By Sue Kruse, Principal, Ranch Elementary

During the month of November, first-grade students at Ranch Elementary explored what it was like to live in the 1600s. The students learned the Pilgrims journey to America started in England and their voyage on the Mayflower lasted 66 long days with very little food or water. Students were surprised to learn that the voyage left the passengers malnourished and susceptible to disease. Students went on a virtual tour of the Mayflower and were able to explore each part of the ship and learned the function of each.

The class had discussions about how the Pilgrims did not have retail stores to buy groceries or clothing. This meant the Pilgrims had to grow their own food and make their own clothes. The Pilgrims had to use the resources of the land to provide food, shelter, and clothing for themselves and their families. The students also enjoyed going on a virtual field trip to Plymouth Plantation where the students were able to visit a village and learn how the Pilgrims planted crops and raised farm animals. 

Throughout the studies, first-grade students tried to mimic life as the Pilgrims. One day, the students had time during class where they worked in candlelight (we used flashlights) as the Pilgrims did not have electricity. To end our Pilgrim exploration, students made butter to eat with crackers! The students were provided with heavy whipping cream and a jar and shook the jar until it turned into butter!

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