Today is the much loved and misunderstood holiday of Thanksgiving here in the former colonies. I can testify that the U.S. school systems almost always get it wrong when it comes to educating children about the historical roots of the annual event. But now some educators from the Oklahoma City Public Schools Native American Student Services have created a new free Thanksgiving curriculum guide for students in Pre-K through 4th grade. A Story of Survival: The Wampanoag and the English presents a more accurate evaluation of colonial American history. It also offers some alternative activities that avoid unfortunate Native American stereotypes. As they explain in the intro:
This Thanksgiving Lesson plan booklet has emerged as a need expressed by our teachers to have something meaningful, tangible and easy to follow in their classrooms. The booklet also emerged because our parents were frustrated with their Native child coming home with make-shift feathers and inaccurate stories of Thanksgiving.
This booklet provides a number of useful tools:
1. It provides a quick facts for teachers to read to learn about the English and the Indigenous people of this land.
2. It provides a list of “what not to do” in order to not offend or provide harmful and inaccurate images to ALL children.
3. This booklet gives lessons that are grade appropriate with photos to follow.
You can read and even download a pdf version of A Story of Survival: The Wampanoag and the English — A Thanksgiving Lesson Plan Booklet from a Native American Perspective [Oklahoma City Public Schools Native American Student Services]