Happy Monday! Happy Homeschooling! And, Happy Thanksgiving!
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
That 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.
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…
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!
There is so very much I am thankful for, not just today, but everyday. And, dear reader, I am thankful for you! It’s my prayer that you are finding much to be thankful for as well.
Have a blessed holiday!
Here are a couple of Thanksgiving themed posts just in case you are needing some last minute activities!
This week we began our Thanksgiving unit studies with a couple of Pre-Thanksgiving activities. Below are some of the links we followed as we both reviewed and learned about the early American Settlements of Roanoke and Jamestown.
3 Articles about the history and mystery of the Roanoke Colony http://www.socialstudiesforkids.com/articles/ushistory/roanoke2.htm
Lesson guide for teachers from the National Parks Service http://www.nps.gov/fora/forteachers/roanoke-revisited.htm
Online interactive adventure http://www.historyglobe.com/jamestown/
This history game for the younger kids http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primaryhistory/famouspeople/pocahontas/
Interactive webquest adventure http://web.archive.org/web/20040811071346/http://www.loudoun.k12.va.us/schools/catoctin/3rd/webquests/jamestown/
Jamestown reading comprehension and printable quiz http://mrnussbaum.com/jamestown-printable-reading-comprehension/
The Natives and The English video from Crash Course http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTYOQ05oDOI
In addition to the early settlement studies, we began this thankfulness Bible study with printable cards and daily question/activity suggestions http://www.faithgateway.com/thanksgiving-bible-verses-free-printable/#.UnUbfhDZjFD
For the school days from now until Thanksgiving we we will be notebooking, crafting, cooking, reviewing, and researching who, what, when, where, and why – everything associated with the Plymouth Colony. We will keep journaling pages and bulletin boards of what we discover.
Below are the links we’ll be using for resources as we travel back in time to visit early America over the next few weeks.
Social Studies Connections:
Thanksgiving History Timeline 1541-2001 http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/thanksgiving/timeline/1541.html
Interactive history detective activity of the first Thanksgiving http://www.plimoth.org/media/olc/intro.html
Virtual field trip to the first Thanksgiving http://www.scholastic.com/scholastic_thanksgiving/webcast.htm
Thanksgiving myths debunked http://www.education.com/magazine/article/Thanksgiving_Myths–Debunked/
Interactive trivia quiz http://www.quia.com/rr/315169.html
And this just because it’s hip and funny http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlHytkZkh3E&feature=youtu.be
This site is my favorite of all the resources I’ve found. We will use this site daily. http://search.freefind.com/find.html?id=76113&pageid=r&mode=ALL&query=&sitemap=Site+Map
Language Arts Connections:
Talk like a pilgrim http://www.plimoth.org/learn/just-kids/talk-pilgrim
Grammar lessons with Thanksgiving themed mad libs http://amyswandering.com/2012/11/09/thanksgiving-mad-libs-2/
Thanksgiving themed notebooking, activity, and poetry copywork printable pages http://www.notebookingnook.com/freebies-thanksgiving-notebooking-pages-activity-pages-and-copywork-notebook/
Instructions and printables for writing “Sensory” poetry http://teacherhelpforparents.com/2011/11/thanksgiving-poetry/
Notebooking and journaling printable writing paper http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/thanksgiving-stationery
Beautiful copywork and notebooking pages while you are on this page be sure to scroll down. A little past half way is a link that takes you to a free Squanto study and lapbook printables. Then down on the right sidebar is a link for a free download story, Squanto’s Garden
Jokes, poems, songs, and more (scroll down and look at the left sidebar) http://www.thanksgiving-day.org/thanksgivingday-fun.html
Stories, jokes, poems and coloring pages http://www.hellokids.com/search?recherche=thanksgiving&search_go=OK
Thanksgiving census http://www.factmonster.com/spot/tgcensus01.html
Thanksgiving themed math worksheets http://www.math-drills.com/thanksgiving.shtml
We will also be including cooking and calorie counting as part of our maths.
Ideas and instructions for Thanksgiving themed arts and crafts http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/thanksgivingartscraftsideaskids.html
For those play outside days http://www.education.com/activity/article/Three_Outdoor_Pilgrm_Games/
Games that pilgrim children may have played http://www.night.net/thanksgiving/games11.html-ssi
So cute and accurate! Pilgrim and Native paperdoll printables http://www.holiday-kids-crafts.com/thanksgiving%20crafts%20paperdolls.html
For music we will be applying our theory lessons to Thanksgiving hymns
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade interactive games http://social.macys.com/parade/#/games
On nice days we’ll be getting outside for some nature observations, football (not soccer), and archery practice and just maybe some fishing.
Our science is research based (meaning the kids will have to come up with their own resources for information) and will include the following topics:
Human anatomy – digestive system
Why does Thanksgiving dinner make us sleepy?
Native American agriculture and nutrition of “The Three Sisters” (beans, squash, corn)
Natural Resources, plants, and wildlife surrounding the Plymouth Colony
Multiple Subject Printable Resources:
Thanksgiving themed free downloads and printables for all levels and subjects for homeschools (you will need an account, but that is free and easy to set up) http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Browse/Search:thanksgiving/Grade-Level/Homeschooler/Price-Range/Free
Good deals along with a several freebies are being offered here. I also went ahead and picked up a few things to use for our December studies. https://www.currclick.com/index.php?keywords=thanksgiving&x=0&y=0&author=&artist=&pfrom=&pto=&sdate_from=&sdate_to=&stime_from=&stime_to=
I’m thankful for many blessings including the homeschooling resources that I find. It’s a tremendous help and I so appreciate the hard work and the willingness to share of those who have free sites and offer free games and printables. I hope this season finds you also with much to be thankful for.