focus being on my 1st, 4th, and 6th graders. My 4 year old has been tagging along and has enjoyed the hands-on activities, games, recommended supplemental books, and videos. He’s not too keen on the reading of the historical information, but he will probably like this in a year or two. That’s the awesome thing about these PDF unit studies, because I can save it and re-use it any time I want with my younger kids! I’m sure the older ones would enjoy it again and pick up new information the second time around.
Homeschool Legacy has a Once-a-Week Unit Study on Christmas Comes to America that I’m considering doing with the kids to get them prepared for Christmas, too. I like how open and go these resources are. My kids love the information that they get, as well as some hands-on activities to help them to retain the information.
The Homeschool Review Crew reviewed many different unit studies from Homeschool Legacy. Check them out by clicking the banner below: