The Story of Thanksgiving

New Review

To many the first Thanksgiving conjures images of pies and cranberry sauce. However, it actually had a lot of cod, lobster, eels, and clams—and it likely wasn't even in Massachusetts! It took a long time (and a Civil War) for the holiday to establish itself nationally. Young historians unpack the myths and facts of Thanksgiving using a video resource and discussion questions. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Use preview and post-viewing questions to simulate discussion among class members about the meaning of Thanksgiving
  • Have scholars research the effects of interactions between Native Americans and colonials as a way of extending the lesson
Classroom Considerations

  • Contains pictures of people taking part in ragamuffin parades in blackface

  • Video explores traditions not generally discussed in the history of Thanksgiving

  • History neglects newer historiography of the First Thanksgiving and interaction between Native peoples and Europeans