This year is officially the 400th anniversary of when pilgrims left for the New World. These fun and free ways to learn about the pilgrims will make a great addition to your history lessons around the fall season.
Do you know what the word pilgrim means? If you don’t, no worries you are not alone. Pilgrim means a traveler who is on a journey to a holy place.
It makes sense that the settlers from England in the Americas would be called pilgrims as that is what they were in search of, religious freedom.
Pilgrims came to the Americas to get away from the religious ruling imposed by England. They followed the teachings of John Calvin’s manners of worshiping God. They primarily asked the King of England to allow them to form their own church, but of course, the king denied their request.
Did you know that these pilgrims, before coming to the Americas they tried their chances in Holland first (until 1620)? I think many of us know the story from there.
The pilgrims, puritans as they were originally known, sailed across to the Americas on the Mayflower and landed on Plymouth Rock. They were taught about harvesting and planting by the Wampanoag Natives when they arrived.
Only half of the pilgrims who made the voyage survived the first year. After that year, they celebrated their survival for three days with a feast, the rest is history as they say. Therein began the holiday we know today in the United States as Thanksgiving!
Bringing that history into our homes can be quite interesting and excited during the holiday season in our homeschools. There are several ways we can integrate the idea of who pilgrims were into our homeschools during November.
Here are a few fun and free ways to learn about the pilgrims during the season:
Unit studies are always fun as you can get the very best out of a topic but through different avenues of learning.
FREE Pilgrims Tot & PreK-K Pack | In All You Do
FREE Pilgrim Unit Study – Updated & Expanded | In All You Do
Learn About the Pilgrims (FREE Resources) | Homegrown Learners
First Thanksgiving Unit for Kindergarten and First Grade (Life as a Pilgrim) | Primary Theme Park
Pilgrims and The Mayflower FREE Mini-Unit Study | Faith and Good Works
Thanksgiving FREE Printable Easy Reader Book: Pilgrims And Native Americans | A Little Pinch of Perfect
FREE Copy of The History of Thanksgiving: A Unit Study for Kindergarten | Money Saving Mom
Thanksgiving STEM Challenge: Protect the People | Feel Good Teaching
FREE Download The Mayflower | Education.com
VIDEO – The Story of the Pilgrims for Kids: A brief history of Pilgrims | Clarendon Learning
Here are some learning resources and items to add to your unit study on pilgrims:
If you were a pilgrim child…
Study with your children how a child’s life might have been as a Puritan. Life was not easy for kids. They didn’t play all day but had their own chores – and not easy chores at that.
Pilgrim Children Chores | Mrs. Jones’ Creation Station
A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim | Firstieland
Pilgrim Life: If I Were A Pilgrim | We Heart Teaching
Easy DIY Pilgrim Costume | Glue Sticks & Gumdrops
What did pilgrims eat, recipes, and snacks?
This is my family’s favorite activity. They love getting into recipes of different eras in time and countries. Incorporating the diet gets your kids understanding a portion of the lifestyle.
Let’s Make Thanksgiving Butter! | Primary Inspiration
Homemade Butter Activity | Research Planet
Eat Like a Pilgrim: Three 17th-Century Recipes to Try This Thanksgiving | Boston Magazine
Explore pilgrim arts and crafts.
Get kids creating and making crafts to help them understand parts of the pilgrim’s lifestyle. Arts and crafts break up the monotony of everyday lessons.
8 Pilgrim Crafts for Thanksgiving | The Spruce Crafts
28 Pilgrim Crafts and Activities for Kids | 3 Boys and a Dog
Little Pilgrim Kids (A Craftivity) | A Cupcake for the Teacher
How to Make Pilgrim Pete the Cat: a Thanksgiving Craftivity | Kindergarten Works
Pilgrim Crafts And Activities For Kids | Simply Today Life
Pilgrim Crafts for Kids: Pilgrim Hat Tutorial | Love the Day
Pilgrims games and activities
Pilgrims didn’t have television or the internet. I know that is hard for kids to wrap their brains around. They could use it to get outdoors during the season. So, learn about some games pilgrims played. Then explore some activities to get kids activities and engaged in learning all about pilgrims.
Thanksgiving Games the Pilgrim Children Played (FREEBIE!!) | Krystin McGahan
Pilgrim Projects For Kids | The Inspiration Edit
Make a Pilgrim FREE Activity | Sight and Sound Reading
Pilgrim Hat Activity | Little Family Fun
FREE Coloring Pages of Pilgrims History | Thanksgiving-Coloring.com
Pilgrims for Kids Hands-On Activities | 123Homeschool4Me
Pilgrim Songs, Poems, and fingerplays
Get kids up and active with some fun songs and fingerplay entertainment and activities. Poems are also a way you can add poetry, writing, comprehension to your pilgrims unit at home.
They Were Pilgrims (song for kids about the First Thanksgiving) | Harry Kindergarten Music
FREE Printable Thanksgiving Skits | 123Homeschool4Me
Learning about the First Thanksgiving Story with Printable Puppets | Line Upon Line Learning
Reading Material and pilgrim themes
Head out to your local library and check out books all about pilgrims for your kids.
Molly’s Pilgrim FREE Graphic Organizer and Book List | Teaching Fourth
The Littlest Pilgrim (Book Companion FREEBIE) | Stories by Storie
Books about the Pilgrims for kids | Gift of Curiosity
Handwriting Practice with the Pilgrims | Write Bonnie Rose
Pilgrims Handwriting FREE Practice Worksheets | Mama’s Learning Corner
I understand there is controversy surrounding the pilgrims and what happened after they arrive. However, studying them doesn’t have to be controversial. They were settlers in a new land. Consequently, that land happens to be what most of us call home.
Don’t miss out this Thanksgiving season on teaching your kids fun and free ways to learn about the pilgrims. Don’t forget to have fun and remind your kids all they have to be thankful for.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!
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