Get ready for Thanksgiving Day with this lesson about the history of the Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving. Even if you buy this after Thanksgiving, it will work as a Social Studies lesson or as a Reading Comprehension / Vocabulary lesson. It describes the Pilgrims’ journey on the Mayflower and the writing of the Mayflower Compact. It relates the hardships pilgrims endured and how the Wampanoag tribe befriended them. The lesson also tells how the Pilgrims planned and celebrated with ninety Native Americans a three day harvest feast that is regarded by many as the first Thanksgiving in America. Finally it explains how and why the holiday came to be observed on the fourth Thursday of every November and describes some of the practices Americans use to celebrate the holiday now
The informational text is a little over 2 pages with a detailed drawing of Pilgrims and Native Americans feasting together. There are several pages of questions. Most are short answer ones asking the students to respond in complete sentences. Part two has three multiple choice questions about author’s purpose and main ideas. The final question asks students to write a paragraph on how their own family celebrates Thanksgiving Day. In all there are 32 questions, which survey a variety of reading skills. Comprehension skills include identifying main ideas, finding details, determining character traits, drawing conclusions, and seeing cause-effect relationships. Several vocabulary words are taught and tested including origin, disembark, withered, fortunately, water fowl, game, and venison. There are two multiple meaning questions about the use of the word chief. If you think 32 questions are too many, just delete what you don’t like.
Overall, this lesson provides a relevant holiday / Social Studies / Reading lesson that will challenge students and enhance their comprehension skill, vocabulary knowledge, and understanding of history. It is also a helpful test preparation for state and other standardized testing. Without a doubt, this lesson will help your students and provide you with a resource that is a great bang for a buck!
The answer key is on 8th and 9th pages.