Messy Learning About Thanksgiving

We are studying Thanksgiving this week as part of our study of American History. As part of building the schema for why the Pilgrims were thankful I had the students write about what they are thankful for. Then I talked about the things they might not realize they should be thankful for because they are so much a normal part of everyday life here – like running hot and cold water, heat, shelter, schools, and so on.

Then we watched “The Water Buffalo Movie” also known as “4 Generations.” We discussed how the people in the movie live and their reaction to receiving a water buffalo as a gift. Next we explored “What The World Eats, Part 1” a great online photo essay from Time Magazine. In it families from different parts of the world are shown sitting in their homes surrounded by a weeks worth of food they typically have to eat and how much their food costs. It ranges from a high of over $500 to a low of $1.23 for a family to eat for a week. This sparked a great discussion about poverty and how people in the world really live.

Finally, I had students re-think and re-write their thoughts about what they are thankful for this year – and they will be turning those notes into a blog post this week.

We are also learning about the “First Thanksgiving” and next week I will bring a barbecue to school and barbecue a turkey outside my classroom door. We are researching which foods they really had at that first Thanksgiving and students will bring samples of those foods in for our feast. Maybe I should stream part of it on ustream.tv for others to watch? Or Skype? : )

Learning is messy!

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One Response to Messy Learning About Thanksgiving

  1. BAM says:

    I think its pretty cool that he is using a tangible means of teaching the history of thanks giving this way, and this could be applied to all other history classes.

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