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Thursday, November 1, 2012

The First Thanksgiving Fact or Myth? - An Interactive Historical Investigation

U.S. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. If you're teaching lessons about The First Thanksgiving, the Plimoth Plantation website has some resources that you will want to check out.

You Are the Historian: Investigating the First Thanksgiving is an interactive exploration of the facts and myths associated with the story of the First Thanksgiving. Students can explore the facts and myths through the eyes of a Native American child or through the eyes of a female Pilgrim. Through the eyes of each character students discover the culture of giving thanks in the Native American and English cultures. My favorite part of the investigation is "The Path to 1621" in which students hear the perspectives of Native Americans and Pligrims about events prior to 1621.

Applications for Education
Plimoth Plantation has an extensive teaching guide that accompanies You Are the Historian: Investigating the First Thanksgiving. The teaching guide includes the use primary source documents in addition to the text in the interactive investigation. To make the activity accessible to as many classrooms as possible Plimoth Plantation allows you to download the files to run the activity locally. You can download the activity here (the link will start a zip file download).

I learned about this great interactive exploration from a pre-service teacher participating in one of my workshops in Missoula, Montana last month.

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