There have been many myths associated with the first Thanksgiving. Have your students learn about the true story of Thanksgiving and then reassess our understanding of the holiday from the Native American point of view.
With this lesson, students first brainstorm what they think they know about the first Thanksgiving, and the traditions they’ve seen associated with the Thanksgiving celebration. Then, students will read about the true story of Thanksgiving, and assess the myths vs the facts.
On the second day of class, students conduct a silent conversation where they examine quotes from Native Americans discussing Thanksgiving. At the end of class, students then reassess Thanksgiving and discuss what part of the holiday should remain (caring, gratitude, thankfulness) and what parts might need revision (cultural appropriation of Native American culture).
This lesson is written for middle school students and is highly adaptable. You choose the quotes for students to assess (links are provided), so you can choose the best quotes for your student population.
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