Reflection: Adjustments to Practice 4th Thursday in November: Thanksgiving - Section 2: Application

 

Things I Liked:

The placement of the lesson two days before the Thanksgiving Break.  The kids were interested and attentive, and if I'd given the lesson the day before the break there's no way I'd have pulled it off.

The CBS video short with historian Kenneth C. Davis.  The kids were receptive and easily wrote notes about the new things they learned about Thanksgiving.

We happened to have library right after the video and the kids were interested enough to Google some of the things they'd heard in the video (Oceanus born on board the Mayflower, 1939 political FDR controversy Franksgiving, eating eel at first "Thanksgiving," etc.)

Squanto's Journey and 1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving.  These are quality books and I highly recommend both of them.

The idea of the Thanksgiving Interpretations worksheet.  More on that in Things I Will Change.

One of my kids noticed that the author of Squanto's Journey and one of two authors of 1621 had the same last name.  I hadn't even realized it.  We researched and found that they were siblings.  In the book 1621, the sister was the Native American POV resource.  As I mentioned in a caption- I love when kids really feel they have impacted something in a discussion or activity!

Virtual Field Trip to Plimoth Plantation and the Wampanoag Village in the Closure.  These were both well received and gave the kids a lot of great information.

Things I Will Change:

I don't like the traditional Thanksgiving book I chose for this activity: Thanksgiving: A Harvest Celebration.  It was a little boring for the kids.  Unlike many picture books, this one wasn't a good one for upper elementary.  It also felt a bit religious and I skipped a few lines here and there.  After looking into it today, I discovered it was published by a Christian book company. With so many traditional Thanksgiving picture books, I will definitely use a better one for this activity next year because the Pilgrim point of view needs to be as rich in content as the other two.

Thanksgiving Interpretations worksheet- as mentioned above, I like the idea of this, but in its present form, it just has issues.  First, the print is too tiny.  The kids complained that they couldn't write the words well, and it was a little hard for me to read.  Also, I had to adjust the narrative part in each "Source" section, because it didn't ask for what I thought was needed.  I will create my own worksheet for this activity next time around.

All in all, I felt my objective: getting the students to think critically about the origin of Thanksgiving, was achieved.

  Adjustments to Practice: What worked and didn't work with this lesson?
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4th Thursday in November: Thanksgiving

Unit 9: Significant School Days
Lesson 6 of 14

Objective: TSWBAT think critically about the origin of Thanksgiving by analyzing point of view from multiple accounts.

Big Idea: Peel away the Thanksgiving painting's top layer to see what resides.

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