TeachersFirst's Thanksgiving Resources

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Take a look at these rich resources, sure to make you thankful! This collection includes Thanksgiving resources for all grades in a variety of subjects. Teach your students about the "true" Thanksgiving story; use this time as an opportunity to help your students learn about Native Americans; take your students on a virtual trip to Plimouth Plantation; or try many other seasonal resources and activities. 

 

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Celebrating the Holidays with a Kid's Heart - Roxie Carroll - A Kids Heart

Grades
K to 4
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Celebrating the Holidays at A Kid's Heart contains online games, puzzles, printable activity pages, mini games to download, screen savers, clip art, coloring pages, gift tags to print,...more
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Celebrating the Holidays at A Kid's Heart contains online games, puzzles, printable activity pages, mini games to download, screen savers, clip art, coloring pages, gift tags to print, desktop wallpaper, and whole lot more! Build background knowledge about the many holidays people around the world celebrate. Some of the holidays included are birthdays, New Years, Winter, Father's Day, Martin Luther King's Birthday, Valentine's Day, Summer Time, Independence Day, Presidents' Day, Purim, St Patrick's Day, Spring Time, Passover, Mother's Day, Earth Day, Grandparents' Day, Fall Harvest, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah. Find informative, entertaining activities at this site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): christmas (64), earth day (111), fall festival (5), fathers day (10), hanukkah (14), holidays (151), july 4th (7), martin luther king (36), mothers day (12), new years (11), preK (293), rosh hashanah (7), st patricks day (12), thanksgiving (33), valentines day (15), yom kippur (7)

In the Classroom

Need to find quick activities for a special holiday in your class? Find ready-made activities to use during center time, class celebrations, or special reward time on your interactive whiteboard. After school programs can easily use activities for all different interests during holiday times.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Interactive Sites for Education Thanksgiving - Weebly

Grades
K to 3
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Gobble up this collection of entertaining Thanksgiving activities. Challenges include a historical perspective, word search, logic games, word finds, and simple review games. There...more
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Gobble up this collection of entertaining Thanksgiving activities. Challenges include a historical perspective, word search, logic games, word finds, and simple review games. There is no registration required to use these activities.

tag(s): holidays (151), thanksgiving (33)

In the Classroom

Add this site to your lesson plans to use for Thanksgiving. Introduce activities on your interactive whiteboard. Bookmark these activities at your classroom computers to used during center time. Use as an incentive to promote positive behavior. Post a link on your class webpage for students to use at home.
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The Year We Had Two Thanksgivings - Marist College

Grades
5 to 12
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Learn the story behind the year with two U.S. Thanksgivings from this simple, yet interesting site. The short article tells the tale of President Roosevelt's journey to declare the...more
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Learn the story behind the year with two U.S. Thanksgivings from this simple, yet interesting site. The short article tells the tale of President Roosevelt's journey to declare the official date for all states to celebrate Thanksgiving. View several documents, including letters and telegrams to the president voicing opinions on setting an official date for Thanksgiving.

tag(s): primary sources (92), roosevelt (16), thanksgiving (33)

In the Classroom

Use information from the article and documents as part of any lesson about Thanksgiving. Share the documents as part of a unit on primary resources. Print and share documents with students and challenge them to present an opposing point of view or write a reply from President Roosevelt. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare and contrast different points of view. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook "as" President Roosevelt or one of the writers of letters to the president.

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Have Fun With History - havefunwithhistory.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Have Fun With History offers a large selection of history videos on American History topics. These videos (and the topic selection) are a MUST see! Browse through videos coinciding...more
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Have Fun With History offers a large selection of history videos on American History topics. These videos (and the topic selection) are a MUST see! Browse through videos coinciding with monthly topics or sort by people and events. Search using the timelines (People Timeline and Events Timeline). Use the search bar to locate content by specific topic. Videos include links to similar topics and related activities. Don't miss some of the fun in the Thanksgiving section, including presidential turkeys! If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): 1900s (37), aircraft (23), american flag (11), american revolution (89), artists (78), bill of rights (29), civil rights (122), civil war (144), colonial america (106), flags (22), industrial revolution (26), kennedy (27), lincoln (86), martin luther king (36), native americans (78), pearl harbor (12), railroads (11), slavery (71), space (220), thanksgiving (33), underground railroad (12), war of 1812 (15), world war 1 (55), world war 2 (143)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your favorites for use with almost any history unit. Your visual learners will find history more understandable using the video and interactive options. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Share links to specific videos on your class website or blog for students to view at home. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here). Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a person in a video.
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The History of Thanksgiving and its Celebrations - Holidays on the Net

Grades
K to 6
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Welcome to your one stop holiday shop filled with a plethora of Thanksgiving ideas. Information, stories, recipes, blogs, crafts and Ecards fill the site. Fun facts and folklore give...more
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Welcome to your one stop holiday shop filled with a plethora of Thanksgiving ideas. Information, stories, recipes, blogs, crafts and Ecards fill the site. Fun facts and folklore give the extras you might not even know about. Presidential proclamations from the past five presidents give insight into our country historical perspectives and first hand information. Videos of recipes from the appetizers to the desserts help give a detailed explanation to make the perfect dish. An interactive fun game of Turkey Bowl puts you in the Thanksgiving spirit. This is a great site for much needed Thanksgiving information and celebrations.
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tag(s): blogs (86), crafts (43), thanksgiving (33)

In the Classroom

Lead your students to this site filled with information. Research can determine the many myths and true information about Thanksgiving. Allow students to plan and make parts of their Thanksgiving feast. Find fun activities, crafts, decorations to make your celebration perfect with your students and families. Add at a center for timely fun information and research time. Link this to your class website or wiki for parent information and extensions at home.

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Plimoth Plantation - Plimoth Plantation

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3 to 8
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Plimoth Plantation (that's the original spelling) is a reconstruction of the Pilgrim settlement at Plymouth. Take a field trip to the Plimoth Plantation just in time for Thanksgiving....more
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Plimoth Plantation (that's the original spelling) is a reconstruction of the Pilgrim settlement at Plymouth. Take a field trip to the Plimoth Plantation just in time for Thanksgiving. Take a virtual field trip to an English village and Wampanoag home site from 1627. Go inside a Wetu, or home, and look. Become a historian and uncover what really happened on the first Thanksgiving. Primary sources give accounts from the Wampanoag traditions to the English home of Pilgrim Mary Allerton. Each student will finish with a printed exhibition panel. Dig into your ancestry to find out if you are a pilgrim. Find actual genealogical profiles. Explore the museum collections of artifacts. Find these resources under the Learn tab at the top menu; slide down to Just for Teachers, and scroll down the page until your find Resources for Educators.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): colonial america (106), pilgrims (16), thanksgiving (33)

In the Classroom

Change the commercial traditions of tradition and bring on a study of history. Fascinating worlds of primary resources are at your computer! Virtual field trips, historical sleuthing, genealogy, and so much more. Challenge your students to take a closer look and decide for themselves. Debate information lines the pages of this website. Have students keep a virtual journal about what they are learning (that is new to them) from Plimoth Plantation. Use an easy virtual journaling tool such as Penzu, reviewed here. With Penzu you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations. Study history not false information. Share this and other sections of the TeachersFirst Colonial America tour as part of your study of the colonies so students can see what these historic locations look like today.
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The Real Story of Thanksgiving - Manataka American Indian Council

Grades
3 to 6
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This site offers three stories about the "Real Story of Thanksgiving." Discover the real story of Thanksgiving, a teacher introduction, and the Plymouth Thanksgiving Story. The Manatake...more
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This site offers three stories about the "Real Story of Thanksgiving." Discover the real story of Thanksgiving, a teacher introduction, and the Plymouth Thanksgiving Story. The Manatake are trying to preserve and protect their history and place of worship. Find fascinating information on Thanksgiving from a different perspective.

tag(s): native americans (78), thanksgiving (33)

In the Classroom

Challenge your students to take a different point of view on Thanksgiving. Follow the historical information of the Manatake to see their Thanksgiving story. Lead students through a Socratic seminar to think about who really was thankful. Why should the people at the time celebrate? Write essays using reflections on the purpose of reflection and celebration. Determine if similar situations still exist today. Lead your students to a service-learning project to help others.

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Legends and Stories to Share for Thanksgiving - Apples 4 the Teacher

Grades
K to 6
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Discover a fun site just in time for Thanksgiving! Several short stories provide nice, short comprehension passages. Thanksgiving articles and tips provide helpful information on stress,...more
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Discover a fun site just in time for Thanksgiving! Several short stories provide nice, short comprehension passages. Thanksgiving articles and tips provide helpful information on stress, parties, meals, centerpieces, and crafts. Thanksgiving stories, books, and reading activities add academic content to the holiday. Learning activities add new lesson ideas. A thematic unit provides Native American games, poems, reading lists, and jigsaw puzzles. Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday in school.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): crafts (43), holidays (151), native americans (78), poetry (221), puzzles (202), reading lists (78), thanksgiving (33)

In the Classroom

Be prepared for the Thanksgiving holiday with the ones you are thankful for, your students! Enjoy the academic content and party ideas to make it the best Thanksgiving yet!

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Giving Thanks: A Compare-and-Contrast Lesson - Gary Hopkins for Education World

Grades
7 to 12
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This activity is a good one for the Thanksgiving season or anytime. A powerful five minute video gets students reflecting on their lives and appreciating how much they have when ...more
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This activity is a good one for the Thanksgiving season or anytime. A powerful five minute video gets students reflecting on their lives and appreciating how much they have when compared to children in other parts of the world.

tag(s): critical thinking (119), thanksgiving (33)

In the Classroom

Start off by asking students to write a journal entry to answer and explain, "Do you ever think that you might have it easier compared to some other kids?" Show the video on your classroom whiteboard or projector. Have students use one of TeachersFirst online compare/contrast graphic organizers such as the Venn Diagram tool, reviewed here, to juxtapose their way of life with the way of life of people their age who have very little compared to them. Teenagers need reality checks when it comes to their wants versus their needs. As a follow-up, have students work in groups to brainstorm ways that they could actually make a difference for children who endure lives of poverty. Check with your school nurse or social worker to see if there is a family in the community that could use some extra kindness and have your students come up with a plan that your class could put into action right now. Have them look at Do Something, reviewed here, to get an idea of what type of activities are already out there and are successful. Use Dotstorming, reviewed here, to comment and vote on different ideas. Alternatively, you and your students could check out Day of Service, reviewed here, to find volunteer opportunities in your area. Let them experience the enduring lesson and joy that comes from helping others.
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Vocab-u-lous! - Education World

Grades
7 to 12
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Use Education World's Vocab-u-lous! features to help build your students' vocabulary. There are numerous word banks for students to use as they figure out which of the challenging...more
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Use Education World's Vocab-u-lous! features to help build your students' vocabulary. There are numerous word banks for students to use as they figure out which of the challenging words fits in the context of the sentences. The activity sheets are arranged by the words' beginning sound, and by holiday categories, such as Thanksgiving words and Presidents' Day words.

Be aware: this site has several advertisements, some pop-up.

tag(s): sound (103), sounds (70), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Just try to take the dictionaries away from your students when you project a Vocab-u-lous activity sheet on your whiteboard (or projector) or hand them the printable version of the worksheet. These are useful for SAT preparation and other tests that assess vocabulary, as well as building a strong vocabulary necessary for better reading comprehension and oral and written communication. When using this activity with a class set of computers, provide a link from your class web page to a reputable online dictionary. For additional practice, provide this link on your class website for students to access at home.
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The Thanksgiving Story - Wilstar

Grades
3 to 6
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This site contains a short text explanation of events leading up to the first Thanksgiving held in 1621 and how that has led to today's traditions and celebration of the ...more
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This site contains a short text explanation of events leading up to the first Thanksgiving held in 1621 and how that has led to today's traditions and celebration of the holiday. Although it is fairly short, it contains many facts which would be useful in a classroom study of Thanksgiving. There is a short quiz at the end based on the information included that can be reproduced and used in the classroom.

Note - there is a link to a YouTube video midway through the information on the page, students may need to be cautioned that it isn't part of the activity.

tag(s): holidays (151), pilgrims (16), thanksgiving (33)

In the Classroom

Type up the quiz (or use copy/paste, but GIVE CREDIT) and give it to your students before studying Thanksgiving to assess prior knowledge. Use the story page on an interactive whiteboard for students to highlight key words and write a main idea sentence or do practice comprehension or notetaking skills during Thanksgiving season. Older students can read the site on their own at a classroom center and complete the quiz at the end of their session. After reading the story, ask students to write their own story from the perspective of one of the first Thanksgiving participants. Create a class book using their stories using a site such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Colonial Williamsburg - History for Kids Daily Jigsaw Puzzles - Colonial Williamsburg

Grades
3 to 8
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This site provides a daily jigsaw puzzle depicting an aspect of life at Colonial Williamsburg. Choose the current daily puzzle or a different one from the archives. Archive categories...more
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This site provides a daily jigsaw puzzle depicting an aspect of life at Colonial Williamsburg. Choose the current daily puzzle or a different one from the archives. Archive categories are broken down into: Trades, Animals, Spring, Sites, People, Misc, Winter, Military, Valentines, Christmas, Autumn, and Thanksgiving. Jigsaw puzzles teach visual/spatial skills in addition to providing an engaging way to present history.

tag(s): colonial america (106), evolution (101), virginia (16), williamsburg (11)

In the Classroom

This site can be used in several different ways. Use it on an interactive whiteboard or projector as a center during social studies time. Have students solve the puzzle and then write about what they've revealed. Put it on classroom computers and have students use it for a morning warm up. This site will work for all ability levels because you are able to change the number and style of the pieces in the puzzle window.
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Race Bridges for Schools - Race Bridges for Schools

Grades
3 to 12
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This is a teacher and professional resource containing lesson plans and links for promoting diversity and addressing racial divides. This site contains excellent lesson plans on diversity,...more
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This is a teacher and professional resource containing lesson plans and links for promoting diversity and addressing racial divides. This site contains excellent lesson plans on diversity, discrimination, multiculturalism, and tolerance. Each plan focuses on a person or event of a specific racial group, or a problem common to all multicultural groups. The plans do not specify a grade level, though many could be adapted for use from middle elementary level to high school. From Japanese internment to celebrating Thanksgiving in an American school, the plans and activities are excellent, varied, and fresh. The lesson plans are VERY detailed and provide objectives, but no correlation to standards. Many of the individual stories are available in MP3 format. You can listen to the stories using Windows Media Player or on any MP3 player, as well. Some of the lesson plans require Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): black history (59), diversity (33), native americans (78), racism (16)

In the Classroom

Use the lesson plans that are relevant to your class as you study different cultures, history, racial tensions in the U.S. , or even character education. Share the stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector. With older students, have cooperative learning groups explore different lessons. Have the groups create a multi-media presentation sharing their discoveries. Have the groups create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon . You could also use this site as the core of a contemporary topics debate series.
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Mrs. Cassidy's Web Page - Fall and Thanksgiving - Mrs. Cassidy

Grades
K to 3
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This seasonal website was created by a teacher. It offers many enrichment activities all about Fall and Thanksgiving. Some examples of activities include: "Catch the Falling Leaves,"...more
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This seasonal website was created by a teacher. It offers many enrichment activities all about Fall and Thanksgiving. Some examples of activities include: "Catch the Falling Leaves," "Fun in the Garden," and "Find the Differences." Educational topics include numbers, counting, problem solving, logic, and art. Many of these activities require JAVA and/or FLASH. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): fall (15), holidays (151), thanksgiving (33)

In the Classroom

Your class will "eat up" these free resources all related to Fall and Thanksgiving. All of these activities are ready for your interactive whiteboard (or projector).

Provide this link in your fall newsletter as free (educational) activities for students to use during the fall break.
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Mayflower History - Caleb Johnson

Grades
2 to 12
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The Mayflower comes alive as you explore the passenger list with accompanying personal history and genealogy. Click on the Pilgrim History link for a history of Thanksgiving and other...more
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The Mayflower comes alive as you explore the passenger list with accompanying personal history and genealogy. Click on the Pilgrim History link for a history of Thanksgiving and other Mayflower-era topics, including authentic recipes.

tag(s): genealogy (7), pilgrims (16), primary sources (92), thanksgiving (33)

In the Classroom

Only a visit to a far away museum could get any better than having the full-text primary sources which are available with a click on the left menu. The Mayflower experience would come to life as students fictitiously become one of the voyagers. Perhaps students could adopt a Mayflower 'ancestor' and write how they are alike or unlike. Around Thanksgiving, teachers may want to try some of the original recipes for an authentic Mayflower 'flavor' to their lesson plans.
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Who Were The Pilgrims - Plimoth Plantation

Grades
1 to 6
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This informative website presents the students with information on numerous "Pilgrim" topics. There are authentic pictures and a lot of information. Topics include "Who Were The Pilgrims,"...more
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This informative website presents the students with information on numerous "Pilgrim" topics. There are authentic pictures and a lot of information. Topics include "Who Were The Pilgrims," "Who Were The Wampanoag," "The Mayflower," "Building a Home," and more!

On the right side of the website, there is a list of other relevant topics (Thanksgiving, Growing Food, What to Wear, Playing and Learning, What's for Dinner, and several others).

tag(s): colonial america (106), pilgrims (16), thanksgiving (33)

In the Classroom

A teacher could use this website for research projects. Incorporate this website into your lessons on pilgrims, the Mayflower, and Thanksgiving. Use this site to help prepare for Colonial Days at your school.

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Thanksgiving Day Vocabulary - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
3 to 8
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Thanksgiving. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Thanksgiving...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Thanksgiving. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Thanksgiving vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): thanksgiving (33), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector or make them available as links on your teacher public page. Have students (or groups) create their own illustrated dictionaries of terms using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. As you add more vocabulary lists during the year, have them select their favorite 6-10 terms from each list to add to their "book."

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Thanksgiving Writing Prompts and More - ABC Teach

Grades
1 to 5
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On this webpage you will discover reading comprehension activities (for primary and upper elementary), coloring pages, interactive activities for most subject areas, and writing prompts...more
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On this webpage you will discover reading comprehension activities (for primary and upper elementary), coloring pages, interactive activities for most subject areas, and writing prompts all based on a Thanksgiving theme.

tag(s): reading comprehension (121), thanksgiving (33), writing (366)

In the Classroom

Use the entertaining prompts to start your class blog entries or journal writing activities for Thanksgiving. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Pen.io, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, challenge your students to create a blog using EasyBlog, reviewed here. After completing a couple of the writing prompts, challenge older students to choose one and create a script for their story; then put it into a Thanksgiving podcast. Use a tool like Buzzsprout, reviewed here.

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Thanksgiving in American Memory - Library of Congress

Grades
4 to 8
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A part of the Library's American Memory series, this Thanksgiving site concentrates on the historical origins of the holiday and how its celebration has evolved since the original Thanksgiving...more
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A part of the Library's American Memory series, this Thanksgiving site concentrates on the historical origins of the holiday and how its celebration has evolved since the original Thanksgiving proclamation. Be sure to check out the Thanksgiving Timeline

tag(s): thanksgiving (33)

In the Classroom

Make this site the basis for a scavenger hunt for Thanksgiving information.

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Thanksgiving History - Fourth World Documentation Project

Grades
3 to 5
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This simple, text-based site includes a narrative about Thanksgiving, recipes, and more. The narrative provides an excellent resource for a unit that examines the first inhabitants...more
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This simple, text-based site includes a narrative about Thanksgiving, recipes, and more. The narrative provides an excellent resource for a unit that examines the first inhabitants of the Plymouth region (the Wampanoag), their culture, and the impact of the arrival of the Pilgrims upon their lives. The site describes the establishment and eventual deterioration of friendships between the early colonists and the Wampanoag. A study guide and discussion questions are included, along with ideas for enrichment. This is more than the usual cute Thanksgiving story and seeks to debunk many myths.

tag(s): thanksgiving (33)

In the Classroom

Use this site as background for your pre-Thanksgiving lessons or create a scavenger hunt using the questions from the More Information for Teachers section. Have students wok in teams to create a booklet or PowerPoint presentation from a different angle: A Virtual Tour of the First Thanksgiving or a Guide for European Settlers to Life Among the Wampanoags.

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