November 15, 2022
As Thanksgiving approaches, teachers have the opportunity to engage their students in meaningful discourse about history and how it is remembered. Here are some resources to embrace a new approach to Thanksgiving.
A Story of Survival: The Wampanoag and the English
Ideal for K–4 children, this lesson plan booklet provides teachers with student-friendly quick facts; five lesson outlines about the Wampanoag, the English, and Thanksgiving; and recommendations for texts to explore.
Ideal for third-grade students, this unit uses texts, including The Wampanoag (A True Book: American Indians) and 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving, to address what parts of the Thanksgiving story are true, what parts are myths, and why it is important to look at history from multiple perspectives.
American Indian Perspectives on Thanksgiving
Ideal for students in grades 4–8, this teacher resource guide and teaching poster, provided by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, encourages students to explore the deeper meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday through themes such as “American Indian Cultures,” “Time, Continuity, and Change,” “People, Places, and Environments,” and “Global Connections.”
Harvest Ceremony: Beyond the Thanksgiving Myth
Ideal for middle school and high school students, this short essay and aligned classroom discussion prompts allow students to explore the juxtaposition of the prevailing idea of Thanksgiving and the real story.