Thursday, November 19, 2009

First Thanksgiving Homes (Thanksgiving craft)

This week we are doing a unit study on the Thanksgiving. As part of our study, I wanted to teach my children about the first Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims and Wamponaog people. We read books about Pilgrim and Wanpanoag life in the 1600s.

The books we read were:
Tapenum's Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy in Pilgrim Times by Kate Waters
Giving Thanks: The 1621 Harvest by Kate Waters

We read that the Wampanoag Indians did not live in Teepees or Tents. They lived in Wigwams (which look similar to huts).

We searche online and found a picture of a Wampanoag wigwam. (photo courtesy of
Lady Katherine)


Here is a picture of a Pilgrim home in Massachusetts. (photo courtesy of Flicker)

For Arts and crafts, we decide to make Pilgrim homes and Wampanoag homes. We used household items to make our Pilgrim homes and Wampanoag Wigwams. We recycled empty milk cartons, scrap pieces of brown construction paper and acrylic paint. I cut the milk cartons into three sections. We used the tops and bottoms of the milk cartons to make the homes.

For the Pilgrim homes, we used the milk carton tops and taped them down a bit. We used the bottom of the milk cartons to make the Wampanoag homes (wigwams).

We used tacky glue to adhere brown paper to the milk cartons (I had alot of paper left over from our Fall Seasonal tree that we did not use). It made it easier for the boys to glue their pieces of construction paper to the milk cartons.

Here is my youngest son's Pilgrim home that he made for our First Thanksgiving craft.

For the the sides of the Pilgrim home, my older soon painted the over the brown paper with acrylic paint and then scratched the surface with a fork. When the paint dried my son added the construction paper to he roof of his Pilgrim home.

To make the wigwam look rounder, we added crumbled paper and glued the construction paper over it as the roof.

Together my sons and I added the brown construction paper to the roof of our Wampanoag Wigwam.

The boys had fun making their First Thanksgiving homes. I thought it was important to show my sons that Thanksgiving has a place in history and that it is not just about the food but the people who shared the meal together.

We plan on saving our "homes and wigwams" for other unit studies. We definately will be makng more recyled crafts this year. We enjoyed sharing how we made them with you. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

UPDATE January 2010: I wish we had seen this sooner in November. We found a wonderful resource at
Montessori for Everyone. They have a great printable on Native American Homes. I saved our printable for covering Native American Indians again.
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Rose said...

What a creative idea.

Raising a Happy Child said...

This is really very neat! I am very impressed with what the boys did, and I am sure that they will have a lot of fun playing with their homes. As always, your creativity rocks.

Debbie said...

I love your idea! The houses turned out absolutely great!

I enjoy reading all your hands on learning experiences!

Amanda said...

I remember having to do something very similar with one of my boys when they were younger. These are great!

jcwin228 said...

Dear Sandra,

I was searching the web when I came across your great Pilgrim homes and Indian Wigwams craft post. I'm requseting permision to use your photo and publish a short post with a link to your site on my craft blog. Afterward, you're welcome to grab my button for your blog. Thanks for your time and the great idea.


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