Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Thanksgiving, and supports the standard of investigating the relationship and interactions of Native groups and early European settlers. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Ask students: 

  • How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?
  • What is the story of Thanksgiving? How did this holiday get its start? 

Step 2: BUILD KNOWLEDGE

  • Read aloud the description below the Thanksgiving topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the four Related Reading articles. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Students take the Thanksgiving Challenge and Quiz, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Step 4: DEEPEN and EXTEND

Students express what they learned about Thanksgiving while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.  

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a documentary highlighting the different perspectives of both the settlers and the Wampanoag.
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map analyzing the interactions between the Wampanoag and the settlers, and identifying the effects on each group. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a sorting game challenging players to distinguish between Thanksgiving facts and myths. 
  • Analyze a Primary Source: Read excerpts from a 1863 letter to President Abraham Lincoln and cite evidence to answer the accompanying questions.

More to Explore

Time Zone X: Thanksgiving: Place historical events in chronological order in this interactive timeline game

Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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