Every school must hold a Thanksgiving Unit Lesson before the celebrations. The lesson must be entertaining, informative and interactive and that requires some advance planning.
Resources for a Thanksgiving Unit Lesson
Books with pictures about the pilgrims and the Mayflower can be a great way to start the class. Some popular books are:
1. The Pilgrims’ First Thanksgiving by Ann McGoven
2. The First Thanksgiving by Linda Hayward
3. If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 by Ann Mc Govern
Thanksgiving Unit Lesson methods:
- Begin by writing the word Thanksgiving Day on the white board and make it interactive with some activity. For instance, play some scramble with it.
- Handout some paper for the students to make ‘Tommy the Turkey’ out of it. Make them cut out colorful feathers for him, to take away some of his sadness.
- Hold an interactive session with the students about what they have read and learnt about the pilgrims and the Thanksgiving.
- While telling the story, use pictures for the difficult sections. Analyze the story many times.
- Download a model of the Mayflower. Let students create their own models with paper and color.
- Let the children rewrite some facts from the book and then learn it.
- Grades 2-4 kids can remake a Pilgrim house by downloading PDF files House model, thatched roof, door and chimney outlines. Discuss about the house building plan and procedure in 1620, while they do that. Also, download the house interior designs for decorating it.
- With the help of a Venn diagram, analyze life as a Pilgrim child and their current lifestyle.
- Make the kids write an E.S.L. rule module for compatibility with each other in school. Tell them to write each rule on the turkey feathers.
- Also, compare and contrast Thanksgiving and the myths. For that, the Read, Write, Think site sponsored by NTCE, can be a useful resource.
The aim of a Thanksgiving Unit Lesson
- To impart knowledge about the first Thanksgiving, the pilgrims’ life and times and the various moral aspects etc.
- A comparison of Thanksgiving in the past and the present.
- Spelling, word practice and vocabulary enrichment with the word Thanksgiving.
- Honing of motor skills and creative abilities while making a paper Tommy the Turkey.
Moreover, an appraisal after the Thanksgiving Unit Lesson can also bring out aptitudes of the children.