The First Thanksgiving: Differences Between the Pilgrims & Wampanoag

log cabin
Photo Source: Astoria

Thanksgiving has a broader significance than just getting together to eat turkey and it's important for your kindergartners to understand the history behind their family traditions. The first people the Pilgrims encountered after their long journey on the Mayflower were the Wampanoags, the native peoples of New England and so, it makes sense to introduce your students to their two vastly different ways of living - not only compared to each other, but compared to the lives of your students as well!

Daily Life

Lesson Objectives

  • Learn about the lifestyle of the Pilgrims, their daily routines, and their culture.
  • Learn about the lifestyle of the Wampanoags, their daily routines, and their culture.
  • Compare and contrast housing, clothing, food, chores, schooling, and games of the Pilgrims and Wampanoags.
  • Compare and contrast both the lifestyles of the Pilgrims and Wampanoags with student lifestyles.
  • Discuss how the Wampanoags helped the Pilgrims.

Once again, Scholastic has compiled some excellent resources for teaching your students about these two (very different!) groups of people. On their website, you'll find helpful interactive tools for learning about the differences and similarities of each group, interviews and excerpts helpful to determining the daily routines of each group, a helpful timeline documenting the Pilgrims continued struggle in the New World and the ways in which the Wampanoags helped them to adapt, as well as lists of books to read in order to learn about each culture.

Again, if you feel that some of the resources and activities seem too advanced for your kindergartners, they are easily adapted to the age and skill level of your students!