Thanksgiving Mourning

Two primary sources, a speech, and an article provide tweens and teens with different perspectives of the American Thanksgiving holiday. After analyzing Wamsutta James' suppressed speech and Jacqueline Keeler's article, class members use the provided prompts to discuss points made in the documents. The lesson concludes with individuals journaling about how what they learned impacts their understanding of Thanksgiving.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Ask groups to design a Thanksgiving celebration that honors the values Keller mentions in her article as well as their own family traditions
Classroom Considerations
  • Requires copies of James' speech and Keeler's article
  • A protocol must be in place to permit a safe, respectful discussion of opposing points of view
Pros
  • The contrasting views presented by the two documents urge young scholars to think critically about the holiday
Cons
  • None