With the typical study of the First Thanksgiving, we have talked a lot about what life was like when the Pilgrims first arrived. The idea of a world vastly different from our own is hard for the friends to comprehend and some of the comments really had us (the teachers) cracking up. "You mean they had to potty OUTSIDE???!!!"
Although the Wampanoags did not live in teepees, the kids already knew that many of the Native Americans (mostly Plains tribes) did live in these structures. We made teepees from tortillas and bamboo skewers and decorated with Indian symbols.
The Wampanoags actually lived in wigwams, which were better suited to protect them in the harsh climates of Massachusetts. We made a wigwam as a class from mud and grass. We compared the teepees to the wigwams and talked about how the wigwams offered more protection from the snow and cold than a teepee could.
We also talked about how the Wampanoags helped the Pilgrims build houses of their own. We used Lincoln Logs to make a Common House. I love that the Lincoln Logs have been sitting on the shelf untouched so far this year, but as soon as we made the Common House in Large Group, the Lincoln Logs were utilized independently every day at center time!