This week kicked off our study of the Pilgrims and Native Americans. I truly adore Thanksgiving… mainly the reflection of gratefulness, but also learning how the Native people welcomed the Pilgrims and taught them how to live and survive in this strange new land.
Each day, our goal for the class is small, but meaningful. Today, I wanted my sprouts to understand why the Pilgrims set out for a new life, how they traveled here. That’s it. In kindergarten, the social studies concepts are taken in small steps.
When we began, I posed the question, “Does anybody know why we celebrate Thanksgiving?”
I got a few answers relating to feeling thankful and grateful, all valid, but nobody mentioned the Pilgrims, Native Americans or the Mayflower.
We read two books about the Pilgrims and the Mayflower. We talked about it. Finally, we made a Mayflower puppet and learned a song called ‘Where is the Mayflower?’ It’s simple and fun and we sang that song about a hundred times (maybe it was more like seven or eight times). They loved it. I loved it. We were learning!
Finally, before moving on to math, I asked the class, “So what was the name of the ship the Pilgrims sailed to America?”
Every hand shot up. Yay! They were listening and learning.
I called on Evelyn. She was one of my best listeners, surely she would say the name I wanted to hear and we’d move on…
“The Cauliflower!” She exclaimed with a grin, proud of her answer.
“Good try,” I said, deflating inside.
Someone did give the correct answer, but that was just a classic kindergarten moment. Needless to say, I won’t be having any cauliflower at my Thanksgiving dinner this year.
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