As part of our Thanksgiving activities we are continuing on our journey through the Thanksgiving story. After our science activity and talking with the kids about the pilgrims sailing to America on the Mayflower, we discussed the Native Americans and made a simple tepee craft. Our next main event in the story was talking about how difficult it was for the pilgrims that first year and how the Native Americans helped them.
GET A FULL WEEK OF THANKSGIVING THEME ACTIVITIES IN OUR PRINTABLE PRESCHOOL LESSON PLANS.
Learning About How the Native Americans Helped the Pilgrims
I shared the Legend of the Five Corn Kernels. There is a cute free printable available that I used to help me share the legend.
(Update: It looks like the free printable we used originally may have been removed. There is additional background information on the Five Corn Kernels legend here for those who are interested. If you find another great resource, I’d love to know about it in the comments.)
Next we investigated a piece of Indian corn as we discussed some facts. At Indians.org and Kidsarus.org I found some simple talking points about:
- the foods Native Americans made with corn,
- how Native Americans used all parts of the corn,
- and why corn is associated with Thanksgiving.
Indian Corn Craft
Then we made this simple craft to extend our learning. I cut a basic corn shape out of white cardstock. The kids used pencil erasers to stamp brown, orange, and yellow paint to look like corn kernels. This was a new-to-us painting technique that I have been waiting to try, and the kids loved it.
When the paint dried, I tied some raffia from the Dollar Tree around the top. They make a cute Thanksgiving decoration, and we continue to refer to them as we retell the Thanksgiving story.
How do you teach your kids about the ways the Native Americans helped the pilgrims?
GET A FULL SET OF THANKSGIVING THEME ACTIVITIES
The 159-page Thanksgiving Lesson Plan Set includes hands-on activities and these additional printables:
1) Pumpkin Pie Letter Matching (in color and b/w)
2) Rhyming Turkey Game
3) Turkey Color Sorting Mats (in color and b/w)
4) Turkey Counting Mats 1-20 (in color and b/w)
5) Look at the Turkey Emergent Reader (3 variations)
6) How to Make a Pumpkin Pie Sequencing Cards (in color and b/w)
7) 0-35 Turkey Number Cards (4 variations)
8) Phoneme Segmentation Turkey Activity
9) Thanksgiving Taste Test Recording Sheet (in color and b/w)
10) Thanksgiving Picture-Word Cards (in color and b/w)
11) Thanksgiving Roll and Graph (2 variations, in color and b/w)
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Hands-On Holidays eBook
Less stress, more connecting this holiday season? Yes, PLEASE!
From the arrival of fall to Halloween to Thanksgiving and Christmas, the last four months of the year can be a wonderful opportunity for making family memories and spending time together, but they can also be stressful as we try to collect ideas, recipes, and activities to try together.
Stephanie Morgan, founder of Modern Parents Messy Kids, a site that’s been voted Best Craft Blog in Parents Magazine and one of babble.com’s Top 50 Craft Mom Blogs, recently released a new eBook to help us have a little less stress and more time to connect with family this year.
Stephanie’s goal is to make it easier on all of us to enjoy the holidays with our kids. Hands-On Holidays is 100 pages full of her family’s very favorite ways to connect as a family over the holiday season. I love the convenience of having so many ideas in one place, and most of them are simple enough for even my toddler to participate in.
The book includes picture book suggestions, DIY decor, activities, and treats. Bonus sections also offer even more ideas to enjoy. Click here to view more details.
Hey! Neat post! I am going to do this craft today with the kiddos. I love the pencil eraser method!
My family is from Massachusetts, and the family tradition starting long before I was born and it has continued every year is to place 5 kernels of corn at every plate at our thanksgiving table to remember the hardship the pilgrim’s faced. The 5 kernels represent the 5 F’s Faith, Freedom, Food, Family, & Friends. My family has taken it a step further. We pass a a bowl or cup around, and each person drops their kernels into it, stating something they are thankful for. I love this craft and will have my grandchildren do it this year.
That sounds like a wonderful tradition, Jill. Thank you so much for sharing that with us! I hope your grandchildren have fun.
What a pretty craft! These would look wonderful scattered around the Thanksgiving table.
That’s a good idea. We have them hanging in our kitchen for now. 🙂