Social Studies Research and Practice
Volume 5, Number 3, Winter 2010
Notable Trade Book Lesson Plan ~ Thanksgiving: The True Story
Thanksgiving: The True Story by Penny Coleman, this interdisciplinary inquiry-based lesson focuses on critical thinking. Students are introduced to the true story of the first Thanksgiving by examining primary sources. Working in cooperative learning groups, students use primary sources to evaluate the accuracy of the Thanksgiving story currently told in many history textbooks. Historical empathy is fostered as students examine this holiday from the perspective of the Native Americans. In addition, cultural sensitivity is addressed by examining how different ethnic groups celebrate Thanksgiving. This lesson teaches students the importance of using primary sources to construct accurate understandings of historical events by incorporating auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learning styles. Extensions in this lesson also integrate science and technology.