Teaching About Thanksgiving

My daughter learning about Native American populations in Jamestown, VA

Thanksgiving is almost here and so is another opportunity to create a Thanksgiving that is filled with gratitude, love and lessons on perseverance, strength and community. It is a great time for our children to learn about the Native Americans who gave birth to this great country and to learn about their thriving cultures that existed for thousands of years prior to the arrival of colonists. It is important to give thanks to the people who came before us, for without them the pilgrims would never have survived.

Exploring a local trail where the Lenape once lived.

Native American history is American history. We cannot correctly learn American History without including indigenous populations that are often left to holidays and random days.

What can you do at home to educate your children about Native American culture and history to teach accurate history?

My daughter’s Native American drawing at the Montclair Art Museum

Start where you are. What native populations lived or live where you are now? What local resources are near you such as museums and historical societies ?

Learning about American History in Williamsburg, VA

I’m in Northern New Jersey where the Lenape once lived. When I take my kids to local parks, like Brookdale Park, I remind them that the large oval they’re skating around was once where the Lenape used to hold their community meetings. We walk and talk along various trails where the Lenape had thrived and try to imagine ourselves there.

Exploring the Passaic River where the Lenape once lived alongside of

We visit the Essex County Environmental Center to see a physical set up of how they once lived and used the land responsibly for future generations. Our local Montclair Art Museum has a fantastic collection of Native American Art as well as classes incorporating semesters devoted to teaching about their art and culture. The information is out there and waiting for your family.

The Smithsonian has shared great resources that you can find here: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/blogs/national-museum-american-indian/2020/11/14/five-ideas-teach-thanksgiving/

Here is a link for highly rated films to watch on Native Americans. https://tribalcollegejournal.org/five-native-films-and-shows-you-should-be-streaming-in-2020/

Looking for a few great books as well? Here is a great list by Mighty Girl: https://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=10365 and by First Nations https://www.firstnations.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Revised_Book_Insert_Web_Version_March_2018.pdf

Even our dog loves this book.
My daughter learning about Native culture on a family trip to Jamestown, Virginia

You can learn more about Jamestown here: https://amp.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article24463288.html

Happy Thanksgiving to you and all those you love!

Published by Candice

Hi, I’m Candice and I am so happy and honored to have you visit my site. I am a homeschooling mom with an MS in Education with fifteen years of experience in public and private school settings in NYC in addition to homeschooling my children the last 7 years. I love helping families to find what works best for their family in a home education environment. Homeschooling is limitless and your children and family can learn and grow together in whatever configuration you can imagine. I would be honored to help your family on that journey.

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