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Thanksgiving Ideas for the Classroom, Grades 9-12

Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans, Activity Ideas and Other Curriculum Resources

Found in: Language Arts & Literature, Social Studies, 9-12

Lesson Plans & Activities

Lesson Plans

Student Activities: After the Mayflower
Students in grades 6-12 use the Internet to compare populations of Native peoples in North America in 1615 and today. Teachers will find a downloadable teachers guide.

Black Friday Financial Literacy Lesson
Students in grades 9-12 explore comparison shopping and credit card use on Black Friday.

Activities

The First Thanksgiving Student Activities for Grades PreK-12
This site includes lessons, activities, videos, slide shows, printables, and more.

NativeTech: Native American Technology and Art
5-12. Includes a history of corn, instructions for planting a Three Sisters Garden, and directions for art project using cornhusks.

Thanksgiving Fill-In
6-12. Fill in the blanks in the first four paragraphs of this Op-Ed from the Opinion section, “A Moveable Fast.” Use your own words, or click “read more” to choose from a scrambled list of the words that were removed.

Thanksgiving Crossword
6-12. Complete this crossword online or print it out.

Crossword: The Pilgrims
6-12. A link to the answers is provided.

Background Resources

Thanksgiving

Teaching About the First Thanksgiving
Discover the many meanings of Thanksgiving by exploring life in 17th-century America and the experiences of the Pilgrims and Wampanoags.

Teaching Resources for Thanksgiving
Lessons, extensions, multimedia resources, and recommended books.

Thanksgiving
Memoirs. Excerpts from primary sources.

Thanksgiving Timeline

Teachers Guide: After the Mayflower
This PBS Teachers Guide provides comprehension and discussion questions, describes student activities, and lists useful websites. The questions are best used after viewing the episode, which is viewable on the PBS website. ( PDF 10.08 MB, 10pages)

Thanksgiving on the Web
A source of Thanksgiving postcards, recipes, facts, and trivia.

Pilgrims

Pilgrim Hall Museum: Learning Online
The museum site features two curriculum units: Painted Pilgrims (grades 6-12) William Bradford: the Pen & the Person (grades 9-12).

Mayflower and Early Families
Houses history and primary resources for the Mayflower, Pilgrims, and Colonial life. A new Document Center houses hundreds of scans of wills, deeds, land transfers, warrants and more.

Mayflower History
Features Pilgrim history and Plymouth Colony primary sources.

Wampanoag

The Mashpee Wampanoag Timeline
An annotated timeline 1616- 2007.

Native Languages of the Americas: Wampanoag
A source of information on language and culture. Includes a fact sheet and an introduction to Wampanoag Indian mythology.

Wampanoag History
A tribal overview from 1600 to the present.

NativeTech: Native American Technology and Art
This site focuses on the arts of Eastern Woodland Indian Peoples.

Turkey Trivia

Thanksgiving by the Numbers
Consider a statistical view of Thanksgiving. Find out how many turkeys are raised for Thanksgiving, how many pounds of potatoes Americans consume around the holiday, and how many pies will be produced. Links to other Thanksgiving quiz and turkey facts.

Turkey Facts
Learn about wild and domesticated turkeys in the United States.

Recipes

Thanksgiving Recipes for Kids
Make wuzzleberry pie, pilgrim hat cupcake cones, turkey hand cookies, and other kid-friendly treats.

Thanksgiving Recipes for Kids
Kids can help mom, dad, brother, or sister make sweet potato pie, marshmallow pilgrim hats, and turkey cookies.

Pass the Dessert: America's Thanksgiving Recipes
Find seven recipes for old fashioned Thanksgiving desserts and listen to an audio clip as the some of the finished recipes are tasted and rated.

Online Quizzes

Turkey Trivia Quiz
Answer 20 questions on the turkey and have your quiz graded.

Thanksgiving Quiz
Take and grade these 10 question quizzes.

Thanksgiving Trivia
Test your Thanksgiving savvy with this 80 question trivia test.

Books

The Thanksgiving Visitor by Truman Capote
6-12. In this companion to A Christmas Memory, Miss Sook schemes to bring Buddy and class bully Odd Henderson together over Thanksgiving dinner.

Online Video

New Plimoth Plantation Virtual Field Trips
K-12. Tour the Pilgrim Village, the Wampanoag Homesite, and the Plimoth Plantation.

We Shall Remain: After the Mayflower (1:16:40)
6-12. Part I of We Shall Remain: After the Mayflower opens with the celebration of the first Thanksgiving.

Truman Capote's The Thanksgiving Visitor Parts 1-5 (approximately 44 minutes)
6-12. The 1967 film adaptation of Capote’s story starring Geraldine Page in five parts.

Keeping Score:  Ives Holidays Symphony (approximately 15 minutes)
Michael Tilson Thomas describes the 4th Movement of Ives Holidays Symphony: Thanksgiving. Those not familiar with Ives’s music will, as Ives wished, “stretch their ears.”

History of Thanksgiving
14 brief videos covering Thanksgiving history, food, football, and more.

last updated: October 18, 2013

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NEA Staff Editors

Quick ideas for celebrating the holiday, written and submitted by readers themselves.

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