Thanksgiving Resources for Teaching History, Fluency & Kinetics

Thanksgiving-first-300x199Throughout history, people have given thanks – sometimes in joyful celebration, often in solemn, even prayerful, ceremony.   With this set of primary sources from the Library of Congress, students can discover historical perspectives on American Thanksgiving holiday traditions.   Images and documents for grades 3-12 such as the following provide a window into this time period:  Landing of the Pilgrims (Massasoit and His Warriors); The First Thanksgiving, 1621; Sarah Hale to Abraham Lincoln (Thanksgiving), 1863; School Children’s Thanksgiving Games, 1911.   A Teacher’s Guide with historical context and teaching suggestions can also be downloaded.

At PBS LearningMedia, you’ll find these additional classroom resources with Thanksgiving themes:

Readers’ Theater (8-5, 13+):  This group includes two videos highlighting a third-grade readers’ theater group as they perform a reading of the book “Thanksgiving at the Tappletons” (by Eileen Spinelli) to improve fluency.

GPS:  Kinetic Sculpture Challenge (4-6):  In this video from DragonflyTV, Elly, John, Nick, and Linnea get help from the MIT Museum preparing a kinetic sculpture for the Friday After Thanksgiving Chain Reaction challenge.

MASTERPIECE provides Teacher’s Guides as companions to teaching the classics

Due to the recent success of Downton Abbey, Masterpiece has been in the news quite a bit.  But for 40 years, PBS’ Masterpiece has been known for high-quality adaptations of classics, mysteries, and contemporary literature. Browse more than 30 Teacher’s Guides that can help you enhance your teaching by using Masterpiece films in the classroom.  Here are just a few of their featured guides:

  • Film in the Classroom, Revised
    This completely updated guide, created for Masterpiece’s 40th anniversary, offers fresh ideas and innovative activities for teaching film in today’s digital environment. Drawing on a treasure trove of 25 outstanding Masterpiece films, the guide will help you use film not just as an adjunct to literature, but as a tool that can improve students’ understanding of media literacy as well as literary elements.
  • A Tale of Two Cities
    One of the most frequently-taught Dickens novels, A Tale of Two Cities explores issues also associated with other works of Charles Dickens: poverty, oppression, cruelty, social disruption, justice, personal redemption, and class struggle. Use this in-depth guide, along with the Masterpiece film, to help make this timeless tale come alive.