“Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.” – W.J. Cameron
More than ever our students need to see meaningful examples of how the U.S. was built on various cultures coming together to collaborate, learn, and help each other. The Thanksgiving story reminds students how difficult it was for two cultures to respect each other, but eventually did. Before Thanksgiving, colonists and Native Americans were dying needlessly when they could’ve been helping each other through hardships like sickness, famine, etc. Lives are lost when we close our minds and think we don’t have anything to learn from people who are different from us. That is what the current political climate worldwide seems to believe, but our past has painfully taught us better. This Thanksgiving let’s help our future leaders learn the value of diversity and coming together despite differences to better the world. Feel free to download the slide presentation below. If you like these ideas, then check out my book, Hacking Digital Learning Strategies: 10 Ways to Launch EdTech Missions.
The History of Thanksgiving
- Online Interactive Investigation of the History– Students act as history detectives and investigate what happened at the 1621 celebration by researching letters and participating in online activities that show the different cultures and customs.
- Students play the Jamestown Online Adventure Game to discover life as an explorer and make decisions based on history.
- Students can travel virtually to see Pilgrim and Wampanoag villages or travel on the Mayflower virtually.
- Students can read letters from a Pilgrim girl and Wampanoag boy. As an activity, they can write a response to one of the letters.
- Students can view an online scrapbook of girl who made her voyage on the Mayflower. This virtual scrapbook from Scholastic is filled with online games, activities, recipes, photos, and more!
- Students can learn the story by participating in a play. After reading the history, put students in small groups and have them create their own scripts. You can also use these 2 prepared scripts.
- Young learners can create finger puppets and reenact the story in small groups. You will find some finger puppet templates here.
- Students can retell the events to each other on a felt board. Here are some Thanksgiving felt board characters.
- Have students create digital stories! Story ideas include research a person who took part in the event and tell from their viewpoint, describe how they celebrate, tell a story about unlikely friendships, or foretell what life would be like if the Pilgrims and Wampanoag didn’t get along.
- Your students will be inspired to reflect on the Thanksgiving themes with these Makebeliefs Comix writing prompts. Check out the Best Thanksgiving theme.
Online Fun & Games
- Mr. Turkey Where Are You? is an ebook (iOS) that was created by a mother for her son with autism. It has great features like reading the story aloud and the ability for students to upload their own images that appear in the story.
- Hand Turkey Thanksgiving (iOS) is a fun way young children trace their fingers and create a turkey.
- With Red Stamp (web/iOS/Android) and Buncee (web/iOS) students can send free ecards and choose from a library of Thanksgiving templates and stickers.
- Thanksgiving Puzzle (iOS/Android) lets kids work on animated puzzles.
cross posted at teacherrebootcamp.com
Shelly Terrell is an education consultant, technology trainer, and author. Read more at teacherrebootcamp.com.