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The First Thanksgiving (Grades 6-8)

Take your middle schoolers back to the first Thanksgiving with an engaging cross-curricular unit that ties together topics in social studies and ELA. While learning about he settlement at Plymouth young scholars participate in a series of collaborative writing exercises that help them to develop an understanding of this pivotal period in history.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Make one of the writing tasks a group script and have kids read aloud using readers theater techniques
  • Have the class create their own timelines of the important events that have taken place in their own lives
  • Create a section of your classroom library that features Thanksgiving books for students to read if they finish early
Classroom Considerations

  • Make copies of the Plymouth Plantation Excerpts handout for each individual 
  • Have the class work in groups of 4 to 5, with each group having a computer or tablet with Internet access

  • Resource includes numerous reproducible materials, including assessments 
  • Easy-to-follow lessons that don't require too much preparation
  • Lessons teach persuasive, expository, and narrative writing techniques

  • None
Included Materials

  • The First Thanksgiving Online Activity
  • Of Plymouth Plantation Excerpts
  • Of Plymouth Plantation Excerpts Answer Key
  • First Thanksgiving Questions for Grades 6-8
  • First Thanksgiving Answer Key for Grades 6-8
  • Venn Diagram
  • KWL Chart
  • Timeline
  • Grading Rubric for Grades 6-8
  • Worksheet

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