Lesson Plan

Original Thanksgiving

Study the first English colonists to arrive in America and how they celebrated the first Thanksgiving
Erin W.
Classroom teacher
Show More
My Grades Pre-K, 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies
EdTech Mentor

State why the pilgrims came to American.

Identify 3 problems the pilgrims faced.

Identify how the Wamanoag helped the pilgrims.

Identify the foods served at the first Thanksgiving and how they differ from what we eat today. 

English Language Arts
Social Studies
Grades 3 - 6
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Research the first Thanksgiving

There are some great videos and articles on history.com that you can either show as a whole class presentation or you can have students individually visit this website to gather information on the first Thanksgiving.  

2 Read aloud

Read aloud the book "If You Were At the First Thanksgiving" and ask students to notice details about the first Thanksgiving.  Then visit the ReadWriteThink online venn diagram tool to create a venn diagram comparing the First Thanksgiving with current day Thanksgiving OR life at the time of the First Thanksgiving and life today (if you don't want to focus on the meal or food as much).  

3 Culminating Activity

Using Sign Up Genius have students and parents sign up for components of the original Thanksgiving meal.  Have them either prepare them in advance and bring to school, or prepare at school.  Serve and enjoy your authentic Thanksgiving meal with your students!