Thanksgiving; Time To Think Technology, Turkey, Thankfulness


Photographer: Ian Britton Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License, FreeFoto 

First,  I wish you the best during the upcoming United States holidays! A reminder if you want to learn about MIT Program Scratch attend this free Discovery STEM Webinar.  I will host on November 30. I will be joined by Steve Dembo and Hall Davidson. Now about this post! This is dedicated to all of those educators wanting to prepare an educational activity this week and cook up a feast of activities that is properly stuffed with relevancy and technology. It is my hope that all walk away full, but still able to save room for some inspiring, reflective, and practical ideas in the upcoming week! As always feel free subscribe this this Blog by RSS or email, visit the 21centuryedtech Wiki and follow me on twitter at mjgormans.  Happy Thanksgiving! – Mike

What is more relevant than an upcoming holiday? In the United States most schools will have a short three day week followed by Turkey, Family, Friends,  Football, and the United States’ biggest shopping day. This posting is dedicated to the time left in school before the celebration. I would like to start with a Scholastic site entitled The First Thanksgiving. At this site you can take the tour of the ship. Students can beef up (turkey doesn’t work) on standards covering compare and contrast as they dig into an activity on daily life of Wampamoag People and the Pilgrims. Have students take a webquest that allows them to learn about the first Thanksgiving, or watch a slide show about the very first meal. You may want students to participate using this Thanksgiving Fact Hunt, a reader’s theater,  or with these letters from history.

Perhaps you would like your students to visit the Plimoth Colony Web Site. At this site you can discover an awesome timeline of events. There is also an  investigation unit involving Thansgiving. The Plymouth Colony Archive Project is an award winning site that even contains a search engine for the site. Your students may be interested in The True Story of  the First Thanksgiving from Muse Magazine (Publishers of the Smithsonian).  Are you teaching primary resources? Did you know there are only two primary resources relating to that first Thanksgiving? Be sure to visit Pilgrim Hall Museum to explore these resources from Edward Winlsow and William Bradford. The Museum’s reading on the Pilgrim’s Story and Beyond The Pilgrim’s Story have excellent information from the original Mayflower Compact text to provisions suggested for the voyage. For ideas on being accurate and politicaly correct about teaching Thanksgiving be sure to read Are You Teaching The Real Story of the First Thanksgiving”? found at Education World. This Native American site for Kids gives more information about the Native American View.

For those who enjoy short videos, check out films from the History Channel including videos on history, football, parades and floats, and turkey facts! The History Channel also provides some great Thanksgiving Day Facts. The data could be incorporated into spreadsheets or graphs, or just lead students to search for more information. Don’t miss the links on the left side of the History Channel Fact Page. You will not find a better place to check out Thanksgiving Day statistical facts than the US Census site devoted to Thanksgiving. Not to be outdone, the US Labor Depoartment has their very own site. If you visit NOAA you can put Thanksgiving in their search box and get links to a feast of statistical weather data.  The website Infoplease gives out more great facts about the almost national bird, the Turkey.

How about trying a Thanksgiving Memory Game, or perhaps Guess The Turkey. Microsoft offers a free online and downloadable game called Harvest Bejeweled . If you wish to test that all important Thanksgiving trivia , check out this quiz with answers from How Stuff Works. I gurantee you will find interesting information you never knew. I realize this is but a small collection of the material on the net, but I hope it is enough to fill you up for a while. This posting will reside in a new category called Seasonal Resources on the 21stcenturyedtech Wiki. Please visit the wiki if you have not! You’ll find a feast of 21st Century educational resources with technology as the main dish.

As I close this weeks posting I want to express my thanks to all of those readers who come to one of these two sites each week. I also wish to thank those who have joined the Wiki, sent email, and posted comments. It means a lot to me and I am grateful when I see new subscribers by email and RSS. I am thankful for the people who have attended my sessions at various conferences across the nation along with the people and organizations who have allowed me to present. Please keep reading, networking, and advocating for the 211st Century transformation necessary to get our students ready for their futures. Enjoy the family, friends, and festivities of the upcoming hioliday and take a moment to reflect and show thanks. I look forward to your future visits and promise you helpings of some great desserts in future postings! Please remember to subscribe by RSS or email if you have not and please spread the word. Hope to see you at my free Discovery STEM Webinar about MIT Scratch.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, – Mike

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