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Thanksgiving Means More Than Giving Thanks. October 19, 2009 Trish Baker. Education World Lesson plans and Webquests already created And INFOhio Safe and reliable resources Introduction-

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Thanksgiving means more than giving thanks l.jpg

Thanksgiving Means More Than Giving Thanks

October 19, 2009

Trish Baker

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Education World

Lesson plans and Webquests already created



Safe and reliable resources

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The U.S Congress has decided to change the name of the holiday celebrated on the last Thursday in November. The name “Thanksgiving,” the lawmakers say, doesn’t capture the entire spirit of the day. The holiday should be a day for more than just giving thanks. Now, Congress has asked your class to help

choose a better name.

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Working in teams, your class will

*Brainstorm what the day called Thanksgiving is all about.

*Research Thanksgiving customs and experiences.

*Identify character traits that might be demonstrated in our

Thanksgiving practices.

*Choose a new name for the holiday.

*Present your research and rationale for your new holiday


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Working in groups of four, complete the following steps:

Step 1: As a group brainstorm everything that comes into your minds when you think of the holiday called Thanksgiving.

Ask yourself the following questions-

Who do you spend the day with?What do you do on that day?

How do you feel on that day?

What’s your favorite part of the day?

What do other people do on Thanksgiving?

What special events happen in your community?

What special events happen in other parts of the country?

Record your thoughts.

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Step 2:

Each team member will have a different role-

#1 – The Historian

#2 – The Newspaper Reporter

#3 – The Social Worker

#4 – The Team Leader

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#1-The Historian: researches past Thanksgivings, beginning with

the first Thanksgiving, and gathers at least 10 facts about the history

of the day.

The Historian will use INFOhio’s World Book Student and

EBSCOhost, Student Research Center Grades 6-8 to take notes and

create their bibliography.

World Book Student gives citation information at the bottom of each


While searching with EBSCOhost, filter your search by clicking

“Primary Source Documents.”

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Step 2 continued-

#2- The Newspaper Reporter:researches the Thanksgiving events that

happen in their own community along with events around the country.

The newspaper reporter will use Newsbank and EBSCOhost’s Student

Research Center Grades 6-8 from INFOhio’s Core Collection.

The reporter will gather at least 10 facts about the events that happen

during the Thanksgiving holidays and create a bibliography.

#3- The Social Worker:researches character traits and makes a list of

at least 5 traits other than gratitude. List the 5 traits and what they mean.

The social worker will use EBSCO Images and the Student

Research Center Grades 6-8. Use the Photo Analysis

worksheet to record the character traits in the images you see. Look for your

5 words in World Book Student’s dictionary and record their definitions.

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Step 2 continued-

#4- The Team Leader:organizes the information grouping similar

thoughts under such headings as ‘Our Thanksgiving Traditions” or

“Past Thanksgivings.”

The team leader also makes sure each group member is on time and on task.

The team leader will take all bibliographies and create one bibliography for all

the team’s research.

Step 3:

Each team member uses INFOhio’s electronic resources to

find the information needed.

Each researcher also takes notes and creates a bibliography.

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Step 4:

Team members will share their research, beginning with the Social

Worker, who lists 5 character traits other than gratitude that might be

considered when choosing the holiday’s new name.

The Team leader records the 5 character traits.

The Newspaper Reporter and the Historian share the facts they have

gathered and the Team Leader records them.

The team matches each character trait to a fact .

Step 5:

The team chooses one character trait it thinks bests fits the spirit of

the November holiday, and creates a new name around that

character trait.

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Step 6:

The team works together to create a PowerPoint presentation:

The Historian creates one slide with 3 to 5 bullets listing the

most important facts about the past Thanksgivings.

The Reporter creates one slide with 3 to 5 bullets containing the

most interesting events that happen in your community or around

the country.

The Social Worker creates one slide listing 3 to 5 character traits

and what they mean.

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The Team Leader creates a title slide and two concluding slides.

The first concluding slide presents the character trait

the team decided should be emphasized on the November

holiday and explains why that character trait was


The final slide shows what your team thinks the new name

for Thanksgiving should be.

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The class votes on the best name to

recommend to Congress!

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More lesson plans, webquests and fun activities

from Education World!


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Another Education World WebQuest --

Women of the Century

Propose to students the following scenario:

You have just accepted a job as one of the editors of a new

encyclopedia that will highlight the greatest women in history.

You need to research potential candidates

For recognition in your field of specialty – the arts, medicine,

politics, science, or sports – and select the women who are most

deserving of inclusion in the Encyclopedia of Notable Women.

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Another site with ideas and activities!

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Another idea using Worksheets from

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Online Citation makers (free but have to register)

World Book Student Citation Maker

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Any other ideas or suggestions to share?

Thanks for your time.

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