Grade: Senior

#1827. The Controversial Thanksgiving

Social Studies, level: Senior
Posted Wed Jun 28 16:54:59 PDT 2000 by Matt Gresick (
Indiana University of Pa, Indiana
Materials Required: Teacher's computer, poster board, drawing materials,
Activity Time: 45 minutes
Concepts Taught: Appreciation for cultural identity and other cultures.


This lesson is directed as an additional project before the Thanksgiving break. The lesson is meant to
guide the minds of the students' to think in a new and interesting way at the holiday's significance in thier
lives. They will discover that they have unique ways of celebrating Thanksgiving in their family structure
and that "giving thanks" is seen and done in different cultures. The learners will participate in research,
presentation, group discussion, and writing concerning Thanksgiving.


After a lecture on the origins of Thanksgiving, grade twelve learners will be able to think about
Thanksgiving in a new way by constructing their own presentations on their Thanksgivings, and then give
group presentations on their Thanksgiving celebration with each group member participating in giving a
certain aspect of their culture's of family's way of "giving thanks."

More specifically, the learners will be able to:

Search the web for pictures and info on their individual culture's way of celebrating
(food, etc...);
list and gather uniqie characteristics of their individual's Thanksgiving on a peice of
construct a group presentation showing certain aspects of their Thanksgiving on poster
present their project to the class labeling each students' contribution to the group's





2 min.

Tells class happy
Thanksgiving and then
asks them what they have
to be thankful for?

Learners respond by
stating what they're
thankful for. If necessary,
teacher prompts them.

8 min.

Teacher proceeds with a
power point presentation,
which explains some
myths about Thanksgiving
and gives an example of
the upcoming project with
websites to assist in their

Learners take notes if
necessary or when
prompted by the teacher.
They respond to questions
in the presentation and
participate throughout.

8 min.

Teacher then instructs the
students to search the web
for their family heritage.
Teacher walks the class
and helps students who
seem to be stuck.

Learners search the web
and take notes about their
individual culture and
customs in relevance to
celebrations. They may
and are encouraged to ask
for help.

14 min.

Teacher then breaks the
class up into pre-assigned
groups and have them
construct group projects
showing special features
from each one of their
cultures on poster board.

Learners work together in
groups to decide what
aspects are going to be
taken from each individual
celebration to be
displayed. they may ask
for help.

12 min.

Teacher directs class to
give orderly presentations
and explain each project

Learners tell about their
group presentation.
Making sure to include
everyone in the group.

1 min.

Dismiss class.



1. Each learner will participate in the group by contributing an aspect of their culture's way of
2. Each group will present their poster board in front of the class with every member of the
group in the presentation.