ELA Thanksgiving Workbook / Literary Lens Activities
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Engage students in a valuable exploration of Thanksgiving culture, traditions, and history from four literary lens perspectives: formal lens, historical lens, cultural lens, and reader response lens. Thanksgiving is an important time to reflect on traditions and discuss the historical and cultural perspectives relevant to these traditions. This workbook engages students through four activities related to the literary lenses:
- Task 1: Students will close read the poem “Thanksgiving” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox and answer a series of questions that encourage reflection, connection, and gratitude.
- Task 2: Students will analyze an excerpt from William Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation, a primary source document. After reading about Bradford’s description of the “First Thanksgiving,” students will make connections to their understanding of the history of Thanksgiving.
- Task 3: Using a cultural lens, students will work to illuminate the narrative of the “First Thanksgiving” by reading an article from Indian Country Today about the Wampanoag story. Students will answer guided reading questions.
- Task 4: Students will participate in a small group “coffee talk” to discuss the three prior tasks. This will give students a chance further reflect on traditions and history and re-frame narratives.
This resource includes an editable PowerPoint. The content on the slides are editable so you can tasks and wording to fit the needs of your students. Please note, the clipart and headings are not editable due to copyright permissions.
This resource is ready for print or digital use. A Google Slide digital version is included, and directions are included for downloading it as a PowerPoint.
A teacher's suggested answer key is included!