Lesson Plan Title : The First Winter

Age Range: Kindergarten through grade 2 (Early Elementary)

Overview and Purpose: Students construct a clapboard house out of cardboard and tape in this lesson. The idea is to show them how little protection the Pilgrims had against the wind and cold that first winter.

Objective:The student will be able to conduct an experiment to see how well the pilgrims' homes protected them from the cold.



Cardboard boxes



Lengths of PVC pipe and elbows put together to make the frame of a box


Talk with your students about how they stay warm when it is cold outside. What are their houses like? How do their houses stay warm?

Explain to them that the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth when it was getting cold. They had to quickly make houses for themselves and their families. Talk about the materials they would have had that they could have used.

Have the students help you make a clapboard house using the PVC frame, cardboard boxes, and tape. (Remember to make windows.) Tape the streamers in several places inside the house. Blow the fan on the outside of the house and see if any of the streamers move on the inside. Point out to the students that the air inside the house would have been almost as cold as the air outside since all the Pilgrims would have had to heat it would have been a fireplace.

Wrap Up:

Keep the house up in your classroom as you prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday. Have the students decorate it with pictures of things or people they are thankful for. Allow them to use it as a quiet area.