Pilgrims: The True Story of Squanto and the First Thanksgiving

Rated 4.83 out of 5, based on 9 reviews
9 Ratings
Engaging History
Grade Levels
6th - 12th
Formats Included
  • Word Document File
5 pages
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Engaging History


This is always a favorite of mine -- I still have former students message me on Thanksgiving to wish me a Happy SquantoGiving (it makes sense after the activity). Squanto lived a fascinating, heart-breaking and inspiring life, and deserves so much more attention and credit than we give him. This reading (with visuals) walks students through his remarkable story, which intertwines with the Pilgrims and explains how the first Thanksgiving came to be. It then dives into the interesting history of how the feast became a national American holiday in the 1800 and 1900's. Students create a timeline of Squanto's life and a newspaper front page reporting on how Thanksgiving became a holiday. It is fun and informative. I suggest really hyping up your love of Squanto before the reading (I would give students tissues to cry into).

If you want to provide the kids with background on the Pilgrims leaving England, arriving at Plymouth in 1620, and struggling to survive, check out my activity "Pilgrims: Mayflower, Mayflower Compact, Plymouth Rock, Early Struggles"

You can buy both for $2.50. It is called "Pilgrims: Mayflower Compact, Plymouth, Squanto and Thanksgiving"
Total Pages
5 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
45 minutes
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