TeachersFirst's Thanksgiving Resources

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Take a look at these rich resources, sure to make you thankful! This collection includes Thanksgiving resources for all grades in a variety of subjects. Teach your students about the "true" Thanksgiving story; use this time as an opportunity to help your students learn about Native Americans; take your students on a virtual trip to Plimouth Plantation; or try many other seasonal resources and activities. 

 

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VoiceThread - VoiceThread

Grades
K to 12
15 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own...more
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Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own comments and/or narration about the images/slides. Other listeners can "comment" back, as well. TeachersFirst is providing the link to the VoiceThread home page but suggests that you first watch this quick explanation about two types of FREE educator memberships being offered for classroom teachers (one free, the other with premium features and more students, but at a cost). You can click to go to the home page from there. Access to the ed.voicethread site (as opposed to www.voicethread) is restricted to grades K-12 students, educators, and administrators. VoiceThread explains how to set up a classroom account and has some ideas for classroom use, as well. Ideas from the TeachersFirst Edge review team are listed below, under "In the classroom."

Voicethread now offers a free iOS app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It is free through the iTunes app store. Projects work seamlessly on both computer and mobile iOS devices, so projects started on one machine can be edited and/or viewed on another. Your ed.Voicethread account works in both places.

tag(s): digital storytelling (86), speech (88)

In the Classroom

You will be logged into your account immediately after you fill in the registration form. You must "apply" to designate your account as an educator account once it is set up. Click on "browse" to see many examples, including tutorials. Watch the "One Minute Voicethread" to get a very quick overview of how easy it is to create a digital story. Set up student identities. Use first names only. You need to know how to locate and upload saved pictures or PowerPoint files. If you want to use audio, the COOL tool,you WILL need a microphone, either plugged into your computer or built in. They can be purchased for less than $10 at a discount or electronics store. Once you create a Voicethread, it can be shared by clicking :share" from the menu or at the end of viewing it and copying the URL to send via email or other means, inviting others to comment back. Ed voicethreads have comment moderation turned on by default and are private by default. As the teacher, you can change these settings.

Of course, you should be sure that you have the RIGHTS to any images you upload. Fair Use does not apply when you put an image on the web!

Invite parents to share in the results (The VoiceThread classroom page tells you more about this). TeachersFirst does not recommend using actual, identifiable pictures of children. Let them draw a picture or take a digital picture of an object that somehow represents them (middle schoolers will love that idea!). If you allow others to "comment" on student Voicethreads, the experience can be both wonderful and a bit intimidating. Use this opportunity to promote ethical and kind interaction with other students and their projects.

Elementary classes can create or take pictures, then ask each child to talk about the images. Each child can comment on the SAME pictures, creating a collaborative collection of responses. After a field trip or special class event, you can assign groups of students to explain each of the digital pictures you took and how they relate to curriculum topics. In art class, students can critique works of their own or of fellow students. In language arts classes, students can scan and comment on writing pieces as part of a reflective phase of the writing process. Or post an image as a prewriting activity and allow students to respond orally in an idea-generating phase. In social studies, have students provide a picture of a grandparent then narrate what they learned about that grandparent from interviewing him/her. Have students create narrated pictures as gifts (for parents or other care givers) for special occasions, winter holidays, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc.. During a science experiment or demo, have a student take pictures of the steps. Then ask students to "narrate" them by commenting on what is happening. The narration assignment could even be a center activity or an assignment on a few classroom computers for students to rotate through. What a great way to review and apply key vocabulary! Be sure they identify their voices if you are using a single class account and want to be able to assess understanding. Other ideas: narrated local history projects (pictures of local sites), audio "museum tours" of artifacts (photos) or war veterans telling their stories along with images of their uniforms or old photos. Speech/language, ESL/ELL or early childhood teachers could use this tool to promote vocabulary development and oral expression.

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Who Were The Pilgrims - Plimoth Plantation

Grades
1 to 6
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This informative website presents the students with information on numerous "Pilgrim" topics. There are authentic pictures and a lot of information. Topics include "Who Were The Pilgrims,"...more
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This informative website presents the students with information on numerous "Pilgrim" topics. There are authentic pictures and a lot of information. Topics include "Who Were The Pilgrims," "Who Were The Wampanoag," "The Mayflower," "Building a Home," and more!

On the right side of the website, there is a list of other relevant topics (Thanksgiving, Growing Food, What to Wear, Playing and Learning, What's for Dinner, and several others).

tag(s): colonial america (102), pilgrims (16), thanksgiving (30)

In the Classroom

A teacher could use this website for research projects. Incorporate this website into your lessons on pilgrims, the Mayflower, and Thanksgiving. Use this site to help prepare for Colonial Days at your school.

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Thanksgiving Day Vocabulary - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
3 to 8
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Thanksgiving. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Thanksgiving...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Thanksgiving. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Thanksgiving vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): thanksgiving (30), vocabulary (308)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector or make them available as links on your teacher public page. Have students (or groups) create their own illustrated dictionaries of terms using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. As you add more vocabulary lists during the year, have them select their favorite 6-10 terms from each list to add to their "book."

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Plimouth Plantation Just for Kids - Plimouth Plantation

Grades
K to 5
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Hear and see the language of the pilgrims, try recipes, make crafts, read stories, and more with these kids activities from Plimouth Plantation. This site also has printable pages for...more
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Hear and see the language of the pilgrims, try recipes, make crafts, read stories, and more with these kids activities from Plimouth Plantation. This site also has printable pages for younger students. Note: the sound files for the Pilgrim talk require FLASH, and you must turn up your computer's volume! You can get Flash from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): pilgrims (16), thanksgiving (30)

In the Classroom

Share this link on your teacher web site for November or try some of the activities in your elementary classroom. The stories would make great read-alouds during Thanksgiving week. Share the stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Facts for Features: Thanksgiving Day 2010 - U.S. Census Bureau

Grades
3 to 12
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The Census Bureau offers lots of Thanksgiving statistics, from the total weight of all the turkeys raised in the US to the total amount of food consumed on Thanksgiving. You ...more
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The Census Bureau offers lots of Thanksgiving statistics, from the total weight of all the turkeys raised in the US to the total amount of food consumed on Thanksgiving. You can plan a huge party with this one!

tag(s): thanksgiving (30)

In the Classroom

Choose a statistic your students can estimate then use this site to help develop estimation and number sense--all in a holiday spirit. Gobble, Gobble! Perhaps create an infographic to display your favorite data. An interesting question to ask: what other data would you like to learn from the U.S. census the next time they do one?

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Thanksgiving Story Starters - ABC Teach

Grades
1 to 5
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Use these entertaining prompts to start your class blog entries or writing activities for Thanksgiving.aybe even write a script for a Thanksgiving podcast? ...more
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Use these entertaining prompts to start your class blog entries or writing activities for Thanksgiving.aybe even write a script for a Thanksgiving podcast?

tag(s): thanksgiving (30)

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Thanksgiving in American Memory - Library of Congress

Grades
4 to 8
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A part of the Library's American Memory series, this Thanksgiving site concentrates on the historical origins of the holiday and how its celebration has evolved since the original Thanksgiving...more
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A part of the Library's American Memory series, this Thanksgiving site concentrates on the historical origins of the holiday and how its celebration has evolved since the original Thanksgiving proclamation. Be sure to check out the Thanksgiving Timeline

tag(s): thanksgiving (30)

In the Classroom

Make this site the basis for a scavenger hunt for Thanksgiving information.

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Thanksgiving History - Fourth World Documentation Project

Grades
3 to 5
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This simple, text-based site includes a narrative about Thanksgiving, recipes, and more. The narrative provides an excellent resource for a unit that examines the first inhabitants...more
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This simple, text-based site includes a narrative about Thanksgiving, recipes, and more. The narrative provides an excellent resource for a unit that examines the first inhabitants of the Plymouth region (the Wampanoag), their culture, and the impact of the arrival of the Pilgrims upon their lives. The site describes the establishment and eventual deterioration of friendships between the early colonists and the Wampanoag. A study guide and discussion questions are included, along with ideas for enrichment. This is more than the usual cute Thanksgiving story and seeks to debunk many myths.

tag(s): thanksgiving (30)

In the Classroom

Use this site as background for your pre-Thanksgiving lessons or create a scavenger hunt using the questions from the More Information for Teachers section. Have students wok in teams to create a booklet or PowerPoint presentation from a different angle: A Virtual Tour of the First Thanksgiving or a Guide for European Settlers to Life Among the Wampanoags.

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You are the Historian Investigating the First Thanksgiving - Plimouth Plantation

Grades
3 to 6
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Investigating the First Thanksgiving - What was it really like?? Plimoth Plantation museum offers a Flash-based Thanksgiving lesson that will introduce students to the cultures and...more
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Investigating the First Thanksgiving - What was it really like?? Plimoth Plantation museum offers a Flash-based Thanksgiving lesson that will introduce students to the cultures and customs of both the Pilgrim and Wampanoag peoples. This presentation blends information about lots of everyday activities and customs with a look at what the actual "first Thanksgiving" might have looked like. Requires Flash. A message on the site warns that traffic near Thanksgiving can make the site very sluggish and offers directions to download it to your local computer.

tag(s): pilgrims (16), thanksgiving (30)

In the Classroom

A complete teachers guide gives you ideas for using this resource in the classroom. Use a projector or interactive whiteboard to introduce the site, then assign students to complete the investigation in small groups or with a partner. You can spread the activity over several days at a computer cluster in your classroom or do it all at once in a lab.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The First Thanksgiving - Scholastic

Grades
2 to 8
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This informative and interactive website introduces students to the first Thanksgiving. The three main areas of this site include "Voyage of the Mayflower", "Daily Life" and "The Thanksgiving...more
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This informative and interactive website introduces students to the first Thanksgiving. The three main areas of this site include "Voyage of the Mayflower", "Daily Life" and "The Thanksgiving Feast". There are video and audio clips, compare/contrast activities and more. This site required FLASH.

tag(s): pilgrims (16), thanksgiving (30)

In the Classroom

Get an interactive whiteboard and take your students back to the 1600s! Teachers can utilize the comparing and contrasting activities to help their students have a better understanding of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags. Check out the "For Teachers" section of this site, Scholastic will be providing a detailed teaching guide in November 2006.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Popcorn Pickles, Popcorn Stew

Grades
1 to 6
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This multi-level lesson plan explores the topic of corn from the agricultural point of view; students learn vocabulary, the growth process, products, and the history of popcorn. The...more
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This multi-level lesson plan explores the topic of corn from the agricultural point of view; students learn vocabulary, the growth process, products, and the history of popcorn. The plan includes a variety of children's books about corn and popcorn and appropriate links.

tag(s): agriculture (46)

In the Classroom

Include this lesson as part of your study of Thanksgiving or in a science unit on plants. Be sure to include some of the related links on your teacher web page for students to visit at home or during indoor recess.

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History of Thanksgiving - History Channel

Grades
3 to 6
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Find out what was on the menu for the first Thanksgiving, debunk some common holiday myths, and listen to pilgrim interviews. This informational multi-media site also features a beautifully...more
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Find out what was on the menu for the first Thanksgiving, debunk some common holiday myths, and listen to pilgrim interviews. This informational multi-media site also features a beautifully designed video that details the history of this American institution - perfect for individual viewing. Note: this site "pauses" before opening. Be patient.

tag(s): holidays (129), pilgrims (16), thanksgiving (30)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a way to introduce the Thanksgiving holidays in a way that is both educational and fun for students. Share the site with students on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Examine the interesting facts for interesting and little known information, or bring up the document entitled "a Thanksgiving proclamation." Have students read the document aloud, in turns or by volunteers. The document will help students understand the actual v. the myth of Thanksgiving. The site can also be saved as a favorite on classroom computers to be used as a learning center if that method is more appropriate for your classroom.

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Activities for ESL Students - International TESL Journal

Grades
1 to 12
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Nice collection of teacher-created interactive tests, quizzes, exercises and puzzles, spanning multiple skill levels and topics. Includes crossword puzzles to be done online for all...more
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Nice collection of teacher-created interactive tests, quizzes, exercises and puzzles, spanning multiple skill levels and topics. Includes crossword puzzles to be done online for all ESL levels and by word-type or subject (Ex. Thanksgiving words).

tag(s): puzzles (183), quiz (72), quizzes (76)

In the Classroom

This site is excellent for ESL teachers looking for new ideas and activities to use in their classroom. During down-time, have students complete the grammar quizzes, at their respective levels, helping them practice English in a fun way.

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American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc. - The American Heritage Education Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Social studies, history, and government teachers - be warned - this site may be the best FREE gift you receive this year. To sum it up in one word - ...more
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Social studies, history, and government teachers - be warned - this site may be the best FREE gift you receive this year. To sum it up in one word - WOW! The highlight of this site is ready-to-go lesson plans (with standards) divided by age level (elementary, middle, and high school). These FREE lesson plans are available online via a PDF file or you may order a FREE CD (they say it is a $150 value).

The elementary topics range from Colonial America to U.S. Presidents (with a focus on George Washington) to the History of Thanksgiving to The Pledge of Allegiance and MANY others. The middle school topics include the Declaration of Independence, Our National Documents, The Gettysburg Address, Religious Expression in School, and several others. The high school topics vary from the Mayflower, to Federalists 47, the First Amendment, and more. Each grade level also includes lessons on character education.

In addition to the wonderful lesson plans, the site also highlights the four themes of the foundation: Unity, Progress, Freedom, and Responsibility. There are also links to some fantastic social studies sites and a wealth of research information about America. Some of the lesson plans and printables require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): colonial america (102), constitution (69), gettysburg (29), gettysburg address (16), presidents (114), thanksgiving (30)

In the Classroom

Obviously, the lesson plans are useful for all grade levels. Take advantage of these free resources. Many include printable activities for your students to try out. Although the site isn't highly interactive, it does have some great ideas to incorporate into your class to bring history alive.

Make the lesson plans more "technologically advanced" by having students create a wiki or blog entry. Have your high school students complete the lesson on the First Amendment and then have them have a virtual debate about the First Amendment via a class wiki. Have your elementary students complete the lesson on U.S. Presidents and then have each student write a blog entry pretending to be one of the presidents (a great mini-research project). Have your middle school students complete the lesson on the Gettysburg Address and then try to create their own "Address" to talk about the current state of our nation. Have them share their "Address" on a video using YouTube or or TeacherTube (explained here).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Native American Crafts Unit - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 6
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This is a collection of craft projects based on toys or articles that Native American or colonial children might have used. There are complete instructions for each item, with illustrations....more
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This is a collection of craft projects based on toys or articles that Native American or colonial children might have used. There are complete instructions for each item, with illustrations.

tag(s): crafts (34), native americans (65), thanksgiving (30)

In the Classroom

Try using this unit with a study of Thanksgiving, colonial settlements, or Native Americans of the eastern U.S. Share the hands-on crafts and be sure to take digital pictures. Ask students to write explanations of the crafts on your class wiki (with the accompanying pictures)! Or include the link to directions for one of these crafts on your class web page for students to try as a summer activity.

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