HD_Links: Thanksgiving Resources


Yesterday, we shared some Thanksgiving tools. Today, we have a list of some useful resources for teaching Thanksgiving this year.

Before I list some of the best resources, I’ll tell you where I gathered most of my links. eThemes has a long list of resources as well as links to related topics. The other place I find a ton of resources is Larry Lerlazzo’s Website of the Day… and his list of best Thanksgiving resources. Here are a few I picked:

What resources have you leaned on when teaching Thanksgiving? How do you recognize Thanksgiving in your classroom?

Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.

Tuesday’s Tool: Three Tools for Teaching Thanksgiving

Public Domain - Click for source.

There are loads of Thanksgiving resources out there, but most of them promote a more passive or sedentary type of research activity. So, for this week’s online tools post, we’re sharing three great tools for teaching Thanksgiving. Expect a list of resources tomorrow.

Scholastic’s The First Thanksgiving is a virtual field trip of the Plimoth Plantation. Included are videos and interactive features on the voyage, life in Plimoth, and the first feast of Thanksgiving. There are also teacher resources and an option to receive historical letters from Pilgrim and Wampanoag children by email.

The History Channel has a collection of 15 Thanksgiving videos and a photo gallery for your visual learners. The videos cover topics ranging from the many Thanksgiving traditions we enjoy today to some detailed features on the historical events surrounding the first Thanksgiving.

Finally, one of my favorite tools from my days in the classroom is this simulation from the Plimoth Plantation and the Smithsonian. Investigating the First Thanksgiving: You Are the Historian is an interactive activity where students play detectives trying to determine what really happened at the first Thanksgiving. Different perspectives are considered and primary resources are studies for an engaging and thoughtful lesson.

What online tools have you found helpful in teaching Thanksgiving? How do you insure that varying perspectives are covered while you still maintain the spirit of the traditional American holiday? Where does Thanksgiving fit into learning standards?

Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.

Taking the Week Off

Networked Teaching & Learning is taking the week off. Be sure to check in again next week for more great posts providing all you need to reach 21st Century learners!

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

In the meantime, check out the following opportunities:

Online registration for the 2011 eMINTS Winter Conference is open, now through January 28, 2011 – or until sessions are filled.
Conference dates – Feb. 23-25, 2011
Location – Columbia, MO

More in 2011

  • More sessions, more presentations
  • More pre-conference, hands-on workshops
  • More inspiration from nationally-recognized keynote speakers, Jamie McKenzie and Bernie Dodge

New for 2011

  • New tools and ideas to enhance your teaching and learning
  • New location at Stoney Creek Inn in Columbia, MO

Find details and register online now

The following are grant opportunities for educators:

ING Unsung Heroes Award

Each year, one hundred educators are selected to receive $2,000 each to help fund their innovative class projects. Three recipients are then selected to receive additional top awards of $5,000, $10,000, and $25,000. Visit: http://ing.us/about-ing/citizenship/childrens-education/ing-unsung-heroes

Middle and High School Science Teachers

The National Science Teachers Association, the largest professional organization in the world working to promote excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning, and Shell Oil Company have launched a new competition for middle and high school teachers that will bring laboratory resources to school districts across the United States. Through the NSTA Shell Science Lab Challenge, schools will compete for up to $93,000 in total prizes, including a grand-prize school science lab makeover valued at $20,000: http://www.nsta.org/shellsciencelab/

Seven Fund offers Fellowships to K-12 Teachers to Study Solutions to Poverty in Rwanda

The objective of the fellowship is to introduce the concepts of business solutions to poverty within a K-12 curriculum. Winners will be invited to spend two weeks in Rwanda, where they will meet with leaders in the private, public, and education sectors. Individual meetings and trips also will be arranged according to the interests of the winning teachers. For example, a biology teacher might spend time with scientists working in Rwanda’s emerging biotech cluster; an art teacher might travel around the country to study artisan cooperatives specializing in different handicrafts; a journalism teacher might shadow the editor of a major Rwandan publication: http://www.sevenfund.org/teaching-fellowship/

Music Education for Low-Income Students

The NAMM organization has announced the availability of grants through its Wanna Play Fund to provide instruments to schools and community organizations that are expanding or reinstating music education programs as part of a core curriculum and/or that employ quality music teachers.

Eligible applicants are public schools serving low-income students (percentage of free and reduced lunch data required); community organizations serving low-income students and students with special needs (community demographic information required); and schools and community programs that have made a commitment to hiring and retaining high-quality music teachers and providing standards-based, sequential learning in music: http://www.nammfoundation.org/grant-information/apply-grant-and-scholarship

What Really Happened At Thanksgiving?

Looking for a lesson or activity exploring the different perspectives of the first Thanksgiving? Look no further than What Really Happened At Thanksgiving? for an investigation that will engage students and cause them to think critically.

There will be no need for turkeys made from the outlines of our hands or paper pilgrim hats. What Really Happened At Thanksgiving? is a great way to engage students in authentic learning around a holiday event based on historical events. From the Plimoth Plantation, this interactive website takes students through the process of investigating Thanksgiving as historians. Your historians will participate in activities that separate fact from myth, identify and analyze primary resources, make educational guesses using cultural clues, and consider multiple points of view.

Including in this interactive website is a teacher’s guide. The guide provides classroom activities that coincide with online activities. Also included are national social studies standards and other resources. Either use the site for a last minute fill in for those days leading up to Thanksgiving or plan out a more elaborate unit on Native Americans and European colonization of the Americas. This resource is really adaptive to your needs. The ideal grade levels for this resource are 3rd-5th.

Zac Early is an instructional specialist for the eMINTS National Center. He currently manages Networked Teaching & Learning while neglecting his own blogs, particularly Suppl_eMINTS.