When we abandoned the ideal of public school for homeschooling, one of the most eye opening experiences for me was teaching history.
It was then that I realized the INACCURACY and LACK OF DEPTH in the public school history curriculum.
Homeschooling gave us an opportunity to go so much deeper in our studies of the Pilgrims than we ever did in public school. We only learned the "textbook" version -- and there is so much more to the story.
I was also first introduced to "living books" when we studied the story of the First Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims - my eyes were opened even further! (We all have fond memories of The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh!)
We made our first notebooks during this time, too - so many wonderful memories.
Below are some resources to help you teach your children all about the Pilgrims.
Have fun, and remember -- if your kids are super interested in this, take time and stop to learn for a while. You won't regret it.
Learn About the Pilgrims
Concise history about the Pilgrims - This site gives a good overview of the story of the Pilgrims for children.
Mayflower History - In depth website offering information about the Mayflower and it's passengers. You can find the Mayflower Passenger List, the Mayflower Genealogy, and much, much more.
Plimoth Plantation - Visit this page to learn all about Plimoth Plantation and find activities designed just for kids. Don't miss how to Talk Like a Pilgrim. I know my kids would love it if we all started talking like Pilgrims for a day. You can also take a Virtual Field Trip, find coloring pages, and an Interactive activity where you are the Historian.
A Pilgrimage to Plymouth - Read about Brandi (from Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood) Ferrell's visit to Plymouth and her family's experience visiting this historical location first hand.
Stories of the Pilgrims - You can read these wonderful stories for free at The Baldwin Project. These stories follow the journey of the Pilgrims. Read about how Mary used this resource in her homeschool when her children were younger.
Children on the Mayflower - You can read some brief information about the children who were on the Mayflower and the important role they played.
Beyond the Pilgrim Story - This site provides many details that help you go deeper in your studies about the Pilgrims. You can read the Mayflower Compact, what has been said about the Pilgrims over the years, about their relationship with the Native Americans, their provisions lists, and more.
Videos about the Pilgrims - list of short videos about the Pilgrims, from various websites. There are a few Ted-Ed videos about the Pilgrims such as The Pilgrim's First Thanksgiving and When is Thanksgiving? Of course, as with any videos online, please preview to see if they are appropriate for your family.
Dangerous Journey: The Story of Pilgrim's Progress Videos - You can watch this book come to life.
This Charlie Brown video is an educational classic.
Hands on Pilgrims Activities
Unit Study About the Pilgrims - These fun activities will enhance your student's knowledge about the Pilgrims. Make a pocket, document your family tree, play games that the Pilgrims may have played, and make a pilgrim-inspired meal.
How to Draw Cartoon Pilgrims - Anything that involves art, my kids are going to love.
Pilgrim Unit Study - Unit study resources designed primarily for preschool through fifth grade. Links to plenty of crafts and other ideas to engage your children in learning about the pilgrims.
Lego Pilgrims History Lesson - Great idea for using Lego mini-figs to act out the story of the Pilgrims. Anything involving Legos is a hit in our house!
Clothespin Pilgrims - this tutorial shows you how to make beautiful clothespin Pilgrims.
Dye a shirt using onion skins - This activity shows your children just how resourceful the Pilgrims had to be. They can dye a shirt or other fabric using onion skins.
Copywork for Younger Children - You'll find pilgrim copywork and other activities here for younger children from Mama's Learning Corner.
Thanksgiving Hymns - While this site isn't specifically about the Pilgrims, it lists hymns for Thanksgiving that could be a beautiful addition to your morning time while you are learning about the Pilgrims.
Pilgrim Crafts and Activities - There are so many fun hands on crafts and activities you can do about the Pilgrims. Here's a list of some to pick and choose from.
Make Pilgrim Recipes - Engaging your children in learning about the Pilgrims through cooking can be a fun way to incorporate history into your day.
Books and Other Resources to Learn About the Pilgrims
The Legend of Squanto (Focus on the Family Radio Theatre)The First Thanksgiving (Step-Into-Reading, Step 3)Thanksgiving: A Time to RememberThe Landing of the Pilgrims (Landmark Books)The Thanksgiving StoryYou Wouldn't Want to Sail on the Mayflower!: A Trip That Took Entirely Too LongThree Young PilgrimsSarah Morton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl (Scholastic Bookshelf)Tapenum's Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy In Pilgrim TimesSamuel Eaton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim BoyOn The MayflowerThe Story of the Pilgrims (Dover History Coloring Book)Thanksgiving on Thursday (Magic Tree House #27)Pilgrims: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Tree House #27: Thanksgiving on Thursday