The First Thanksgiving: Free Wampanoag Printable
America is a country rich in cultures and traditions. People from all corners of the world have immigrated here to start new lives among differing cultures from across the globe, seeking the same things. When I think of the First Thanksgiving celebrated in America, I wonder how much harder it would have been for the first immigrants without help from those who already called this land home.
As I was looking for a way to introduce Alina to the legacy of Thanksgiving, it occurred to me that I couldn’t even name the tribe of Native Americans who influenced our nation’s humble beginnings. My knowledge of the First Thanksgiving was very minimal, but I wanted my kids to learn a bit the history. So I looked for a simple children’s book to help articulate the legacy of our modern day holiday.
Reading about the First Thanksgiving
When reading about the First Thanksgiving, I wanted to select a book that told the story of Native America culture, as well as the story of the pilgrims. A friend recommended One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims and I fell in love with the sweet renderings right away. This book explores, in a simplistic way perfect for a 3 and 2 year old, the story of the first Thanksgiving – including the almost always unnamed Native American tribe: the Wampanoag tribe.
The Wampanoag tribe was wholly responsible for ensuring the success of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, yet their impact in our national history is often overlooked. The images of this children book depict Pilgrim and Wampanoag children working together to prepare the first Thanksgiving feast, which included a variety of items you wouldn’t often find on a modern Thanksgiving table (like clams and eels!). We were surprised to see how hard the children worked to help prepare the feast, and I was delighted to see the portrayal of children of two cultures working together side by side.
The true story of the first Thanksgiving is far more complicated (and violent) than the story in One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims. I’m happy to finally be able to name the tribe responsible for our modern Thanksgiving today and so much more. The Wampanoag deserve to be known. Simple as the book is, it prompted us to discuss what we thought about gratitude, and what the Pilgrims were thankful for on that First Thanksgiving. Because of One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims we can also name the Wampanoag as one of those things they were grateful for.
We’ve been talking about gratitude all month (check out the turkey Thanksgiving Craft that Alina and I made!), but I wanted to do something that imparted the legacy of the Wampanoags. I asked a talented friend to draw a picture inspired by the book. I then scanned and printed it so that we can keep talking about the first Thanksgiving throughout the month. Feel free to use these Wampanoag Thanksgiving coloring pages to highlight what you are most thankful for this year, as well.
We loved learning about the first Thanksgiving and will certainly remember the contributions of the Wampanoag to this melting pot of America. I love knowing that Alina is learning about our nation’s history from an inclusive perspective, too. While the pilgrims are a huge part of our modern day Thanksgiving celebrations, they weren’t the only ones sitting at the table for our first Thanksgiving feast.