WWW: Teaching Thanksgiving with a Grain of Salt (and Some Succotash Seneca)

¡Feliz viernes a todos!

Thank you again for joining me during the busy weeks! This week, I am featuring a resource that offers a Thanksgiving story that differs a bit from the traditional “Pilgrims and Indians” story we are accustomed to hearing.  There are many discrepancies with the “First Feast” idea that accompanies most Thanksgiving stories, including some that highlight the Spaniards’ presence in North America prior to the Pilgrims’ arrival and others that were highlighted in last week’s post (link to rethinking schools resource).  However, this resource offers yet another perspective on Thanksgiving.  This author happens to be a historian who teaches in high schools and also identifies as Native American.

Vamos a Leer | WWW: Teaching Thanksgiving with a Grain of Salt (and Some Succotash Seneca)Like last week’s resource author, Michael Dorris of Rethinking Schools, Chuck Larsen also struggles with Thanksgiving because of the inner turmoil it causes him and the stereotypes with which he is confronted.  Thus, he set out to create a guide to teaching Thanksgiving in a way that would make him feel more at ease.  His resource, entitled “Teaching about Thanksgiving,” includes different stories from which teachers can draw to illustrate Thanksgiving in a new way, along with recipes for making authentic foods that would have been had during the feast (Succotash Seneca and Roast Corn Soup, yum!), and prayers and stories that could have been a part of the original festivities.  Educators on EducationWorld have used Larsen’s resource, and have even developed some non-offensive classroom activities that students can do to celebrate Thanksgiving in new ways.  By combining EducationWorld’s activities with Larsen’s guide, students are sure to experience Thanksgiving in a whole new light!

As the month continues, I will be posting more about diverse ways to celebrate Thanksgiving, so stay tuned!  We hope these sources can illuminate more of the actual Thanksgiving story and move the focus away from the more traditionally taught classics about the holiday.  However, we also want to emphasize that there can be no real “true story” of how the First Thanksgiving happened because it was not recorded except by the Pilgrims many years after the event allegedly took place.  Hopefully, these sources can open up the mind to teaching and learning about Thanksgiving, while also prompting us all to teach these stories with a grain of salt (and whatever authentic dishes we’d like to cook up)!

With warmest wishes,


Image: Photo of Corn Soup. Reprinted from Flickr user Red Spoon under CC ©.



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