Thanksgiving Garden Science and Engineering STEM Unit

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72 Ratings
STEM Roots
Grade Levels
K - 8th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • Zip
68 pages
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Garden clubs and classroom teachers alike enjoy this three-lesson unit! Teach your students about the science behind the first Thanksgiving harvest.

Learn what the Wampanoag taught the pilgrims about the Three Sisters planting method--prevalent throughout North America in pre-Columbian times and featured on the reverse of the 2009 Native American U.S. $1 coin.

Students will learn about:
☀ ☀ The Iroquois Indian Legend of the Three Sisters ☀ ☀
• Discover what it taught their children about companion planting.
• Students are introduced to the legend through a captivating presentation followed by a fun classroom game and observation activity.

☀ ☀ The Native American practice of companion planting corn, beans and squash ☀ ☀
• After viewing an illustrative animation, students will demonstrate their understanding through another classroom game.
• They will then create a 3-D model of a Three Sisters garden and summarize its benefits in writing.
• Then they will work in groups to engineer a gardening solution for a dry climate. After sharing their 3-D designs, they will learn how Anasazi and Pueblo Indians varied their techniques to suit their climate, and that other civilizations--including the Aztec and Maya also used Three Sisters gardening.

☀ ☀ Current US nutrition standards ☀ ☀
• Students will determine whether the The Three Sisters crops make a healthy meal in a fun, interactive art and writing project.

Bundle: The Legend of the Three Sisters Video w/Thanksgiving STEM Lesson Plans
The Legend of the Three Sisters Video (Stand-Alone Version)

Lesson plans combine a series of:
• engaging hands-on activities
• observation labs
• writing exercises
• 3-D dioramas
• computer interactives

Interactives run on Flash and PowerPoint viewer. They are versatile enough to be used:
• On any computer with a classroom projector
• With a smart whiteboard (or interactive flipchart)
• On a PC in a homeschool setting

This is an excellent way to incorporate science into your November harvest theme!

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All projects are aligned to Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). See preview file for lesson overview and standards alignment.

! Terms of Use: This product gives the End User (purchaser) the right to use the lesson plans in their classroom. Please purchase one additional, discounted multi-seat license per classroom if sharing with additional classrooms or for school district use. Thank you!

Keywords: fall, autumn, food groups, pumpkins, seeds, Massachusetts, vines, stalk, cornbread, corn meal, soil, fish, nutrients, protein, grain, vegetable, fruit, feast, tribe, Anasazi, Maya, collaborate, collaborative, multisensory
Total Pages
68 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.
Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.


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