Thanksgiving Theme Learning Ideas and Resources for Young People
The Real Thanksgiving Story by Susan Bates
I have posted this narrative of the Thanksgiving story here in the young adult section, so that you, the parent, may decide what is appropriate for your younger children. So, please view this video before allowing young children to watch. I would rate it 12 and over but each child is different. You be the judge.
Thanksgiving Resources for Young Adults
If you find it difficult to entice that special young person in your life to get involved with family projects. Don't feel alone. Many parents have to put forth great effort to encourage their teenager to try something new. So, if you find it difficult at first to engage your teen in the Thanksgiving spirit, don't despair. Here are some ideas that you may find helpful in jump-starting the holiday spirit inside:
- Host an event — Get together with friends and family and put on a Thanksgiving Skit or Play - (use this skit or write your own).
- Take your show on the road — Visit a local nursing home or children's hospital and put on a performance.
- Read a good book — Read more about the history of Thanksgiving and the people behind the holiday (see below).
- Get creative — Make Pilgrim or Indian costumes to wear in your production. Get really creative. Have you done your research? If not, keep reading...
- Cook an authentic Thanksgiving meal — Plan and cook a meal using dishes that might have been prepared and served by Pilgrims in 1620. (Don't be surprised if it's not the traditional Thanksgiving meal you were expecting.)
- Create a festive table — Create a Thanksgiving Center Piece for your holiday table.
Many stories have been orally passed down to us from friends, family members, and local historians. A good storyteller knows that visuals can be very helpful in connecting with the listener. Whether you are simply telling a Thanksgiving story or putting on a play or skit, a good costume can illustrate the event to make a lasting memory. Below you will find links and details about the clothing worn in the 1620's.
- Adult Pilgrim Lady Costume
- Pilgrim Lady Adult Costume
- White Bonnet Large Size
- Pilgrim Woman Costume Kit
- Thanksgiving Pilgrim Man Adult Costume
- Pilgrim Shoe Covers
- Pilgrim Hat (Male)
- Patterns of Fashion: The Cut and Construction of Clothes for Men and Women c. 1560-1620 - by Janet Arnold
Online Books, Study Guides and Articles
- Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan - A full-length book
- The Truth about The First Thanksgiving - By James W. Loewen
- American Thanksgiving Celebrations - A Study for Young People (Sunday School Lesson) by Kathryn Capoccia
- The Pilgrims and Plymouth Colony: 1620 - by Duane A. Cline - A study guide about the Pilgrims and their Pokanoket friends of the Wampanoag Nation.
- Pilgrims and Puritans: Background - by Virginia Department of Education
- November DVD Schooling Calendar - by Diane Flynn Keith of Homefires - Use DVDs in the classroom, at home, or in the car to enhance learning. There are historic and important events to commemorate nearly every day of the year.
- Letters written by the Pilgrims - Read actual letter written by those who ventured to the new world on the Mayflower.
- Native American Resources - A collection of Native American Resources for outdoor enthusiasts involved in the study of Indian lore.
The 1621 Thanksgiving
The tradition of the Pilgrims' first Thanksgiving is steeped in myth and legend. Few people realize that the Pilgrims did not celebrate Thanksgiving the next year, or any year thereafter, though some of their descendants later made a "Forefather's Day" that usually occurred on December 21 or 22.
Several Presidents, including George Washington, made one-time Thanksgiving holidays. In 1827, Mrs. Sarah Josepha Hale began lobbying several Presidents for the instatement of Thanksgiving as a national holiday, but her lobbying was unsuccessful until 1863 when Abraham Lincoln finally made it a national holiday. Today, our Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday of November. This was set by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939 (approved by Congress in 1941). [Learn More]
Books to Read
- Thanksgiving: The Pilgrims' First Year in America - by Glenn Alan Cheney
- Colonial Living - by Edwin Tunis
- Colonial Craftsmen: And the Beginnings of American Industry - by Edwin Tunis
- Frontier Living: An Illustrated Guide to Pioneer Life in America - by Edwin Tunis
- Mourt's Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth - by Dwight Heath
- Of Plymouth Plantation - by William Bradford
- The Pilgrim's Progress - by John Bunyan
- A Great & Godly Adventure: The Pilgrims & the Myth of the First Thanksgiving - by Godfrey Hodgson
- Pilgrims: New World Settlers and the Call of Home - by Susan Hardman Moore
- Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War - by Nathaniel Philbrick
- Plymouth Colony: Its History and People - by Eugene Aubrey Stratton
- The Mayflower and Her Passengers - by Caleb H. Johnson
- Pilgrim: A Biography of William Brewster - by Mary B. Sherwood
- Three Visitors to Early Plymouth - by John Pory, Isaack De Rasieres, and Emmanuel Altham
- America's Hidden History: Untold Tales of the First Pilgrims - by Kenneth C. Davis
- Life in Colonial America - by Russell Roberts
- Regeneration Through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier, 1600-1860 - by Richard Slotkin
In issue number 3 of Home Educating Family Magazine is located an article entitled, "Remembering John Winthrop 1588-1649," a man who lived during the colonial period. Without his leadership, the colony might never have come into existence. With another governor they might have all perished or been reduced to anarchy or civil war.
Perhaps current events will help motivate your young adult?
The descendants of American Indians who had the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims have not disappeared, nor have they forgotten that fateful meal. In fact, many live in the Cape Cod town of Mashpee -- known by most for its beaches and quaint New England charm.
Even though the tribe is deeply rooted in the town, the tribe has yet to be recognized by the federal government. In fact, the Mashpee Wampanoags have spent the last 30 years trying to prove that they are in fact a real tribe after the federal government refused to accept their application in the 1970s.
Learn More About the Mashpee Wampanoags Struggle
- Wampanoags sue for return of Mashpee
- Thanksgiving's Original Hosts
- In the seat of Wampanoags' power
- Mashpee tribe faces membership feud
- Middleboro officials move to protect 10,000-year-old village site
DVD's to Watch
- A Thanksgiving of American Folk Hymns
- The Desperate Crossing: The Untold Story of the Mayflower
- The Pilgrim's Progress
- Real Heroes: Inspirational Stories of Giving
Thanksgiving Recipes to try
- Thanksgiving recipes (Food Occasions)
- Thanksgiving recipes (Food.com)
- Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes, Menus and Cooking Tips (EatingWell)
- Nell Newman's Organic Thanksgiving (EatingWell)
- Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes (thedailygreen)
- A Harvest Of Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes (Your Organic Gardening Blog)