I like Thanksgiving and the idea of stopping to think of what we have to appreciate. While I was shopping this week, I hoped to find some Thanksgiving candies to give with thank you cards. With the way holidays are commercialized, I thought it would be easy to find some little turkey-shaped chocolates. But, everywhere I went it seemed to already be Christmas. I like Christmas too, but put on the brakes. So, in celebration of slowing down a little to be thankful, I've compiled some of my favorite Thanksgiving stories and ideas.
Read Thanksgiving on Thursday from Mary Pope Osborne's Magic Tree House Series and its non-fiction companion book, Pilgrims.
In the illustrated fiction book, Jack and Annie, the series' main characters, take their time-traveling tree house back to the first Thanksgiving in 1621. The kids meet Squanto, Captain Standish and Governor Bradford and help prepare for the first harvest festival. Readers learn about Wamanoag and early colonists' ways of living. Random House, the books publisher, has a Thanksgiving on Thursday teacher's guide that includes a printable Thanksgiving Quilt worksheet. They also have a section of activities that can be used with all of the Magic Tree House fiction books.
Follow-up this story by reading Pilgrims, which rehashes the first Thanksgiving story from a completely non-fiction perspective and includes plenty of illustrations and diagrams of Wampanoag and Colonial clothes and lifestyles.
To find out more about the colonies, visit PBS' interactive history of 1628 in North America.
Then read Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving, a biographical picture-book about Sarah Hale who helped Thanksgiving become a national holiday in 1863.
Visit author Laurie Halse Anderson's site for a Thank You, Sarah teacher's guide full of guided reading questions and activity ideas.
Then visit Danielle's Place to get instructions for Story of Thanksgiving turkey,
and bunches of other Fall and Thanksgiving ideas.
Craft images from Danielle's Place.