Top 10 Lesson Plans for Thanksgiving

November 25th, 2013

This year, the nation will celebrate Thanksgiving on November 28th. Bring holiday spirit to your class with these helpful teaching tools. Here are our top 10 Thanksgiving resources to use in your classroom:

1. Take a look at our Thanksgiving Day e-book in our American Calendar series! Use it as a starting point for discussing Thanksgiving’s role as an American holiday and how it is celebrated.

2. Further your classroom discussion with primary sources, including text and images, from the Library of Congress and their Thanksgiving Teacher’s Guide.

3. Analyze with your class the role the government plays in a national holiday. Begin with this lesson plan on President Washington’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation.

4. Research a lesson on Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims with these educational resources from Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth, MA.

5. Have your students look at Thanksgiving through a Native American perspective with this helpful guide from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

6. Help students understand Thanksgiving tradition and generosity through a close reading of the short story “Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen” by O. Henry. It includes a lesson plan and discussion guide.

7. Watch the first episode in PBS’s series We Shall Remain, which highlights the interaction between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag. They’re all available online and include a teacher’s guide.

8. Consider the relationship between Thanksgiving and other national holidays by utilizing our American Calendar series, and think about the importance of national holidays to America.

9. Employ our video resources and begin your Thanksgiving discussion with these model conversions by WSPWH editors on Washington’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation and O. Henry’s “Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen”.

10. Utilize Thinkfinity’s Thanksgiving material, including 14 different Thanksgiving activities and lesson plans.

What are your favorite resources to use for teaching Thanksgiving? Share them in our blog comments below!

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