Thanksgiving – Been There, Done That

handprint-turkey-mommy

As we move along on our “special days” studies through November, I see Thanksgiving looming coming up in the not so distant future.  I thought seriously about not teaching Thanksgiving lessons this year.   How could I not want to teach Thanksgiving?  We’ve always had wonderful Thanksgiving lessons in November.  Yes, that’s it.  For 17 years – 17 Novembers, I’ve been teaching a week or two or three of Thanksgiving.  The who, what, when, why, and how of those Mayflower pilgrims and the natives that they encountered, Lincoln’s proclamation to make a Thanksgiving holiday,  Bible studies that focus on giving thanks and gratitude, nutritional studies of squash, pumpkins, turkeys, sweet potatoes, and corn, Thanksgiving celebrations around the world, tons of cooking projects, and craft activities to go along with it all – we’ve been there and done that over and over again.

In addition to my grumpy mood about Thanksgiving lessons,  our primary history focus of the year is Modern World History so the Pilgrim/Indian theme just doesn’t seem to fit or apply.   I look over the recent additions to our timeline and see WW1, the stock market crash of 1929, WW2 – hard and fearful times, but still were thankful times, too.  Hmmm …

Below are some of the online resources we’ll be using as we begin a new Thanksgiving  study with a modern history twist, and the cure for my Thanksgiving lesson planning grumpiness.  I’m actually getting excited about these lessons now!

During WW1, food was rationed and that had quite an impact on that Thanksgiving dinner.  This article does a terrific job explaining American Thanksgiving during WW1.   I love the photos of the newspaper ads from 1917 and 1918.   http://blog.genealogybank.com/rationing-thanksgiving-dinner-during-world-war-i.html

And what of the troops on Thanksgiving 1918?  Read about the football, feasts, and entertainment the Red Cross planned in this old Stars and Stripes magazine article  http://www.oldmagazinearticles.com/Thanksgiving_in_WW1_France#.VGRLisnbGi0

Macy’s Department Store held their first parade in 1924.  Read about the history of this famous parade here  http://people.howstuffworks.com/culture-traditions/holidays-other/macys-thanksgiving-day-parade1.htm

Watch a short video of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade history with some actual film footage from the first parade  http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/history-of-thanksgiving/videos/history-of-the-thanksgiving-day-parade

View this Macy’s Thanksgiving Day photo gallery from Time  http://content.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,2100160_2324105,00.html

Recording of Benny Goodman’s radio show Thanksgiving 1937   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ed5fwtlb-xA

And with that fantastic swing music, some swing dance instructions may be in order  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTF9eXiYxXc

A wonderful account of the Thanksgiving that came early  http://www.farmcollector.com/farm-life/thanksgiving-during-the-great-depression.aspx#axzz3IpQaEi9v

And more about that early Thanksgiving which became known as “Franksgiving” from this historic letter collection  http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/11/unhappy-franksgiving.html

470px-Freedom_From_WantThat famous Norman Rockwell American family portrait of Thanksgiving dinner is still a popular work of art today.  But back in 1943 it was a political statement.  Find out more about that here  http://bigthink.com/Picture-This/what-norman-rockwells-thanksgiving-pictures-really-about

Details of WW2 Thanksgiving in a pdf from  America in WWII Magazine http://www.americainwwii.com/files/2012/11/thankful-anyway-dec-2009.pdf

A delightful article about Thanksgiving at home and at war  http://www.sarahsundin.com/thanksgiving-in-world-war-ii/

Thanksgiving writings from WW2 veterans along with some pictures from  Time Magazine 1940’s Thanksgiving photo album  http://www.skylighters.org/thanksgiving/

Armed Forces Radio Service Thanksgiving Show (Original Air Date Was 11/23/1944)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2NVqS_z55k&list=PLF68B18E4F4174BFD

And back in those days, math was practical and so are these Thanksgiving themed math lessons  http://www.yummymath.com/?s=thanksgiving

The common thread of Thanksgiving celebration during these times seems to be making the most with whatever resources were available and finding blessings in any circumstance.  With this in mind, our Thanksgiving Bible studies will focus on contentment.

  • Philippians 4:11-12   I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
  • 1 Timothy 6:8   But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
  • Hebrews 13:5   Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Just for fun and a little about the mindset of the times here’s a  Classic Thanksgiving cartoon  playlist.  One of these is from 1933 and one from 1945.  The rest are a little more recent, 1950’s-70’s.  http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRgLrYQQYdPr9xb8HiRXaJZAWiKmp4wQ6

What about science?  How about human anatomy and the digestive system?  Seems to fit the theme of “Thanksgiving dinner”, right?

Digestive System Facts – http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/humanbody/digestivesystem.html

Human Body Interactive Map of the digestion system – http://www.healthline.com/human-body-maps/digestive-system/male

Label the Digestion System  printable with a vocabulary and definition list  http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/anatomy/digestive/label/

This National Geographic video is NOT for the squeamish!  It is actual footage of the digestive process filmed by a scope procedure.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QYwscALNng

A little more pleasant to watch,  an animation of how the digestive system works  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwrsL-lCZYo

There is even a digestion song!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sDMVgw9d-c

Online Digestive System Quiz  http://www.lrn.org/Content/Quizzes/Qdigestive.html

I thought we’d skip over any crafting with this Thanksgiving study since we’ll be crafting like crazy over the Christmas season, however I saw this awesome digestion system craft project/game photo passed around the homeschooling groups on Face Book…

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Hopefully our appetites will still exist after this science study!  We have a lot of cooking to do.  We’ve invited guests for Thanksgiving dinner.

I wish you happy learning this Thanksgiving!

betty jo

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4 thoughts on “Thanksgiving – Been There, Done That

  1. irini112014

    You seem to have left out the history part where FDR changed the date of Thanksgiving from October to November, or did I miss that in the list? This is a great resource though! Sorry you feel grumpy.

    Reply
    1. Betty Jo Post author

      Hmmm. I’ll do a little research about that. I do have a link that tells of the “early” Thanksgiving when it was moved up a week. They called it “Franksgiving”. It’s also mentioned in a couple of the articles. Seems to have caused quite a stink. And the grumpy feeling is just about over now. Thanks!

      Reply
  2. Pingback: Learning Resources for November, 2015 | Still Learning Something New

  3. Pingback: Learning Resources for Special Days in November | Still Learning Something New

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