Before you begin to teach about the origins of Thanksgiving, have the students make K-W-L charts. Ask them to create three columns on a sheet of paper:
- Column 1: What do you Know about the topic?
- Column 2: What do you Want to know?
- Column 3: What did you Learn?
They can work individually or with partners to fill out the first column, of everything they know about Thanksgiving, its history, the role of the colonists and the American Indians, etc. After discussing as a class, have them work on the second column. Sometimes students have a more difficult time coming up with what they might want to know (and sometimes they think they already know it all, and sometimes they feel they know nothing). It is helpful to ask the wh- questions of “who? what? where? why? when?” and “how?”