Here’s a Pilgrims and Wampanoag Coloring sheet for kids. Let them color while you talk more about the First Thanksgiving . . . or while you make dinner.
The Pilgrims consisted of two different groups of people. The first group were non-religious people who desired to come to America for economic opportunity. The second group were religious refugees. They had been driven from England after repeated imprisonments and confiscation of property because they worshiped differently than the king.The religious Pilgrims belonged to a sect called Separatists. They believed in living and worshiping simply and plainly, in hard work, in teaching their children, and in the Bible. They are often confused with the Puritans who were much more strict and who liked to impose their rules on everyone regardless of personal belief. The Puritans settled up the coast in Massachusetts a few years later. So, for example, while the Separatists did not celebrate Christmas, they also didn’t outlaw it.
The Separatists and non-religious folk made an agreement before they left the Mayflower about how they would govern themselves and what laws they would all follow. This was called the Mayflower Compact.
After the Pilgrims landed they came upon some people who were living in the area already. These were the Wampanoag. Their culture group lived in various tribes from Cape Cod north to Maine. The Wampanoag watched cautiously all through the first winter while the Pilgrims nearly starved to death and almost half of their company died of disease and malnutrition. In the spring the Indians decided to approach the Pilgrims. Both groups were suspicious and cautious but the Indians provided the Pilgrims with food and a guide named Squanto, who showed them how to plant the crops of the New World and catch the fish and animals to feed themselves.
The Wampanoag and the Pilgrims made a treaty of mutual defense and non-aggression which remained in tact for fifty years. Meanwhile more and more English settlers had come to Massachusetts and the surrounding areas. They bought a great deal of land from the Indians, who after a time became very reluctant to sell. Once or twice English tried to steal land, but the cases were brought before the English courts and found in favor of the Indians each time. The English kept pressuring the Indians for more and more land and tensions grew until the Wampanoag chief, Phillip, son of the man who had made the treaty, made war on the settlers.