Thanksgiving is approaching, and the shortened school week will have kids pining for turkey, football, family and a four-day weekend. So keep their minds focused on school using fun and interactive games and activities that also serve up a helping of history.
Free Technology for Teachers has compiled a list of five websites that offer great resources for teaching about the first Thanksgiving and its long history along with other activities involving turkey and all the trimmings.
1. National Geographic Kids provides history about the holiday, from the first Thanksgiving feast to traditions that have developed over the 400 subsequent years, like the Turkey Pardon.
“Each year at Thanksgiving, the President of the United States receives a gift of a live turkey (along with an alternate in case something happens to the official turkey). At a White House ceremony, the president traditionally “pardons” the National Thanksgiving Turkey and the alternate turkeys, allowing them to live out the rest of their lives on a farm.”
A list of fun facts about the holiday is accompanied by games, quizzes and offline activities appropriate for elementary age students.
2. ABC Teach is a great resource for teachers looking to spice up their yearly Thanksgiving lesson with activities and games. The site has numerous free lesson plans, coloring pages and offline games that are designed for elementary school use.
3. Kaboose offers Thanksgiving themed games as well as jokes and riddles for kids.
Who isn’t hungry at Thanksgiving? The turkey because he’s already stuffed! Get it?!
The site has features for parents and grownups as well. Like recipe ideas and tips for Black Friday shopping.
4. James Hollis at Teachers Love SMART Boards has developed an excellent list of Thanksgiving lessons that can be done using a SMART Board or other interactive whiteboard. He also gathered a wide selection of resources teachers can use to enhance their SMART Board Thanksgiving lessons like animated puzzles and holiday quizzes.
5. Larry Ferlazzo’s “The Best Sites to Learn & Teach About Thanksgiving” list offers more than 50 Thanksgiving lesson resources. It includes everything from e-books about Columbus, to web adventures starring the pilgrims, to History Channel videos and archived slideshows of the Macy’s Parade.
All of these sites can be used in the class or at home. Give them a try and let us know what you think. Do you have any favorite websites that you use each year to teach the story of Thanksgiving?