Five College Consortium

NEH Summer Institute for Teachers:
Native Americans of New England

A Broader View of the History of Thanksgiving

Subject area focus: 
Social Studies/History
Grade level: 
Days to complete: 
Institute year: 
School name: 
Fort River Elementary
School district: 

These lessons are designed for intermediate level ELL students in Grade 3 for a small group setting.  They were conceived to supplement reading lessons using the biography Squanto’s Journey by Joseph Bruchac.  Students will begin this unit by sharing their existing understandings and common myths about the U. S. Thanksgiving holiday.  Students will view a video clip of a contemporary Wampanoag Day of Mourning on Thanksgiving.  Students will be introduced to Wampanoag history during the growth of colonization as well as gain awareness of contemporary Wampanoag life in MA.  They will engage with primary and secondary sources and make inferences to construct historical understanding about Wampanoag and Pilgrim life during the 1620s.   Students will consider the perspectives of Wampanoag and English characters as they make story boards that re-tell the story of events leading up to the “first Thanksgiving.