Thanksgiving - Top 5 Ways To Use Technology November 11 2009

 There's an amazing number of resources about Pilgrims and The First Thanksgiving. I've compiled what I consider the best - or at least, my favorites - out there on the web. I've tried to include some helpful notes about how to use the websites along with a worksheet or two to help keep your kids on track.

My absolute favorite is number 4 - print out a booklet for each of your students, and use it as a foundational piece for your Thanksgiving unit!

1. The First Thanksgiving

An interactive website that includes information about the Pilgrims' voyage and life in the New World. I've made The First Thanksgiving Website Worksheet to use along with this resource. Click The Voyage on the Mayflower first, then you will be directed to Journey on the Mayflower or Tour the Ship.

The Journey on the Mayflower has points along the way, and the text is read aloud - it will keep going by itself, but if your students need to stop it, they simply need to click on the "x" in the right corner and click on the next point when they're ready to start again. If you have sound in a computer lab, have your students turn it down or provide headphones.

Tour the Ship requires students to click on the numbers of the sections they want to read. Sound is provided by clicking on the speaker icon. There are many vocabulary words in this section, so the  sound is very helpful.

Next, click on the tab at the top called Daily Life. This is a wonderful section that compares and contrasts the Pilgrims' lifestyle with the Wampanoag people native to the area. The elements compared include Housing, Clothes, Food, Chores, School and Games.

The last tab is The Thanksgiving Feast. Included is a Slide Show about what the first Thanksgiving might have been like, as wells as a Thanksgiving Web Quest. This game is for older students, but it's very well done and offers a ton of great information.

2. You Are the Historian: Investigating the First Thanksgiving

This program is definitely for older kids. Take a look at the Teacher's Guide, then download the zip file and go through it to see if it's something you want to get into with your students. Also, check out a Walking Tour of Plimoth Plantation.

3. The True Story of the First Thanksgiving

This is a downloadable, full-color article from Muse children's magazine. It's a wonderful article, and it's available as a pdf file as well, just click on "Front Cover" and the link is at the bottom of the page.

 4. Mayflower: A Hands-On History Look at the Pilgrims' Journey to the New World

I got really excited when I saw this resource. It's a 33-page pdf file that is available for teachers to photocopy and use in their classrooms. It includes vocabulary, life on the Mayflower, who the Pilgrims were, what they did, the Wampanoags, and the Thanksgiving feast. Truly an amazing resource!

5. Random Fun!

Have fun with these - I have no idea if the information is true!

Science Buzz - Turkey Facts

Thanksgiving Quiz 

Turkey quiz

These are MY top 5 ways to use technology when it comes to Thanksgiving. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!