A Wampanoag Thanksgiving
by Sondra Durfey and Becca Madsen
Table of Contents
Wigwam made of bark and cattail
Goals:-Thanksgiving is a national celebration of the Pilgrim's& Wampanoag celebration of thankfulness for the harvest.
-The Wampanoag are responsible for sharing survival skills with the Pilgrims in the new land.
-There are similarities and differences among people.
The Pilgrims and the Wampanoag
The Pilgrims came to America in search of religious freedom. One hundred and two passengers set sail in August, 1620 on the Mayflower. They landed at Cape Cod on November 11, 1620 and in New Plymouth on December 16, 1620 (Plymouth Plantation Inc.).
The Pilgrims worked hard to survive in the new land. They constructed homes of forest logs and sticks woven together. They mixed sand, clay, water, and straw to make a daub plaster to cover the walls. Pilgrim children were very busy with daily chores including: tending the fires, preparing meals, setting the table, milking goats, fetching water, and many others. They had very little time for play.
The Pilgrims hit hard times when they settled in the New Land. They had brought wheat to plant but it would not grow in the rocky soil. They were suffering a food shortage, living in dirt shelters, and many were dying. Due to their fear of the Native Americans, the Pilgrims would bury the dead at night so the Native Americans could not see how many were dying. Only half of those that traveled to the new land survived the harsh winter. The Pilgrims were in desperate need of help.
Imagine the Pilgrims surprise when a Native American named Samoset strolled into the village and spoke to them in English. Samoset knew little English so he found a fellow Wampanoag named Squanto who knew English well. The Pilgrims welcomed the help that Squanto brought them. Squanto stayed with the Pilgrims for the next few months teaching them survival skills. He taught them how to cultivate corn, beans, and other vegetables. Squanto taught the pilgrims to bury three fish and then plant the corn on top of the fish. This served as fertilizer. They would also plant beans around the corn to allow the bean plants to climb up the corn stalks for better growing. Squanto taught the Pilgrims about poisonous and medical plants, demonstrated how to dig for clams, get sap form maple trees, and many other skills (Highline Indian Education Program).
By fall the Pilgrims were doing much better. Their leader, Captain Miles Standish, invited Squanto, Samoset, and other Wampanoag to join them for a celebration. The Native Americans observed six thanksgiving festivals during the year, including a fall harvest festival. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated to give thanks for the harvest. However, the Pilgrims were not prepared to feed over ninety Indians so Massasoit, the Native American leader, sent men home for more food. They brought back five deer. The Pilgrims and the Wampanoag feasted for three days and built friendship (Highline Indian Education).
Detailed Wampanoag Content
A wealth of detailed information on the Wampanoag and their life before, during and after the arrival of the pilgrims can be found at: www.dickshovel.com/wampa.html. This site includes factual information on the location, population, tribe name, language, clothing, culture and history of the Wampanoag.
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Barta, James and Dever, Martha. Giving Thanks. A Project Box. Utah State University: 1996.
Bernard, Barbara A., "If It's November, It Must Be Indians." Teaching Tolerance Fall 1993: 54-56.
Bos, Bev. Don't Move the Muffin Tins. California: Turn-the-Page Press, Inc., 1978.Gives different art activities to use. Has a section on Thanksgiving.
Flemming, Bonnie, and Hamilton, Darlene. Resources for Creative Teaching in Early Childhood Education. Florida: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1990.Contains lesson ideas on Thanksgiving. The ideas contain different activities, basic understandings for children and background knowledge for the teacher.
George, Jean. (1993). The First Thanksgiving. New York: Philomel Books.Tells an accurate story of how the pilgrims founded New Plymouth, how the Native Americans helped them, and how the First Thanksgiving was celebrated. Beautiful pictures.
Waters, Kate. (1996). On the Mayflower: Voyage of the Shop's Apprentice & a Passenger Girl. New York: Scholastic Press.Follows a apprentice bay and a passenger girl on their voyage to America on board the Mayflower.
Waters, Kate. (1993). Samuel Eaton's Day: A Day in the life of a Pilgrim Boy. New York: Scholastic Press.Story follows a young boy Pilgrim boy through a busy day during a summer Harvest. Shows him doing chores, with Wampanoag Native Americans, and with his family.
Waters, Kate. (1989). Sarah Morton's Day: A Day in the life of a Pilgrim Girl. New York: Scholastic Press.Gives an account of what it would have been to live like in the 1620's being a Pilgrim girl. Real life photos are used.
Waters, Kate. (1996). Tapenum's Day: a Wampanoag Indian Boy in Pilgrim Times. New York: Scholastic Press.Shows what life was like for a young Wampanoag boy. Talks about hunting, clothing and uses some of the Wampanoag language.
tc.bostonkids.org/html/collect.htmHas pictures, gives history and description of objects from Native Americans. Artifacts are from the Children's Museum Wampanoag collection.
www.pilmoth.orgContains information and pictures of clothing worn by the Native Americans.
www.indians.org/welker/thanksgi.htmlThis site gives history of who the Native Americans were.
www.dickshovel.com/wampa.htmlAn in depth look at the Wampanoag tribe. A lot of information is contained in this site. More information than needed for Grade K, but very insightful for teachers.
www.night.net/thanksgivingHas a lot of different information about thanksgiving. It gives a lesson plan idea with content background, activities, books, and bibliography.
www.k12.wa.us/indianesu/curr-thanks/wigwam.gifHow to make a model of a woodland wigwam.
www.k12.wa.us/indianedu/curr_thanks/index.aspThis site is from a Washington school district with a high Native American population. It includes a letter from Highline Public School Superintendent Kent Matheson.
www.members.aol.com/calebj/thanksgiving.htmlPresents information about the first Thanksgiving Day, celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621. Notes that Thanksgiving was not an annual or national holiday in the United States until Abraham Lincoln issued the 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation. Explains that Thanksgiving Day was designated to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939. Provides two eyewitness descriptions of the 1621 Thanksgiving. Lists the foods that would have been available to the Pilgrims. Links to Caleb Johnson's Mayflower Web Pages.
www.night.net/thanksgiving/lesson-plan.htmlLinks to K-6 lesson plans, recipes, poems, stories, and facts about "The First Thanksgiving."
www.oclc.org/oclc/netcalendar/980903.htm#e2Presents resources related to the holiday Thanksgiving, celebrated on the fourth Thursday I November in the United States. Notes that the information is provided by the Greater Bay Area Library Council (GBALC), located in California. Links to sites for children, as well as sites containing recipes, decorating ideas, songs, games, and essays. Includes the history of Thanksgiving.
www.2020tech.com/thanks/temp.htmlThis web site includes an introduction for teachers on teaching the Thanksgiving Story. Information given by a Native American teacher, the Plymouth Thanksgiving Story, content information for teachers, a Thanksgiving prayer from the Iroquois (Senaca) people, information about Indian corn, recipes from the Woodland Culture area, and the story of the corn husk doll.
www.ywiisudinvnohii.net/history/FWDPthanks.htmContents include ideas for enrichment, tips on avoiding the common "Thanksgiving" stereotypes, recipes, crafts, and content information on the story of "The First Thanksgiving."
Rabbit Ears Productions, Inc. (Producer). (1993). Squanto and the First Thanksgiving
[Videotape]. Rowayton, CT: Rabbit Ears Productions Inc.Video is half an hour long. A recommended age is 5 and up although I think younger audiences would become bored quickly. True story of Native American, Squanto and how he was sold into slavery in Spain and his findings when he returns to his homeland. Tells how he helped the pilgrims and of the first Thanksgiving.
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Accorsi, William. (1992). Friendship's First Thanksgiving. New York: Holiday House, Inc.Friendship is a dog who has come to America with the Pilgrims. He describes the pilgrims first year here and the first Thanksgiving feast. Pictures are not accurate and he states this at the end of the book. Information is correct. Could read to younger children.
Nerlove, Miriam. (1990). Thanksgiving. Illinois: Albert Whitman & Company.Includes a brief overview of the first thanksgiving and then talks about Thanksgiving today. Uses correct terminology. Appropriate for young children. Not a lot of content information on the First Thanksgiving.
George, Jean. (1993). The First Thanksgiving. New York: Philomel Books.Tells an accurate story of how the pilgrims founded New Plymouth, how the Native Americans helped them, and how the First Thanksgiving was celebrated. Beautiful pictures. Too much reading and in depth information for younger children. Could use to tell the story of Thanksgiving with the pictures.
Stamper, Judith. (1993). New Friends in a New Land: A Thanksgiving Story. Texas: Raintree, Steck-Vaughn Publishers.Describes the Pilgrims first year, their meeting of the Samoset and Squanto, and the first Thanksgiving. Has a lot of words but could be read to younger kids. Some pictures not depicted correctly.
Waters, Kate. (1996). On the Mayflower: Voyage of the Shop's Apprentice & a Passenger Girl. New York: Scholastic Press.Follows a apprentice boy and a passenger girl on their voyage to America on board the Mayflower. Use for pictures and some information. Great book for older kids.
Waters, Kate. (1993). Samuel Eaton's Day: A Day in the life of a Pilgrim Boy. New York: Scholastic Press.Story follows a young boy Pilgrim boy through a busy day during a summer Harvest. Shows him doing chores, with Wampanoag Native Americans, and with his family. Use for pictures and some information. Great books for older kids.
Waters, Kate. (1989). Sarah Morton's Day: A Day in the life of a Pilgrim Girl. New York: Scholastic Press.Gives an account of what it would have been to live like in the 1620's being a Pilgrim girl. Real life photos are used instead of drawings. Use for pictures and information. Great book for older kids.
Waters, Kate. (1996). Tapenum's Day: a Wampanoag Indian Boy in Pilgrim Times. New York: Scholastic Press.Shows what life was like for a young Wampanoag boy. Talks about hunting, clothing and uses some of the Wampanoag language. Use for pictures and information. Great books for older kids.
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After sharing the book Tapenum's Day, students will create their own model of a Wampanoag home or Wigwam using a pre-made skeleton. This activity will give them the opportunity to explore a type of home they may not be familiar with. This could also be an inquiry activity as they begin to ask questions concerning how the Wampanoags lived and why. Materials: Several ½ x 11 inch and ½ inch x 18-inch strips of construction paper (for skeleton), paste, crumpled brown paper torn into 1 ½ inch squares, scissors, Tapenum's Day by Waters. Time: 30 minutes.
2- Wampanoag Toy Experience
Various toys used by the Wampanoag children and other Native American Tribes will be available in a center for the students to explore and play with. Students will have the opportunity to make a connection with the children of the Wampanoag tribe as they participate in their games and learn about the similarities and differences they share. Materials: Wampanoag children's toys, Native American children's toys. Time: 20-45 minutes.
3- Bread Making or Fry Bread
Although is comes in many different shapes, sizes, and colors, bread has a place in many cultures around the world. After reading the book, Bread Bread Bread by Ann Morris, students will participate in rolling and shaping the dough as it is prepared to bake. When ready to eat, students can experience with various bread toppings, particularly the Maple sugar and syrup used by the Wampanoags. Materials: Rhodes dough, rolling pins (or they may just use their hands), shaping utensils, wax paper, ovens, Bread toppings (Maple sugar and syrup, jam, jelly, butter, honey, etc), napkins, plates, Bread Bread Bread by Ann Morris. Time: dough preparation-15 minutes, tasting-15 minutes.
4- Corn Husk Dolls
Students will use dried and soaked corn husks to make Corn Husk Dolls. These dolls were made by various Native American groups and used as gifts or toys. Provide them with pictorial instruction (will be attached to unit). Materials: Dried corn husks, soaked corn husks, pins, string, yarn, or twine. Time: 20 Minutes.
5- Making Clay Pots
Referring too the book Tapenum's Day, show pictures and remind the students that Wampanoags made their dishes from clay. In pairs or groups, students will mix the recipe, kneed, and divide the dough. After drying for 24 hours, the pots will be ready for painting. Be sure they place a piece of paper with their name on in inside the bowl to avoid any mix-ups.
Materials: Flour (1 C. per student), water (1/2 C. per student), mixing bowls (1 per two students), measuring cups (1 per two students), shaping tools, labeling paper strips, Tapenum's Day by Waters. Time: 25-30 minutes.
6- Painting Clay Pots
Using the pots the students created, encourage them to add paint. Rather than trying to copy a Wampanoag design, prompt them to decorate their creations in a way that represents them. Materials: Paint, paintbrushes, paper towels, water in cups, drying area. Time: 15-25 minutes.
7- Bead Necklaces
After displaying various jewelry creations by the Wampanoag people as well as those from other Native American Tribes, provide students with a variety of beads and ornaments to create their own jewelry. This activity could also be used to introduce patterns as they align their beads to form their own pattern. Avoid copying other Native American creations. Time: 15-20 minutes.
8- Clothing Display
Allow students to view, touch, smell, and hear different pieces of Native American Clothing, particularly that worn by the Wampanoags. Avoid having the students try on the clothing. Some clothing worn by the Wampanoags is only allowed after they have earned the right to wear it. By letting the students experience these articles, see what things are the same and different between the students clothing and that worn by the Wampanoags. Materials: Wampanoag clothing, other pieces of clothing worn by Native Americans, clothing labels and descriptions. Time: 10-20 minutes.
9- Maize Classification
In a selected center, a large tub containing maize will be placed on a table. Students will be encouraged to classify the maize in to categories such as color, size, patterns, weight, or what ever else they come up with. Materials: large tub, 3-5 smaller tubs, numerous ears of maize, labels for category ideas. Time: 10-20 minutes.
10- Corn Popping and Maple Syrup
Students will participate in popping popcorn similar to that used by the Wampanoags. The Elders of the tribe taught the children that Popcorn and Maple Syrup from the trees make a delicious treat. Let the students experiment with popcorn and maple syrup as well as other toppings. Materials: Popping corn, hot plate, popcorn popper, maple syrup, napkins, bowls, various popcorn toppings (butter, honey, jam, jelly, peanut butter, ketchup, orange juice, etc). Time: 25-35 minutes.
11- Email Wampanoags/Visit Website
Allow the students to have contact with some of today's Wampanoags. By visiting an approved website, students may actually email these Native Americans and learn about their similarities and differences. Materials: Computers, current and approved website. Time: 15-20 minutes. www.britannica.com Search: Wampanoag
12- Dying Fibers
Bulrush mats were used on the inside of the Wigwams for insulation. Designs were woven into the mats by dying the fibers. To experience this dying, have students dip pieces of white cloth into solutions made by boiling the following plants in water and allowing to cool:
Goldenrod stalks and flowers-yellow Sumac leaves-yellow/brown
Onion skins-yellow or red Beets-red violet
Dandelion roots-magenta Rhubarb leaves-light green
Spinach leaves-green Blackberries-blue
Sunflower seeds-blue Hickory bark-brown
Walnut hulls-brown Cranberries-pink or red.
Materials: the above listed items, white clothes or cloth strips, bowls of cool dye, wash clothes or paper towels, drying rack. Time: creating dye - 10-20 minutes, dying cloth - 10-20 minutes.
13- Bulrush Mats
Bulrush mats were used to insulate the interior of the Wampanoag Wigwam. By using fibers such as Bulrush or Cattail, students can participate in weaving their own, small-scale, mat to be used as display or for other purposes. Materials: many stalks of the chosen fiber (Bulrush, Cattail, etc), string or yarn. Time: 15-20 minutes.
14- Large Scale Wigwam
After studying where the Wampanoag live, create a large-scale class Wigwam that could be couples with the reading area. The inside may be adorned with the student's Bulrush Mats. Materials: Tent poles or large branches (for skeleton), Bulrush Mats, earth tone blankets, ropes. Time: 15-20 minutes.
15- Tool Models
By visiting appropriate websites and by reading Tapenum's Day by Waters, display and model the use of various tools used by the Wampanoag. Using careful supervision, allow the students to explore the tools by listening, feeling, smelling, and viewing the artifacts. Encourage the students to produce a pictorial representation of how the tools were used. Materials: Wampanoag tools, tool labels, paper, drawing utensils. Time: 15-25 minutes.
16- Make Corn Meal
The Wampanoag had many used for corn. Students will explore one of those as they produce corn meal. By using wooden corn pounders, the students will grind the corn into corn meal. Using the corn meal to make corn bread may be an extension for this activity. Materials: wooden corn pounders, wooden or plastic bowls, corn, paper towels. Time: 10-20 minutes
17- Theatre (use Tapenum's Day for script)
Have the students reenact Tapenum's Day by placing occurrences from the book in order and taking turns participating in the activities noted. Avoid stereotypes. Materials: props mentioned from the book, name cards, Tapenum's Day by Waters. Time: 20-30 minutes.
Have the students explore and express their views of the Wampanoag by encouraging them to produce pictorial representations of themselves living in the 1600's as a Wampanoag. This activity would follow the study of the Wampanoag so as to avoid any previous stereotypical views. Materials: paper, drawing utensils. Time: 15-20 minutes.
19- Globe Study
Set out various globes for the students to handle and manipulate. The teacher will help the students locate the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Atlantic Ocean. Other maps including those depicting of Vegetation, Animal Life, Native American tribe locations, Resources, and other maps may be included to provide more content and to spark inquiry. Materials: Globes, maps. Time: 10-15 minutes.
20- Playdough/Clay Beads
Using the recipe for Clay Pots, students will mix and mold clay into beads that may be used to create necklaces or other pieces of ornamentation. For color, the clay may be dyed in the mixing process or simply painted on after the beads have dried. Encourage the students to create beads to represent themselves and not to copy those creations made by the Wampanoag. Stress to the students that it is possible to make many of the things we buy. This may be used as a center. Materials: Flour (1 C. per student), water (1/2 C. per student), mixing bowls (1 per two students), measuring cups (1 per two students), shaping tools, wax paper. Time: 20-30 minutes.
21- Frame Weaving
This weaving activity is done on a simply frame which is easier to maneuver than free hand weaving. Assign each student a frame with plenty of yarn in various colors. After modeling the weaving process, encourage the students to create a pattern or mat to represent themselves and not to copy those creations made by the Wampanoag. Stress to the students that it is possible to make many of the things we buy. Display various items that the Wampanoag would weave rather than purchase (e.g. bags, storage, insulation materials, wall hangings, baskets, etc) This activity may be used as a center. Materials: 1 frame per student, plenty of yarn in various colors, Wampanoag woven artifacts.
22- Moccasin Mania
Invite the students to explore the shoes worn by the Wampanoag as well as the footwear of people from various cultures in various climates and regions. Discuss with the students why the Wampanoag would wear these shoes and why they would use the chosen material. Include as many senses as possible in the examination process. Have students write/draw a story/picture of a pair of moccasins and where they took them in their travels. Materials: Moccasins, paper, crayons
23- Transportation Toys
To be used in the block area, students will explore various transportation methods. By comparing today's traveling mediums (airplane, car, train, bicycle, etc) to those used by the Pilgrims and Wampanoag (boat, animal, canoe, etc), students will gain a better understanding of the differences and similarities that can be found between these two time periods. The teacher may pose questions concerning the reasons for the types of travel, stating benefits and drawbacks, as well as providing students with the opportunity to develop problem solving skills. Materials: Blocks, small-scale transportation models (e.g. airplanes, cars, trains, bicycles, boats, animals, canoes, helicopters, rockets, buses, etc). Time: 20-30 minutes.
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1-Thanksgiving Snack TimeStudents and adults will assist in preparing authentic Thanksgiving foods including cornbread using the cornmeal they made during a previous activity. After the food is prepared, students will share in a class Thanksgiving Feast. Before eating, discuss what the Wampanoag and Pilgrims had to be thankful for, comparing it to what we have to be thankful for.
2-Native American Artifact Field TripStudents will visit the Native American Museum in the Fine Arts Center at Utah State University. They will participate in an interactive tour, provided by an experienced and knowledgeable member of the University Staff. Comparisons will be made between the cultures of the Wampanoag and other Native American groups.
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