#CelebrateWithDE – Thanksgiving

Most Americans are familiar with the traditions of Thanksgiving. In fact, beyond the earliest grades, many students can recite the story of the Pilgrims and could create a shopping list for a Thanksgiving dinner. So, use our Thanksgiving Content Collection to help your students build a solid understanding of the holiday, and then use the resources below to take a fresh look at some of our Thanksgiving lore.

Featured Resource: Thanksgiving Content Collection

Discovery Education Streaming, Social Studies Techbook, Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

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. Commonly traced to a 1621 celebration in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the American Thanksgiving has clear historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, but it also is linked to the simple social custom of sharing in the pleasure and good fortune of a bountiful harvest. In this lesson, consider the history and tradition of Thanksgiving and the new interpretations and evolving customs of the holiday in modern times.

Myths and Legends

The mainstream story of Thanksgiving is sprinkled with a healthy dose of myth and legend. These resources help clarify the historical facts and are entertaining, too.

first_thanksgvingStuff You Missed in History Class Podcast: How the First Thanksgiving Worked

Discovery Education Streaming, Podcast, Grades 6-8, 9-12

Nowadays, Thanksgiving has become an official holiday, complete with its own trappings of tradition and mythology. But how much of the conventional Thanksgiving story is true? Join Sarah and Katie as they take a closer look at the first Thanksgiving.


Social Studies Techbook, Reading Passage, Grades 6-8

Tiquantum, better known as Squanto, was part of the Patuxet tribe of the Wampanoag Confederation. Squanto helped settlers hunt, trade goods, and farm. This reading passage reveals the details of Squanto’s life, including how he learned to speak fluent English.

squantoSquanto’s Story and the First Thanksgiving

Discovery Education Streaming, Social Studies Techbook, Video Segment, Grades 6-8, 9-12

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.

Thanksgiving in Hard Times

Discovery Education resources may help you dive into historical content with a different perspective or simply consider how certain holidays and traditions can help ease the course of human suffering.

thanksgiving_1929A Happy Thanksgiving

Discovery Education Streaming, Social Studies Techbook, Video Segment, Grades 6-8, 9-12

The Video Yearbook Collection examines the major political, social, economic, and technological events and developments of the twentieth century. In this segment, a benefactor provides a Thanksgiving meal to many in 1929.


thanksgivin_vietnamThanksgiving in Vietnam

Discovery Education Streaming, Social Studies Techbook, Video Segment, 6-8, 9-12

Philip Jones discusses the future of America in Vietnam. American soldiers have a Thanksgiving meal, and a soldier talks of coping with the loss of friends.

Just for Fun

thanksgiving_riddleThanksgiving Riddles

Discovery Education Streaming, Video Segment, Grades 3-5

Uncle Paul likes telling Thanksgiving riddles to the children, and they share a few of their favorites.


Instructional Strategy

soscircleSOS: 3 Truths…1 Lie

All Services, Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-9, 9-12

This teaching strategy helps students focus on the key takeaway of a particular concept. It is a great strategy to use with history and, especially, myths and legends. Have students create three truths and one lie, based on any of the resources above, or a combination of study. They can try to stump a partner or the whole class.Save


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