Wow! With Halloween already over, the Thanksgiving holiday is fast approaching.
Do you have any special lesson plans or activities that you teach in conjunction with the Thanksgiving season?
Voyage on the Mayflower - a resource produced by Scholastic. Voyage on the Mayflower has two parts for students to explore.
You Are the Historian: Investigating the First Thanksgiving - an interactive exploration of the facts and myths associated with the story of the First Thanksgiving.
The First Thanksgiving: Daily Life - online activity produced by Scholastic. Daily Life is a comparison of the lifestyles of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag.
The Year We Had Two Thanksgivings - tells the story of Thanksgiving 1939.
Funny Fill-In - a resource provided by National Geographic Kids that generates a funny Thanksgiving story based on the words that kids write in response to Thanksgiving prompts.
Map Your Recipe - a neat use of Google Maps that allows you to enter a recipe and find out where the vegetables in that recipe were first domesticated.
Have you found some Thinkfinity resources that are especially appropriate for teaching about Thanksgiving? We would enjoy hearing your ideas.
When I was attending ASU to become a teacher, I had an eye opening experience when a professor exposed a different side of history between the Native Americans and the “Pilgrims/Immigrants." Growing up I had the image of the Native Americans and Pilgrims existing in harmony. So to learn about what the Native Americans went through and how they were stripped of their freedoms and land was heartbreaking to me. I know the history books I grew up with painted a harmonious picture, but I am not sure how the history books teach Thanksgiving now. With my younger students (1st graders), I focus on Thanksgiving as a time to be thankful for things in their personal lives, such as their families, friends and food they had on the table.
One fun Thinkfinity resource that ties into Thanksgiving is EconEdLink’s Where’s the Beef lesson plan. This lesson plan has students compare meat consumption from the colonial days to modern time. There is even an interactive meat consumption calculator to have students track how many servings of meat they eat.
I look forward to hearing what other teachers are doing to teach this traditional American holiday.
Check out ReadWriteThink's America celebrates Thanksgiving Day today.
Being a computer teacher, I am all about integration, and with this assignment there is a book to read and also an important letter. Here is the introduction of this lesson for 5-12 grade students.
Share the book Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson, which offers a glimpse of Sarah Hale's spirit and drives home the message that a letter writing campaign can make a difference.
After reading the book Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving, students read the letter Hale sent to Lincoln, then they start brainstorming.
Have you found other Thinkfinity resources to teach about Thanksgiving?
November is Native American Heritage Month and what better way to celebrate it than to learn about the remarkable history and cultures of some of the first Americans? This month PBS reprises its recent five part series We Shall Remain which was partially funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
This series spans four centuries and shows Native Americans’ history as part of the national experience from the Mayflower to the Wounded Knee occupation of 1973. Not only is each episode viewable online but each is accompanied by a full transcript and teacher’s guide. In preparation for Thanksgiving, students can see in episode 1 about how the tribe of Native Americans, the Wampanoags, interacted with the Pilgrims.
For grades 3 - 5 you might also tap into our curriculum unit, Not 'Indians,' Many Tribes: Native American Diversity. In this unit of five lessons, from EDSITEment, students heighten their awareness of Native American diversity as they learn about three vastly different Native groups in a game-like activity using archival documents such as vintage photographs, traditional stories, photos of artifacts, and recipes. This unit helps students study the interaction between environment and culture.
Some fun art ideas:
- Have the students weave placemats for their Thanksgiving feast. You can then relate this activity to how Native Americans wove baskets.
- Have the students decorate cupcakes to look like a pumpkin with orange sprinkles and green Twizzlers.
- Do the classic tracing of the hand to look like a turkey and then have sutdents write what they are thankful for on each finger.
Here's a list of 14 Thinkfinity lessons and activities appropriate for teaching during the Thanksgiving holiday with various grade levels and subject areas. Also check out these Thanksgiving ideas from Thinkfinity:
What other Thinkfinity resources do you recommend?
Here is a great site with lots of ideas for those school days just prior to Thanksgiving. Lessons and activities are included for elementary, middle, and secondary students. See Turkey & Math: Both on the Menu for Thanksgiving!
What do you think of these lessons? Please share your experience as you use them in your classroom.