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You Are the Historian: Investigating the First Thanksgiving

Name:You Are the Historian: Investigating the First Thanksgiving

Brief Description of the Site:
What does it mean to be an historian and how does one organize an historical investigation? "You Are the Historian: Investigating the First Thanksgiving," developed by Plimoth Plantation (administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services), offers visitors the chance to become history detectives. Through the examination of the harvest celebration later to become known as the First Thanksgiving, students can discover clues to the events. This highly interactive site challenges children to ask deeper questions and use evidence to draw their own conclusions about the colonists and Indians who helped them.

How to use the site:
Elementary school students should enjoy using this site as a new way to study American history. The site is designed especially for children of grades 3 through and their teachers. A Teacher's Guide supports the use of the site with classroom activities. The site is colorful and appealing, with children donning costumes assuming the role of colonists and Indians. The tool bar on the bottom has a Glossary, a Visit The Expert, and a Teachers Guide link. Rollovers with popup facts allow the student to visit categories designed to help develop questions such as "Fact Or Fiction?" "The Evidence", a comparison and contrast of the colonists and the Wampanoag People, The Path (in the form of a quiz), and a "Share What We Learned" section model a grade appropriate activities for the study of history. While the site's content and objective to teach children how to become historians (or history detectives) are valuable for the study of this period in American history, the site also serves as a model for how other historical periods can be explored in a multimedia yet simple manner.

Submitted by:
Lisa Neal
Lexington, MA