The First Thanksgiving: The Feast

fall and thanksgiving themed feast
Photo Source: BVDC

It was certainly not entirely by their own hand that the Pilgrims survived their first year in the New World. Your kindergartners will be fascinated to learn that the native peoples of New England, the Wampanoags, were instrumental, teaching the newcomers how to scavenge the land and plant crops. Despite their differences and the strain of the harsh new land, the Pilgrims owed their lives to the resourceful natives. Who better to invite to their celebration of thanksgiving than the ones who had helped them conquer the worst of the winter?

The Thanksgiving Feast

Lesson Objectives

  • Learn how the Pilgrims prepared for the first Thanksgiving feast.
  • Learn how the Wampanoag prepared and contributed to the first Thanksgiving feast.
  • Learn about the first Thanksgiving (e.g. the food, activities, length of celebration, etc.)
  • Learn how Thanksgiving became a national holiday.
  • Compare and contrast the first Thanksgiving meal with those enjoyed today.
  • Discuss the Thanksgiving traditions students practice in their homes.

Scholastic finishes their Thanksgiving lesson series strong. On their website you'll find a comprehensive slideshow that teaches about the progress of the Pilgrims in their new home, how both groups prepared for the first Thanksgiving feast, how the food at the first Thanksgiving differs from celebrations of today, and other facts about the first celebration of Thanksgiving. You'll also find a helpful timeline that follows the process taken to christen Thanksgiving as a national holiday as well as interviews with the first Thanksgiving participants to help students understand what the celebration was like!

As always, feel free to alter the lesson objectives, resources, and activities to the age and skill level of your students.