Pilgrims, Separatists, the Mayflower, Plymouth, and the First Thanksgiving Supplements and Resources
Dates covered: 1620-1622
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- The Thanksgiving Story
- Squanto: Friend of the Pilgrims
- American History: A Visual Encyclopedia
- The Beginner’s American History
American History Easy Make and Learn Books:
- Interactive 3D Maps: American History
- Voyage of the Mayflower, Pages 34-37
- Slave Ships Cross the Atlantic, Pages 38-41
- The Pilgrims, the Mayflower, and More
- Exchanging Worlds Trifold Diorama, Pages 5-8
- Moving Mayflower Map and Peek-Inside Mayflower, Pages 9-16
- Pilgrim Town and Wampanoag Village, Pages 17-31
- Pilgrim Vegetable Patch and Wampanoag Garden, Pages 32-37
- Hunt for Food Match-Up and Trap a Fish, Pages 38-43
- What’s Cooking? Double Diorama, Pages 44-49
- Wampanoag Basket-by-Numbers, Pages 50-53
- Who Wore What? Wardrobes and Make & Wear Wampanoag Pouch, Pages 54-62
- Make & Wear Wampum, Pages 63-65
- Harvest Feast Fun-Fact Scroll, Pages 66-70
Arts and Crafts:
- Assorted Thanksgiving Crafts
- Mayflower Fact Boat
- Mayflower Ship
- More Thanksgiving Crafts
- Paper Tube Pilgrims
Books (All Ages):
Long Before the Pilgrims: The First Thanksgiving, El Paso del Norte, 1598 Long before the Pilgrims celebrated Thanksgiving at Plymouth in 1621, a similar feast of thanks was shared in the New World. In the 1500s, Mexican conquistador Juan de Oñate led an expedition north of the Rio Grande into an area now known as Texas. To celebrate his successful journey, he and his colonists joined Native Americans in a feast on April 30, 1598-the First Thanksgiving. Bilingual with both English and Spanish translations. Younger to Middle Students.
Younger Children and Picture Books
- Across the Wide, Dark Sea Picture book accounting of the Mayflower voyage.
- My Life as an Early Settler Easy to read look at reenactors living life in ancient Plymouth. Level 2.9. Massachusets.
- P is for Pilgrim a nonfiction alphabet book with a short rhyme for each letter, and then more text with details on the side for older students if they wish. Level 6.0, for the longer text.
- This First Thanksgiving Day Count along and follow the Pilgrim and Wampanoag friends as they prepare for a great feast, and along the way look for the bold turkey on every page. And for the very sharp of eye, there are all sorts of surprises hidden in the art! Level 3.4. Picture book. Younger students.
- The Very First Thanksgiving Day Join us on a journey back to the very first Thanksgiving Day when two societies came together to feast and honor the earth’s bounty in peace. Picture book, reminiscent of the story The House that Jack Built. Level 3.9. Younger students
- One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims, picture book, set to the tune of a song, but refers to the Native Americans as “Wampanoags” instead of “Indians.”
- Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving – A Lift-the-Flap Book Fun look at Pete the Cat putting on a Thanksgiving Play. Level 3.2. Younger students.
- Squanto’s Journey Longer picture book, level 4.2
- Thanksgiving Is… Early Reader which introduces young readers to the challenging lives of the Pilgrims and their first bountiful harvest, for which they gave thanks with a feast of wildfowl, salted fish, and corn. Level 2.3. Younger students.
- Thanksgiving Mice! A group of theatrical mice have some problems when they put on a play to commemorate the first Thanksgiving, but everything works out alright in the end. Level 1.3. Younger students.
- The Thanksgiving Story. Sonlight HBL D. Picture book, level 4.1. Massachusetts.
- The Very First Thanksgiving Day Easy Picture Book. Level 3.9
- This is the Feast Rhyming picture book, Level 5.7
- Samuel Eaton’s Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy A picture book about the life of a young Pilgrim, with photos from reenactments
- Sarah Morton’s Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl A picture book about the life of a young Pilgrim, with photos from reenactments. Level 3.4
- Tapenum’s Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy In Pilgrim Times A picture book about the life of a young Wampanoag boy, with photos from reenactments.
Younger to Middle Students (Includes picture books and early readers)
- On the Mayflower Picture Book with full-color photos throughout of children and adults reenacting the voyage of the Mayflower.
- Pilgrim Cat The story of a Mayflower cat and his life in the New World, picture book. Level 3.8
- Poet, Pilgrim, Rebel: The Story of Anne Bradstreet, America’s First Published Poet picture book biography. Lexile 690.
- The Littlest Pilgrim, Mini is too little to help prepare the Thanksgiving feast, too small to help bake or hunt or sew. But not too little to find a friend. Easy picture book, level 2.2. Massachusetts.
- The Pilgrims at Plymouth Long picture book, level 4.8
- The Story of the Mayflower Compact Searching for religious freedom, Pilgrims flee England on the Mayflower and head for the New World. Led by Miles Standish, they settle in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620–now free to worship as they please. But how can they survive in this desolate wilderness? There are no towns, no houses, and nobody to help them–they might starve or be killed by Indians! The first winter is hard and many die. This is the story of how a few survive and go on to launch a new form of government which years later will become known as a democracy. Cornerstones of Freedom series.
- The Story of the Pilgrims small picture book, level 4.4
- The Thanksgiving Story Sonlight D. In this festive Caldecott Honor–winning picture book, Alice Dalgleish brings to life the origin of the Thanksgiving holiday for readers of all ages. Level 4.1. Massachusetts. Younger to Middle students.
- The Voyage of the Mayflower is a graphic novel accounting of the voyage. Level 3.6. Massachusetts.
- Three Young Pilgrims Picture book, mentions a lot of deaths. Younger to Middle students.
- Who’s that Stepping on Plymouth Rock? A comedic book about the history of the actual rock at Plymouth and its journey into history not so much about the settlers themselves, level 5.0, Jean Fritz
- *If You Were at the First Thanksgiving, nonfiction look at pilgrim life, level 4.9
- Feast of Thanksgiving, The First American Holiday; A Play A two-act play depicting a Pilgrim family’s preparation for the Thanksgiving celebration with the Indians. Includes parts for 10 people. Younger to Middle students.
- Giving Thanks: The 1621 Harvest Feast A look at the first Thanksgiving from the perspective of two children, one English, one Wampanoag. Contains reenactment photos; a picture book. Level 3.9
- Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story, story of the first Thanksgiving from the viewpoint of the Native Americans, Lexile 560. Massachusetts. Picture book.
- New Friends in a New Land: A Thanksgiving Story a look at the holiday through the eyes of a young girl, Damaris Hopkins, sister of Oceanus Hopkins. Level 3.3. Massachusetts.
- The First Thanksgiving, Eary Reader, Step into Reading, Level 2.9
- The Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving Graphic Novel Retelling, Level 3.4
- The Pilgrims Party: A Really Truly Story not quite as really truly as the title implies, but a short read-aloud in an easy-to-understand format. Younger students.
- The Plymouth Thanksgiving Picture book style. It tells of the Pilgrims’ courage as they became acquainted with the Indians and produced food from the New England soil in 1620. Younger to Middle students.
- If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 Nonfiction informative book about many aspects of the lives of the people on the Mayflower, level 4.2
- John Alden: Steadfast Pilgrim Easy to read biography, Nonfiction.
- John Alden: Young Puritan Childhood of Famous Americans series.
- Mayflower Treasure Hunt (A to Z Mysteries series) Follow 3 present-day children as they visit the Mayflower II reconstruction, the Mayflower Museum, and other historical sights as they try to solve the mystery of what happened to one of the original settler’s jewelry. Reader, Level 4.1
- Myles Standish: Adventurous Boy, Childhood of Famous Americans series
- Science on the Mayflower No experiments, but science behind ocean currents, food preservation, and other scientific principles that made the trip possible. Level 5.4. Massachusetts.
- The Landing of the Pilgrims – Landmark In England in the early 1600s, everyone was forced to join the Church of England. Young William Bradford and his friends believed they had every right to belong to whichever church they wanted. In the name of religious freedom, they fled to Holland, then sailed to America to start a new life. But the winter was harsh, and before a year passed, half the settlers had died. Yet, through hard work and strong faith, a tough group of Pilgrims did survive. Their belief in freedom of religion became an American ideal that still lives on today.
- The Mayflower: The Perilous Voyage that Changed the World DK nonfiction longer picture book, Lexile 860
- The Mayflower Compact Easy to understand nonfiction book. Learn about the Mayflower Compact, one of the most significant documents in U.S. history. Find out about those who were involved in its creation and why studying this primary source is so important. Level 6.0.
- The Mayflower Compact Dramatic and defining moments in American history come vividly the life in the Cornerstones of Freedom series. Fun text and lots of images help bring history to life.
- The Mayflower Secret: Governor William Bradford, Part of the Trailblazer series by Dave and Neta Jackson about famous missionaries and church leaders, a young girl travels to Plymouth with Governor Bradford and is witness to his story. Middle students.
- The Pilgrims Cornerstones of Freedom series. Discusses the daily life of the Pilgrims in Plymouth Colony.
- What Was…The First Thanksgiving (Part of the Who Was/What Was series), nonfiction easy-to-read accounting of the event, level 5.0
- William Bradford: Pilgrim Boy Read-aloud style book, Childhood of Famous Americans series. Massachusetts.
- First Thanksgiving Cornerstones of Freedom series. Discusses the history of New Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts, the relationship between the colonists and the native Wampanoag people, and the harvest festival which would later become Thanksgiving Dy using photos and creative text.
- If You Lived At the Time of Squanto, and If You Lived series book, nonfiction. Middle Students.
- Problems in Plymouth The Imagination Station from Adventures in Odyssey takes Patrick and Beth back in time to the first Thanksgiving. Level 3.1
- Squanto and the First Thanksgiving Chapter book style, level 3.6
Middle to Older Students
Stink Alley The year is 1614. Recently orphaned Lizzy Tinker has lived half of her twelve years in Holland and belongs to a small congregation of religious refugees who have fled England to worship as they choose. The Dutch people enjoy a free and easy lifestyle that Master William Brewster constantly admonishes. Although the Brewsters took Lizzy in when her father died, she doesn’t feel at home with them. Her undisciplined tongue always seems to get her in trouble. Lizzy has a talent for cooking, and her kitchen craft has landed her a job cooking for a Dutch family whose precocious eight-year-old son has a stubborn nature, artistic talent, and nose for trouble even greater than Lizzy’s own. With meticulous research and great imagination, Jamie Gilson has created an authentic, entertaining story that brings to life seventeenth-century Holland and the unique culture that fostered both the Mayflower Pilgrims and master painters such as Rembrandt.
- Almost Home: A Story Based on the Life of the Mayflower’s Mary Chilton, a Daughters of the Faith book, longer historical fiction offering a more Christian perspective, level 5.8
- Anne Bradstreet: Young Puritan Poet, Childhood of Famous American series read-aloud style book. Massachusetts.
- Mayflower: The Ship That Started a Nation Very detailed but easy-to-understand look at the Mayflower, including what pilgrims might have needed to pack, parts of the ship, and other informative information not always found in other books. Reads like a large, but longer picture book. Lexile 840 Approx 5th grade
- Mayflower 1620: A New Look at a Pilgrim Voyage Well-researched nonfiction look at the Mayflower voyage, level 7.0
- Rebekah in Danger a Sisters in Time book, shows the life of one girl during that first long winter in a new colony, from a Christian perspective. I appreciate the strong Christian viewpoint.
- Sarah’s New World: The Mayflower Adventure, part of the Sisters in Time faith-based series, I really enjoyed the Christian perspective of events this book offered. Rather than being a side mention, it was woven throughout and is one of my top picks for this section. Massachusetts.
- The Adventurous Life of Myles Standish and the Amazing-But-True Survival Story of Plymouth Colony longer nonfiction but easy-to-read text, providing historical background, timelines, and more. Level 7.1. Massachusetts.
- The Journal of Jasper Jonathan Pierce: A Pilgrim Boy A Look at the Mayflower from a 14-year-old boy’s perspective, a Stranger and not a Saint, and the first year of life in the New World. A Dear America book, it does start off with the main character being arrested for picking pockets at a London hanging, but it is based on a true story. Level 4.9. Massachusetts.
- The Massachusetts Colony (True Books) Are you thrilled by true adventure stories? do you wonder how our founding fathers conquered the wilds of North America to create the United States? You’ll experience it all in these books that tell the story of the brave men and women who escaped tyranny from across the ocean to forge a new world in 13 colonies that led to the birth of the United States of America.
- The Plymouth Colony Nonfiction, Level 5.4
- The Story of Squanto: First Friend to the Pilgrims Describes how Squanto played an essential role in making peace between his fellow Native Americans and the settlers at Plymouth so that they could share the first feast of Thanksgiving. Historical fiction. Level 5.3.
- William Bradford: Plymouth’s Rock Janet and Geoff Benge, longer read-aloud style.
- You Wouldn’t Want to Sail on the Mayflower Comedic look at life on the Mayflower. Engagnjng, but tends to focus on the hardships and is a little callous at times. Level 6.1
- 1620 Year of the Pilgrims Children’s non-fiction by Newbery Award runner-up, Genevieve S. Foster. The book relates what was occurring in the Old and New World at the time the Pilgrims made their first settlement in America. Includes a look at famous people and places around the world in 1620.
- Shadows in the Glasshouse (American Girl History Mysteries) Historical fiction of a girl kidnapped and sold to be an indentured servant for a glasshouse in the New World. She makes friends with another glasshouse worker, only to find danger around every corner. A different look at life in early Jamestown. Level 5.3
- Massasoit, Friend of the Pilgrims Upper elementary reader-style book about the life of Massasoit, a Wampanoag leader during the time of the Pilgrims.
- A Journey to a New World: The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple (Dear America Series), a diary-style historical fiction account of a real girl on the Mayflower. Contains many deaths and harsh scenes, level 6.0
- William Bradford: Rock of Plymouth is a well-researched and easy-to-read in-depth biography of Wiliam Bradford and life at Plymouth. Grade Level 5.9. Older students.
- 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving is a longer book, nonfiction, but it provides a lot of recent understanding of the history around Thanksgiving and a look at the world of 1621 from the Wampanoag point of view as well as clears up common misconceptions, level 7.1
- The Mayflower and the Pilgrim’s New World While most books about the Mayflower stop shortly after the First Thanksgiving, this well-researched and well-written book keeps exploring through the next 50 years, going into details about life in the new colony as well as info on King Philip’s War. Level 8.3. Older students.
- Poison in the Colony, the sequel to Blood on the River, from Sonlight D, this book covers more harsh and difficult topics that might require trigger warnings, including various forms of child abuse. Historical fiction for mature students only. I would personally wait until high school or adult.
Coloring Pages/Drawing/Activity Books and Pages:
- Desperate Crossing: The Untold Story of the Mayflower
- Drive Thru History; Season 1, Episode 2
- PBS American Experience: The Pilgrims (For mature students)
Lapbooks/Notebooking Pages/Unit Studies/Paper Dolls:
- American Family Paper Dolls from the Pilgrim Period to the Civil War (Dover Paper Dolls)
- Articles and Learning about the Mayflower History
- Cut and Assemble the Mayflower: A Full-Color Paper Model
- General Society of Mayflower Descendants
- Lapbook and Notebooking Pages downloads
- Online Interactive Games and Activities
- Thanksgiving Lapbook
Movies (20 Minutes or Longer): (See Also: Videos)
- Animated Hero Classics Episode 2 – William Bradford/Plymouth
- This is America, Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers (Although this is a Charlie Brown video, the “This is America” series focuses on actual history with the characters acting as historical people. The historical accuracy is not fully on point, and the Native Americans are referred to as “Indians,” but it is a nice, light movie for younger children.
- Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale, available on multiple platforms including Disney+. Multiple sensitive viewer warnings as it includes a bear fight, capturing people to be sold as slaves, etc.
- The Mouse and the Mayflower watch the people on the Mayflower from the point of view of a mouse on board, animated.
- The American Adventure Full Show at Epcot 4K (includes multiple historical events)
Museums/Field Trips (including virtual):
- Plimoth Patuxet Museums: You Are the Historian: Investigating the First Thanksgiving interactive game
- Plimoth Patuxet Museums: Series of Articles about the Pilgrims
- Visit the Plimoth Patuxet Museum, including optional Mayflower II exhibit
- Book: American Indian Cooking Before 1500 Discusses the everyday life, cooking methods, common foods, and hardships and celebrations of American Indians before 1500. Includes recipes for multiple items, including Maple-Glazed Turkey Legs and Baked Wild Rice, Acorn Cakes, Squash Stew, Snow Cream with Raspberries, and more.
- Book: Food and Recipes of the Pilgrims, a short book that discusses planting, cooking, and baking in pilgrim days, along with four authentic recipes. Level 4.8
- Mayflower: History Music Video (Parody of “Cheerleader” by OMI)
- Jeffery Lewis Mayflower Song
- It’s A New World Song! Pilgrim Fathers | Awesome USA | Horrible Histories
- Thanksgiving Song for Kids | The First Thanksgiving Song
- Pilgrim Barbie
- Mayflower Puzzle (500 Pieces)
- Mayflower Puzzle (1000 Pieces)
- Mayflower replica model
- Thanksgiving Charades
- Own a replica of the Mayflower Compact
Videos (1-20 minutes): (See also Movies)
- Pilgrim Life with Scholastic News Watch reenactors live out daily life.
- 10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Pilgrims Sensitive viewers might not want to watch #9 and #10
- The Pilgrims – Thanksgiving
- The Real Story of Thanksgiving
- Puritans Leave for America | Mayflower Malarkey | Horrible Histories