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Thanksgiving Ideas for the Classroom, Grades K-5

Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans, Activity Ideas and Other Curriculum Resources

Found in: Language Arts & Literature, Social Studies, PreK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Lesson Plans & Activities

Lesson Plans

The First Thanksgiving
In these leveled units, students in grades K2, 3-5, and 6-8 learn about the hardships encountered by the Pilgrims on their voyage and in their new settlement and explore different aspects of Plymouth colony's first harvest feast. Teachers will find lessons and teacher guides as well as interactive teaching tools and multimedia resources.

Activities

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

Thanksgiving Projects
4-8. Make a Thanksgiving theme picture frame.

You Are the Historian: Investigating the First Thanksgiving
4-8. In this interactive presentation, students use the skills of historians to explore the myth and misconception surrounding “The First Thanksgiving.” Requires Flash Player 6. Includes a teachers guide.

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.

Native American Perspectives on Thanksgiving
http://projectarchaeology.org/blog/native-american-perspectives-thanksgiving
Links to additional resources.

Grades 4-8 Teacher and Student Resources for American Indian Perspectives on Thanksgiving (PDF icon PDF, 4.7 MB, 10 pgs.)
The National Museum of the American Indian provides a study guide, full-size printable versions of poster images, a separate lesson on the topic of Thanksgiving, and more.

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

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

Ten Thanksgiving Books for Children
K-8. Annotated reading list.

Online Video

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

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 17, 2014

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