The Mayflower

Teaching the concept of Thanksgiving to a group of Italian English language learners as well as mother tongue English speakers in the same classroom (note: mother tongue does not indicate American lineage) is a real hoot. In any given lesson about the holiday, the expressions on students' faces may range from blank stares to sheer delight.  Like any other lessons, my motto is "I can show you better than I can tell you". So the story of Thanksgiving and all the associated themes that come along with it (friendship, adventures, family, sharing, cultural exchange) are reviewed throughout the entire month to make sure what needs to be taken away from the learning experiences actually is.

Last week we started from the beginning of the story, The Pilgrims living in England and The Mayflower.
Oh, the questions they had!
"How many rooms were there on the boat?"
"Where did they poop?"
"How did all of those people fit on there?"
"Was it cold or hot?

Luckily I have tons of books on the subject, the problem is not all of them are age-appropriate for the schoolhouse kids. I do have one in particular that's a favorite for the 3-6 set:
The illustrations are simple and clean, and it's a rhyming book with not too much text.

So we read the story and then recreated The Mayflower using chalk for the water, handprints for the ship, tape or post-it pieces for the sails, and paint for the sky.

and I wrote down new words from the lesson for each child to take home
This week: part 2 of the story.

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