#CelebrateWithDE – Thanksgiving

Giving thanks is a timeless act, but the Thanksgiving holiday has a history that includes many true and tall tales. Take some time this year to let your students learn one of the classic stories of an early Thanksgiving feast shared by the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims.


Featured Resources

Content Collection: Thanksgiving
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Assorted Resources

Give thanks—for Thanksgiving! This national holiday, celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada, is a day of gratitude for the bounty of the harvest of the previous year.
 
Celebrate with DE: Thanksgiving
Discovery Education Streaming, Science Techbook, Social Studies Techbook, Math Techbook
Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Assorted Resources

Discusses the process of officially establishing Thanksgiving Day and its many traditions. The segment details the founding of the holiday and the origins of traditions such as the presidential pardon of a turkey.


LEARN ABOUT AN EARLY THANKSGIVING FEAST

Use an e-book, reading passages, and video segments to tell the story of an early Thanksgiving celebrating a Pilgrim harvest with Native Americans from the Wampanoag tribe.
 
Rabbit Ears: Squanto and the First Thanksgiving
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades K-2, 3-5, Reading Passage

Appearing in e-book format with beautiful illustration, this story relays the true story of a Native American named Tisquantum (Squanto) who is captured from his tribe and taken to Spain to be sold into slavery. After regaining his freedom, Squanto makes his way back home where he teaches the pilgrims how to survive the harsh conditions, leading to a Thanksgiving feast.
 
Squanto’s Story
Discovery Education Streaming, Social Studios Techbook
Grades K-2, 3-5, Video Segment

Squanto helps the Pilgrims farm the land and tells Bradford how he once traveled to England and returned home, only to find that his people had all died from the white man’s disease.
 
Tisquantum
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades 6-8, Reading Passage

Tisquantum, better known as Squanto, was part of the Patuxet tribe of the Wampanoag Confederation. Squanto helped settlers in Plymouth hunt, trade goods, and farm. In 1621, colonists had farmed and gathered so much food that they invited the local Native Americans to an early Thanksgiving feast.
 
Squanto’s Story and the First Thanksgiving
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades 6-8, 9-12, Video Segment

Unveils the fables surrounding Squanto’s story, revealing the truth about his enslavement in Europe. The segment also debunks the myth that turkey was the meat of choice at the first Thanksgiving.


APPLY

After your students have read and watched a couple versions of the story of Squanto and the Pilgrims, encourage them to retell the most basic version of the story with the SOS strategy Six Word Story. Your students will be challenged to find the most important details of the story, because this strategy requires students to flex their summarizing muscles as they select only six words to convey a big idea in the shortest of stories. (Note: Consider scaffolding the exercise by having the class create a list of key words from which individual students can choose as they write their six-word stories. You could also modify the assignment by allowing some students to write stories of different word counts, i.e. ten-word stories, four-word stories, etc.)


Interested in joining classrooms around the world to Celebrate holidays year round? Check out our Timely Content Page.

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