Colonial America- Harvest Season



3.3 Identify who the Pilgrims were and explain why they left Europe to seek religious freedom; describe their journey and their early years in the Plymouth Colony. (H, G, C, E)


Students will be able to identify the different types of food the the colonists ate and rhe reasons why these crops were typical for Colonial America


What did the early colonists eat?

Where did their food come from?

Why and how did their diets differ from the Old World?

Why was the harvest season so important?

What does it mean to eat “seasonally””?

How do the diets of colonists compare to our diets today?



What did early colonists eat? Where did their food come from?

-In pairs, students read one paragraph from “New England Food and Cooking” Worksheet. Then share with the class, and make a list of all the foods.

-Students look at recipes from Colonial America. Work in groups or pairs. Make list of common food items today, and unfamiliar food items. Why would their food vary from Europe/Old World?

-Students explore a map of the world, with origins of food. Discuss in groups why there are different foods in different regions. (climate, cultural influence, tools available for cooking/preserving)

Introduction to the 3 Sisters Garden:

Why was the harvest season so important? Is it still important today?

-Halloween (pumpkins)- Colonial uses for pumpkins (food, fodder for farm animals, drink, dried/preserved, hollowed out for lantern)

-Thanksgiving/Christmas (turkeys)- Why would colonists eat turkeys over other types of meat?

Hunting/gathering — What is seasonal eating?

How do the diets of colonists compare to our diets today?

Brainstorm w/Venn Diagram. Compare and contrast foods from Colonial America and today.

-Types of food
-Methods of cooking

Students choose 3 recipes to have as part of their feast. Identify where these ingredients might come from. Any from the island?

Next class, students will work together to make these three dishes. (Alternately, these dishes could be prepared in advance and brought in to be served at the Harvest Feast.


Students are given colonial jobs, and research those jobs over the next week. They must find out:
What would this person wear?
What tools would they carry?

What food would they eat?
What would their home look like?
They create a name, family, and story of this colonial character.

Day 2.
Harvest Feast. Students come dressed as their colonial character. They feast together. Afterwards, students complete a journal entry from the perspective of their colonial character.


Plant a three sisters garden