We’ve created a fresh, new (and educational!) way for students to learn about Thanksgiving!
4th-6th grade students will explore the history of Thanksgiving as they rotate in small groups through self-directed learning stations.
With these interactive lessons, students will engage in fun, hands-on activities that make the history of Thanksgiving come alive!
At each station, students read a short informational text accompanied by a visual picture card and take notes on their learning. Students then become part of the “living story” as they complete an assigned group task related to the text.
Station #1- The Mayflower: Narrated group tableaus depicting the Pilgrims’ journey
- Students read about the Mayflower, take notes, then create narrated group tableaus depicting the Pilgrims’ journey
Station #2- First Winter: Charades that demonstrate the hardships of the first winter in America
- Students read about the first winter, take notes, and play charades demonstrating the hardships of the Pilgrims’ first winter in America
Station #3- Samoset & Squanto: Practice and perform a reader’s theater on planting crops
- Students read about two Native Americans who were influential in helping the Pilgrims thrive in their new home, take notes, then practice and perform a reader’s theater of Squanto teaching the Pilgrims how to plant crops
Station #4- Thanksgiving Feast: Venn Diagram Food Sort comparing the first feast with feasts today
- Students read about the first Thanksgiving, take notes, then complete a Venn diagram sorting foods at the first Thanksgiving, foods from Thanksgiving today, and foods found at both feasts.
(optional) Station #5- Corn Husk Dolls
(optional) Station #6- Pilgrim Games: “Three Men’s Morris” and “Blind Man’s Bluff,” popular at the time of the first Thanksgiving and were likely games the Pilgrim children would have played.
- Directions for “Three Men’s Morris” and “Blind Man’s Bluff” are provided for this optional 5th station. Both of these games were popular at the time of the first Thanksgiving and may have been games that Pilgrim children would have played.
After visiting the stations, students can construct a written response to summarize what they have learned.
Your students will love to engage in these mini lessons or stations while learning about the history of Thanksgiving. These lessons are just perfect for the short week before the break!