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Pumpkin Day

Social Studies Lesson
for Pumpkin Day

The students will learn about the first Thanksgiving. They will experience the sharing that took place between the Native Americans and the Pilgrims.




  1. Tell the story of the first Thanksgiving relating how the pilgrims used pumpkins and how Native Americans used pumpkins.  Use the following link: Pumpkins And More.
  2. Divide your class into two groups. Pilgrims and Native Americans. * Today would be a good day to have a parent helper you can depend on .
  3. The Native American group will make mats for the class to sit on . Each student will make two . One for themselves and one to share with a Pilgrim classmate. These will be made using the precut orange paper strips.
  4. Demonstrate how to weave them into a mat. If this is too complicated for your students they can paste strips onto a piece of paper to make the process easier.
  5. The Pilgrim group will make the bread dough. Divide the Pilgrims into workable groups. Decide how many loaves of bread you need for each student to have a small piece of pumpkin bread.
  6. While the bread is baking retell the Thanksgiving story.
  7. Instruct the Native American students to present their extra pumpkin mat to a pilgrim student.
  8. Then have them sit on the ground in a circle all together.
  9. Enjoy the bread!  If it is not possible to do any baking at your school, make the bread ahead of time.  The sharing lesson could be conveyed by having the Pilgrim group prepare the bread by cutting it and placing it on a paper plate they have decorated.

Other Lesson Ideas

  1. Trace the journey of the pumpkin from the pumpkin farm to the grocery store.
  2. List all the uses we have for pumpkins.
  3. Compare the two pumpkin holidays : Thanksgiving and Halloween . List how they are alike and how they are different.  Use a Venn diagram to make this comparison.

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