As we learn in this clip All About the Holidays, Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a holiday in 1863, so we would remember to think about what we have to be thankful for (good practice throughout the year). As students and teachers approach the holiday, PBS LearningMedia has a cornucopia of preK-12 resources to engage students in Thanksgiving, its stories and its history.
Among the pages of resources that range from understanding early 17th century colonial society to Daniel Tiger’s Thank You song, you’ll find something to capture the spirit of this uniquely American holiday. Here’s a generous sampling:
A History of Thanksgiving (Grades 6-12) a self-paced lesson that provides historical context for Thanksgiving and presents students with writing-based activities.
The Greely Expedition – Primary Resources: Journal: First Lt. Greely (Grades 5-12) First Lieutenant Adolphus Greely, commander of the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition, kept a journal from the beginning of the expedition in 1881 through his rescue in 1884. Read excerpts, from American Experience: “The Greely Expedition.”
Thanksgiving | All About the Holidays (Grades 2-6) In addition to this video clip and support resources, For lesson plans, additional resources, and more teacher support, download our free iBook from the iTunes store: All About the Holidays.
Reader’s Theater (K-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.
Printable Thankful Time Notes | Sesame Street (preK-1) These notes are a great way to show thanks and appreciation for the special people in your students’ lives.