history of the first thanksgiving lesson plan
history of thanksgiving lesson
history of thanksgiving lesson plan
history of thanksgiving activity

History of Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving History Video Lesson for Students!

Engage students in a powerful lesson on the history of Thanksgiving!


As students watch this video, they complete an interactive-notesheet with fill-in-the-blanks, critical thinking questions, and answer the video's exploration question to summarize the main idea of the video. It starts with a fun warm-up to get them to sketch what they know about Thanksgiving's history, there is a fun "Quiz Flash" about what foods were eaten at the first Thanksgiving, and there are supports for diverse learners to ensure comprehension of the essential ideas. Complete with answer keys!

In the episode, students learn the amazing story of the first Thanksgiving that took place 400 years ago, in 1621, when the Pilgrims celebrated with the Wampanoags and gave thanks for a bountiful harvest. Squanto and Massasoit play starring roles in this episode. Students learn how Squanto was taken captive and then sold into slavery before being freed and returning to America, only to find his whole tribe had been wiped out by disease! When Massasoit welcomed him in, Squanto served as an interpreter as he and the Wampanoags ultimately saved the starving Pilgrims. Students learn how the Pilgrims set sail looking for a place to worship in peace and signed an alliance of mutual defense with the Wampanoags and celebrated Thanksgiving together in 1621. Then they learn how in the coming decades the alliance broke and war broke out that drove the Wampanoags from their lands for good. Powerful and important history for kids!

If you like this, check out my full US History video curriculum!

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