The Meaning of Thanksgiving for the Montessori Classroom: Making Thanksgiving Come Alive with ScholasticWhen the first letter arrived in my inbox, I printed it off and mounted it on a piece of brown construction paper. I invited the students to circle and proceeded to explain to them that I had a very important document that I wanted to share with them.
Scholastic has put together a wonderful interactive Thanksgiving unit for teachers and students for kindergarten through high school. Not only will they email you the above-mentioned letters, but there are interactive lessons about the Mayflower, Daily Life, and the Thanksgiving feast. There are slide shows, audio files, and even a webquest that students can participate in online. There is a timeline of the pilgrims as well as a timeline of Thanksgiving. There is an easy to follow teacher’s guide that gives ideas on how to use the material. There are recommendations for Thanksgiving-themed books for your classroom library. This year they have included reader’s theater presentations as well as additional research on Plymouth Colony, the Colonial Period, and a link for visiting Plimoth Plantation. There will even be a live chat with Plimoth Plantation on Thursday, November 19, 2009 at 11 am and 2 pm EST.
I appreciate Scholastic making history come alive for my Montessori students. My students could readily identify with the children that were portrayed through the letters and activities. They especially enjoyed learning about what it was like to grow up as a Native American or pilgrim child. Many reenactments were played out on the playground during our studies of the first Thanksgiving. I know it left a lasting impression on my young students, which it was I was hoping for all along.
For more information or to sign up to receive the Thanksgiving letters, please visit http://www.scholastic.com/scholastic_thanksgiving/. The NAMC cultural manuals are rich with information and activities on this and other cultural themes and celebrations around the world: 3-6 Culture & Science, 6-9 Cultural Geography and 9-12 Cultural Geography.
We invite you to visit a previous Thanksgiving blog: Celebrating Thanksgiving with Montessori Activities.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, November 13, 2009.