It began about a month ago in life skills class. We were studying nutrition. We spent several days discussing the importance of proper nutrition and fitness. Soon after, again in Life Skills class, we read a passage about the proper way to set a table and then we practiced how to do this. With the holidays soon approaching, I thought "Hmm...how great would it be if we could plan a feast and in the process learn how to plan a meal, budget for it, shop for it, cook it using the proper units of capacity and learn how to read the directions, learn table manners, and incorporate a history lesson in it by studying the Mayflower voyage and First Thanksgiving?" After all, the Plymouth Colony and the Mayflower Voyage are part of the unit of study in the social studies curriculum. There are two things I love in planning sound lessons: first, cross-curricular studies and second, hands on learning to make the learning memorable. With this thought and sound lessons in mind, our feast was in motion! Science even came into play because we did a unit on weather and coincidentally, the Mayflower was originally headed for Jamestown, Virginia but a storm filled the Mayflower's sails with wind tossing it off course sending the Pilgrims to Cape Cod, 150 miles off track!
Over the next two days we cooked. We went to our classes but still made time for preparing our feast. Everyone from both classrooms helped. We chopped, peeled, boiled, and baked! We learned how to put our measuring skills to use. We fluted homemade pies, peeled hard boiled eggs, and chopped onions and celery for Mrs.F's delicious stuffing! Mrs.G. wowed us with her homemade cranberry sauce recipe made by the students. Mrs. A almost wowed us with homemade chocolate mousse pies made with a student;'s Mom's recipe!
The First Thanksgiving
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Mitt Aubin's Book Review:
I am currently using the book, "You Wouldn't Want to Sail on the Mayflower: A Trip That Took Entirely Too Long" by Peter Cook, along with the students text book and "If You Sailed on the Mayflower" by Ann McGovern. I love using picture books that have accurate historical content along with the student's textbook to give the students a more complete picture of what it was like during the time period we are studying. My student's really enjoyed the picture of the Mayflower with the cutout that shows them exactly how crowded the Mayflower was. The Mayflower was not a passenger ship, but was a cargo ship, which made the Pilgrim's journey very uncomfortable. Amazingly during the 66 day voyage only one person died, young William Butten, the surgeon's helper. He died only three days before the Pilgrim's made landfall. One child was born on the voyage, Oceanus Hopkins. Cook's text gives the student's details of the Mayflower voyage and their first days in Plymouth that are not mentioned in their textbook. Also included is a vocabulary section and tools used by early navigators, and a time line. My student's were able to take a picture of the timeline with their chromebooks and then print it out for perfect note taking! Cook's book is a great companion to go along with a unit of study on the Plymouth Colony and the Mayflower voyage.