Huge Carved Pumpkin
Thanksgiving Theme Learning Ideas and Resources
Middle School Thanksgiving Resources
Plan a Thanksgiving Dinner Lesson
Gather food ads from the local grocery store and markets. Give your student a budget to work from and the number of guests they will be serving. Then have them plan their Thanksgiving meal. This uses many math skills (especially multiplication, since turkey is sold by the pound). For a variation on this lesson, have them compare the cost of the meal from two different grocery stores.
Pilgrim Meals and Table Manners
Discuss eating customs and table manners. Did you know that the Wapanoags used to eat whenever they were hungry? It was not usual to find pots cooking in their homes throughout the day. On the other hand, colonists had a fixed timetable for eating their meals, such as breakfast, dinner and supper. The eating pattern of the Pilgrims also differed. They used spoons, knives and fingers to eat, they did not have access to forks.
Thanksgiving Dinner Geography Lesson
A typical American fast-food restaurant meal would include chicken (first domesticated in China) and potatoes (from Andes) or corn from Mexico), seasoned with black pepper (from India) and washed down with a cup of coffee (of Ethiopian origin). Holly Ramer provides food for thought in her article on turkey cooking methods around the country.
Interactive Thanksgiving Puzzles and Games
- The First Thanksgiving Quiz
- The First Thanksgiving Crossword
- Thanksgiving Games and Activities
- Thanksgiving Interactive Coloring Book
Did You Know?
- June is National Turkey Lover's Month.
- The heaviest turkey raised weighed 86 pounds.
- In England, 200 years ago, turkeys were walked to market in herds. They wore booties to protect their feet. Turkeys were also walked to market in the United States.
- Turkey breeding has caused turkey breasts to grow so large that the turkeys fall over.
- According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 45 million turkeys are cooked and eaten in the U.S. at Thanksgiving — that's one sixth of all turkeys sold in the U.S. each year.
- American per capita consumption of turkeys has soared from 8.3 pounds in 1975 to 18.5 pounds last year.
- Age is a determining factor in taste. Old, large males are preferable to young toms (males) as tom meat is stringy. The opposite is true for females: old hens are tougher birds.
- Giblets are the edible internal parts of a fowl, including the gizzard, heart, liver, and neck. They are normally removed, placed into a plastic bag, and then reinserted into the turkey's vacant body cavity. A Southern tradition is to make gravy stock from it, while most people just give them to their dog or threaten their children with them.
- Learn more Turkey Facts
- Totally Terrific Turkey Trivia
- Thanksgiving Trivia & Fun Facts
- Thanksgiving Quiz: How well do you know the history of the Pilgrims?
- Thanksgiving Trivia Questions - Multiple Choice
- Cranberry Facts & Trivia
- Unusual Pumpkin Facts
- Make Your Own Thanksgiving Word Search - Create and print your own Word Search.
- Thanksgiving Day Vocabulary Words - Fill-in-the-Blank, Word Find, Crosswords and more.
- Thanksgiving Worksheets and Printables - Adjective Worksheet, Thanksgiving Maze, Word Find, Crosswords and more.
Online Books, Video's, Study Guides and Articles
- The History of Thanksgiving Video - The History Channel
- Giving Thanks -- Learning Gratitude
- The Truth about The First Thanksgiving - By James W. Loewen
- The History of Thanksgiving and its Celebrations - Celebrate Thanksgiving with the ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Hebrews, the Chinese, and the Egyptians
- Voyage of the Mayflower and the Speedwell - On September 16, 1620, the Mayflower set sail, for America
- What is the origin of America's annual Thanksgiving Day? - Christian Answers
- The Original Thanksgiving Day Proclamation - As published October 14, 1789
Learn About Traditional Pilgrim Clothing
- Pilgrim Clothing - by Robert Jennings Heinsohn, PhD, SMDPA
- Clothing of the Pilgrims - Duane A. Cline
- Costuming Tips For The Cheap And Desperate
- What to Wear in the 17th Century
Books to Read
- Turkeys, Pilgrims, and Indian Corn: The Story of the Thanksgiving Symbols
- The Pilgrims And the First Thanksgiving - by Mary Englar
- Samuel Eaton's Day - by Russ Kendel and Kate Waters
- Sarah Morton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl - by Kate Waters
- Tapenum's Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy in Pilgrim Times - by Kate Waters
- Clambake: A Wampanoag Tradition - by Russell M. Peters
- Three Young Pilgrims - by Cheryl Harness
- Wampanoag (Native Americans) - by Barbara A. Gray-Kanatiiosh