Thanksgiving is today, a day of family and food. It is also a time to remember our country’s history and accomplishments. Children could make Thanksgiving jigsaw puzzles by finding pictures with a family theme or a Thanksgiving theme. Then they could glue the pictures onto a manila folder. The last step is to cut them into puzzle pieces and share with other children. Remember to include time for the Thanksgiving parade the children organized on Tuesday. Children could also visit the National Geographic site, loaded with correct historical information and all kinds of games and activities: Thanksgiving Day. Children could also read Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson.
Thanksgiving Day was celebrated nationally for the first time in 1789. President Washington issued a proclamation declaring that the day should be one of prayer and thanksgiving. Children could research what the first Thanksgiving meal was. How does it compare to what they eat on the holiday today? In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that Thanksgiving would be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. In 1941 Congress passed a resolution changing Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday in November. Children can read about “The Year We Had Two Thanksgivings” at: Two Thanksgivings.
Sojourner Truth died in 1883 in Battle Creek, Michigan. She was born a slave in Alster County, New York, possibly in the year 1797. She became a free woman after the New York Emancipation Act of 1827. She became an itinerant preacher, speaking for the cause of abolition. She became famous for her speaking, and she met Abraham Lincoln in the White House in 1864. After the Civil War, she campaigned for women’s rights. Idea: Children could read portions of the book Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I a Woman? by Patricia McKissack. They could read a transcript of her “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech at: Sojourner Truth.
Alice in Wonderland was published in 1865. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson wrote the book under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. The book spawned plays, ballets, movies, cartoons, and comic books. Children can read various versions of the book at: Project Gutenberg.
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument was created from Custer Battlefield National Monument in 1991. A monument to the Native Americans who fought at Custer’s Last Stand was also approved. Children can visit the National Park Service website, which provides some great photos, at: http://www.nps.gov/libi.
Doris Gates (born Mountain View, California, 1901; died Carmel, California, September 3, 1987) wrote books for children. She received a Newbery Honor Award for Blue Willow in 1941. Her works also include The Cat and Mrs. Cary and The Elderberry Bush. Children can learn more at: Doris Gates.
Bat Masterson (born Henryville, Quebec, Canada, 1853; died New York, New York, October 25, 1921) was a gambler and a lawman of the Old West.
Laurence Pringle (born Rochester, New York, Rochester, New York, 1935) has written at least 100 books, mostly about nature, for children. His works include Owls! Strange and Wonderful and Scorpions! Children can visit his website at: Laurence Pringle.
Charles Schulz (born Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1922; died Santa Rosa, California, February 12, 2000) was a cartoonist and the creator of Peanuts. Students could read and discuss some of the Peanuts cartoons. They could try to draw their own cartoons. Children can learn more at: http://schulzmuseum.org/.