The First Thanksgiving

Second Grade

Created by: Lauretta Flammer and David Makley

Completed as part of the requirements for El Ed 4050 Fall Semester,

1999, Jay Monson, Course Instructor, USU


 Unit Overview: This unit is a study of the relationships, which led to, and the facts surrounding the development of the first Thanksgiving.



Unit Outline


I. Introductory Lessons:

  • The true story of Thanksgiving

  • Folk Dancing

  • Thanksgiving sing-along

  • KWL on Thanksgiving origin

  • Watch a video about Thanksgiving

  • Read Sarah Morton's Day by Kate Waters

II. Developmental Lessons

  • Thanksgiving Poems

  • Historical personal journals

  • Why Trading Posts? Matching needs

  • Trading instead of buying

  • Pilgrims and Indians trading

  • Planting seeds

III. Culmination Lessons

  • Let's move to mars (foreign lands, develop community)

  • Read Molly's Pilgrim, talk about modern day pilgrims

  • In Utah, discuss the pioneers and how they were like the pilgrims

  • Conduct a mock-trade with another class

  • KWL (Learned part after unit)

  • Role-play the first Thanksgiving

  • Make up a song with lyrics about the first Thanksgiving






Pilgrims and Indians Trading

Subject or Topic: History/Pilgrims

Objectives: To relate to students the methods and materials used by the pilgrims to trade with the Wampanoag Indians and to strengthen the concept of relationships in an historical context.

Motivation: Brainstorm ideas about the resources and technologies both the pilgrims and the Indians had to share with each other and develop a better way of living. List them on the board or transparency. Divide them into columns of Pilgrims and Indians.

Methods: This lesson will include read-aloud, lecture, discussion, arts and crafts, and role-playing. The lesson will begin with a reading of sections from The First Thanksgiving by Jean Craighead George that details the goods and services each group had to offer. Next, a list will be read of items involved in an actual trade between the two groups. The class will then produce a list, which will be written on the board of several items and services each group could have traded. The class will then be divided into two groups, one representing the Pilgrims and one representing the Wampanoag tribe. Using the list on the board, each person will come up with one or two items to trade and create a physical representation of each item. There will then be an opportunity for the students to trade their represented item for whatever they need, i.e. corn, seeds, fur, guns, cloth.

Assessment: Assessment will be mainly through observation of the discussion and role-playing processes. The instructor should focus on whether the students produce realistic trade items and how they go about trading the items.

Materials: The First Thanksgiving, art supplies






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