Thanksgiving Learning & Living

This coming week we will stop to give our Lord Jesus Christ thanks for all the many blessings He has given us and reflect back on the history of lives that sacrificed, laboring in order that future generations would have opportunities to enjoy freedom to worship.

We will prepare our home for guests joining us on Thanksgiving Day and we will prepare our hearts by expressing gratitude for all we have, enabling us to extend thanks and hospitality with those the Lord has brought into our lives.

Plans for our week include sending our Thanksgiving Family Newsletter out with photo cards to many family, friends & loved ones.  We will put our hands to preparing little blessing baskets for neighbors & others to express our thanks for them.  We will prepare our meal, cooking & baking special foods together making memories & sharing traditions along the way.  We will surely recall prior Thanksgiving Days, telling the next generations of God's faithfulness & of the wondrous deeds He has done.  Here's a look back at just some of the memories of more recent Thanksgivings...

Such a sweet time during our Thanksgiving Fellowship at Grace Pointe in 2008...the children sang for those attending before the sermon and meal.
S'mores time was an activity that many of the little ones enjoyed! ~ 2008
The Indian corn toss was a hit with the kids as they tried their aim at throwing their corn through a grapevine wreath hanging from a tree at church. ~ 2008

Our Thanksgiving Day gathering a couple years ago, coming together to give thanks & ask the Lord's blessing over our time together & meal. ~ 2010

After meal fun...wheel barrow races! ~ 2010
More outdoor fun...egg races ~ be careful or else this may happen...

Poor Alyssa...she almost made it!  ~ 2010

Last year was our last Thanksgiving with my Mom...what a blessing it was to have her joining us for the day!  This was just 3 months before she passed away.  During our time together, the children recited Psalm 100, we listened to a Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, had a short devotion time & worship. ~ 2011

The children made paper plate foamie turkeys...they turned out so cute! ~ 2011

As in years past, we will focus our learning times on the history of the 102 plus 30 crew who set sail across the Atlantic back in 1620.  There are many activities we will work on to bring history alive, stories we will read & videos we will watch.  Some of the resources we have used in the past and will do so again this week are:

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Listening to this CD of Pilgrim & Indian History, while working on coloring sheets, cooking & baking.
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We will learn about the First Thanksgiving and use knowledge gained from The Thanksgiving Primer to add to our lapbook.

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Select readings will be done from original entries made by William Bradford from our copy Of Plymouth Plantation.
This book by Barbara Rainey is a joy to pull out each year.  This book came with a CD filled with beautiful selections of music, which I love playing in our home during the quiet times.

We'll also travel {thanks to the Internet} to Plimoth, touring the grounds & learning about life at Plimoth Plantation.

There are other free printables & learning activities that you can do if you visit Plimoth Plantation, too.  Wouldn't the kids enjoy learning to talk like a pilgrim?  Or how about printing out some coloring sheets?  What about making games that pilgrim children played or recipes that were cooked or even reading stories & learning vocabulary related to that part of history?  At Plimoth Plantation they have a whole section of Multi-media resources for free, too.   I love the ease of gathering information from various sources on the Internet & I hope having it posted here will make it easier for everyone to utilize {including me in the years to come...}.
The kids will practice drawing & writing using our Draw ~ Write ~ Now book three using the section about the Pilgrims.  We have used the Draw ~ Write ~ Now books for years as supplementary learning. 
We also enjoy read-aloud times from several books helping to further paint a picture of the lives of the Pilgrims.  Sometimes I have the children illustrate pictures while I read, which I find really helps with their comprehension skills.  In years past we have compiled illustrative books with their art work of important people in history.  I scanned all their illustrations, then had them dictate to me the story of each picture.  I typed their dictations on each page and printed their illustrations out.  We have a few lovely books made from this method of learning, binding them using the Binding Books Beautifully kit.
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Stories of the Pilgrims is a Christian Liberty Press book.  This is the one we read from & is laid out with short chapters followed by comprehension questions.  I use the comprehension questions as verbal discussion points.
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There are a couple chapters in this book we read during Thanksgiving week, also written by Christian Liberty Press & laid out the same way.

The Thanks Living Treasures box is another resource we pull out every year to do the six biblically based lesson on thankfulness, using the miniature Thanksgiving objects & six postcard sized reproductions of historic paintings so little ones can see what life was like then.

Some of the fun playtime activities our children have done, include re-enactments by dressing the roles of stories that have been read then acting out the stories.  This time is not a "structured" time, but rather one of "planting seeds" of things to do during their play time.  Providing costume materials & sometimes picking up large refrigerator boxes they can set the stage with a Tee-pee or ship. 

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{My husband & older boys have been such a blessing as the builders of many a stage in the past.}  A friend shared an out-of-print book years ago, which we found & have utilized many times during our years of homeschooling!  If you can lay your hands on a copy, I highly recommend investing in purchasing it, especially if you have little ones.  It provides HOURS of imagination & creative play!  They will also use our Plymouth Rock, Mayflower & Pilgrims felt set during their times of creative play or read-aloud.

Video resources that have added to our learning include:

The Animated Story Of William Bradford Video On Interactive DVD
Don't you just love the NEST movies?  William Bradford is a perfect quiet time DVD for the afternoon.

Just for fun, our children enjoy some of the Charlie Brown DVD's ... like this one which includes the Mayflower Voyage on it.
Any simple keyword search on Thanksgiving will bring a myriad of activities, lapbooks, crafts, & more for you to do with your family.  Here's one found from doing a keyword search of Thanksgiving Lapbook, giving you more to do than possible in the week!  You'll find many printables, lapbooks, mini-books, shape books, notebooking paper, learning activities & then resources that you purchase, too.

So, what learning & living ideas for Thanksgiving do you have for the week?  Your comment with your favorite resource, craft idea or link back to your Thanksgiving post will be a blessing to us all.  I look forward to reading your ideas.

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
  Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
          Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Psalm 105:1-3
May you have a blessed Thanksgiving as you reflect on your many blessings from the Father above ~
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Make a Joyful Noise all ye Lands said...

Hello Jarnette,
Thank You for sharing sweet Thanksgiving memories from your past traditions.
May the Lord bless you and your sweet family as you prepare your home this year.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving.
Love and Hugs~

Seasons of Life said...

Praying your Thanksgiving is a blessing surrounded by all your family, especially those traveling from afar! It will surely be a joyf-filled time at your home once all your children are gathered back home. :D