SNHMA Students Replicate 17th Century Thanksgiving

3 To 9 Year Old’s Prepare Thanksgiving Feast Using Ancient Recipes and Native New England Ingredients

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving students at Southern New Hampshire Montessori Academy (SNHMA) did not feast on roast turkey, mashed potatoes and pies for Thanksgiving.  Instead, they followed ancient recipes, using native New England ingredients, to replicate some of dishes the pilgrims and Wampanoags might have eaten in 1621.

The children learned that seafood, corn, fowl, pumpkins, and apples were plentiful in 17th Century New England.  Using locally sourced ingredients, and with the help of their ‘Edible Classroom’ teacher, Miss Ellen Dyjak, students aged 3 to 9 prepared, cooked and served the following menu for their entire school:

Roasted Oysters

Stewed Turkey with Herbs and Onions

Sweet pudding of Indian Corn

Standing Pumpkin dish

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Walnuts & Dried Fruit


SNHMA students also practiced the types of games that Native American and pilgrim children might have played together during their harvest celebration, including Marbles, 9 Pins, Quoits, and Jacks.   They ended their day, with a Native American drumming song, and the singing of traditional ballads.

“In line with our Montessori philosophy, which encourages hands on, practical and purposeful learning, our Thanksgiving celebration reflects an integrated curriculum that combines history, language, music, dance, social studies, and culinary arts,” comments Debra Hogan SNHMA’s Founder and Head of School. “They are literally eating, singing and dancing their way though their lessons, forever curious, engaged, eager to experiment.  This is not a history lesson they will ever forget!”


Southern New Hampshire Montessori Academy offers an academically focused education to children through an integrated curriculum. Concentration is given to educating the whole child (all facets of the child’s being, including: intellectual, physical, emotional, social and creative aspects) with a strong emphasis of hands-on and experiential learning where children develop their passion in technology, science, visual and performing arts, foreign language and physical education. Complementing a strong academic core, the school offers an enrichment program that includes elementary Latin, creative arts (visual and performing), daily physical education, technology and Spanish.  For further information, please visit:


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