Lesson Plan

Thanksgiving Activity (Elementary)

Students will make use of technology to learn about the first Thanksgiving
Tim M.
Media specialist/librarian
Falmouth, United States
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects Social Studies

Students will be able to...

  • Describe the differences between the Pilrgims and Wampanoags
  • Explain the hardships the Pilgrims endured on their New World voyage
  • Explain why the Pilgrims emigrated from England
Social Studies
Grades 3 – 4
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

  1. Write the word Thanksgiving on the Whiteboard
  2. Brainstorm ideas of what Thanksgiving means to the class
  3. Have students write words or draw quick pictures of things that remind them of Thanksgiving
  4. Explain what it means to be thankful for something and why the Pilgrims and Wampanoags were celebrating Thanksgving
Student Instructions
  1. Take 2 minutes and write down/draw things that remind you of Thanksgiving

2 Direction Instruction

Google Drive
Free, Paid
  1. Have students watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsdzjdT_LkY
  2. Discuss key vocab words and concepts with students
  3. Have them describe their feelings if they were the ones on the long trans-Atlantic journey
  4. Have students describe instances that they encountered a new, foreign culture
Student Instructions
  1. Watch video and keep track of vocab words sand concepts

3 Guided practice

Google Drive
Free, Paid
  1. Have students log-in to Google Classroom accounts
  2. Have students open Thankgiving #1 assignment and answer the Google Form questions
    1. Thanksgiving #1
    2. Thanksgiving #2
    3. Thanksgiving #3
Student Instructions
  1. Sign-in to Googe Classroom
  2. Answer questions

4 Independent practice

Google Drive
Free, Paid
  1. Tell students to open "Thanksgiving Writing Assignment."
  2. Have them follow the directions on the Google Doc to complete the writing assignment
Student Instructions
  1. Open "Thanksgiving Writing Assignment"
  2. Follow directions on assignment
    1. Pretend you're a passnger on the Mayflower and write a journal entry describing your feeling and experiences as you embark on your 65-day journey across the Atlantic
    2. Pretend you're a Pilgrim or Wampanoag tribersperson attending the first Thanksgiving celebration. Describe the sights, smells, tastes and events around you. Include celebrations taking place, foods you're eating and the new, different people you're seeing.

5 Wrap-up

Free, Paid
  1. Have students create a word cloud using words from Hook and new vocab learned
Student Instructions
  1. Go to ABCya WordCloud and create a word cloud using vocabulary.