Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Thanksgiving Story

This is a felt play I present each year in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. We tell a simple version of the history of the Thanksgiving holiday minus of any violence. We discuss the continents leading up to this to so the children understand that the children made quite the voyage across the ocean! We start the story with grumpy old King James who lived on the continent of Europe and that he was very bossy and wanted all the people to do as he liked, believe in his God, and live as he did. The people did not like this and heard about the "New Land" across the ocean. They built two ships-the Mayflower and the Speedwell. They loaded the ships with supplies and things to trade with the natives of the new land. They heard they liked colorful fabric, shiny things such as mirrors, beads, and tools. They wanted to offer them gifts as they were coming to their land. As the ships set off the speedwell quickly sunk and all the speedwell passengers got on the Mayflower. There were 102 passengers on the Mayflower. It was a rough voyage and many people got sick and/or died. It took 3 months to get across the ocean to North America. The passengers were hungry and cold. Once a week they'd make a big pot of soup over the fire and that was comforting. Other than that they ate dried meat and hard bread. Something very special happened on the boat- a baby was born to the Hopkins family! This made everyone so happy! Finally they saw land and yelled "Land HO!!" The men got off the boat first. They saw no one and got straight to work. They built a cabin. It was small and crowed but it was shelter. It was a hard winter without a lot of food. Many more people died. Then spring came, and a Native American named Squanto knocked on their door. Squanto told them that he'd seen them struggling through the winter and he wanted to show them how to live on the land. He showed them how to harvest apples, pumpkins, and how to plant corn by putting dead fish on the corn seeds. The Pilgrims were so thankful to be thriving in this new land and so thankful to Squanto and his Native American friends for showing them how to live on the land and sharing their knowledge. They decided to have a big celebration to show how thankful they were and invited their Native American neighbors. The part lasted for 3 days! They played games, shared stories, and ate a lot of food! Turkey, corn, butter, bread, cranberries, potatoes, and more! That was the first Thanksgiving! Thank you to my friend Tracy who I interned under for sharing this with me! It's something I've done every year since 1999 This is her lovely school ! This book is also a reference I use

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