Messy Learning About Thanksgiving

We are studying Thanksgiving this week as part of our study of American History. As part of building the schema for why the Pilgrims were thankful I had the students write about what they are thankful for. Then I talked about the things they might not realize they should be thankful for because they are so much a normal part of everyday life here – like running hot and cold water, heat, shelter, schools, and so on.

Then we watched “The Water Buffalo Movie“ also known as “4 Generations.” We discussed how the people in the movie live and their reaction to receiving a water buffalo as a gift. Next we explored “What The World Eats, Part 1“ a great online photo essay from Time Magazine. In it families from different parts of the world are shown sitting in their homes surrounded by a weeks worth of food they typically have to eat and how much their food costs. It ranges from a high of over $500 to a low of $1.23 for a family to eat for a week. This sparked a great discussion about poverty and how people in the world really live.

Finally, I had students re-think and re-write their thoughts about what they are thankful for this year – and they will be turning those notes into a blog post this week.

We are also learning about the “First Thanksgiving” and next week I will bring a barbecue to school and barbecue a turkey outside my classroom door. We are researching which foods they really had at that first Thanksgiving and students will bring samples of those foods in for our feast. Maybe I should stream part of it on for others to watch? Or Skype? : )

Learning is messy!

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One thought on “Messy Learning About Thanksgiving

  1. I think its pretty cool that he is using a tangible means of teaching the history of thanks giving this way, and this could be applied to all other history classes.