Unit Study: The History of Thanksgiving

October 26, 2023

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays – I love the fall colors, the cooler temperatures, and of course, all that delicious food!

We’ve all heard the story – the Pilgrims sailed to America on the Mayflower and landed on Plymouth Rock. After a rough start, they were saved by the Indians who then celebrated with a Thanksgiving feast… But how accurate is that tale?

With this unit study, you and your child will explore the real history behind this holiday. You will read from both the Wampanoag perspective, learning more about their history and culture, as well as that of the English settlers and how their colonization affected the Indigenous people.  I include a variety of activities to help you get the most out of the literature.

I would recommend this unit for grades 4-6, but older or younger students can join in as well.

Included in this unit study are four picture book mini-units. They are separate from the main lesson plans, so you can feel free to add them whenever you choose. These are a great way to fit younger learners into the unit, as well as give you some additional reading for the whole family.

This 49-page unit study includes:

  • a daily and weekly schedule for 4 weeks of study
  • a reading list
  • vocabulary words, discussion questions, and copywork passages all tied to the literature readings
  • research projects
  • 13 activity pages (including map work and research activities)
  • 4 Picture book mini-units


Purchase History of Thanksgiving Unit Study – $7.95

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You can see the entire History of Thanksgiving Unit Study booklist below:

(now powered by Amazon and Bookshop.org):

History Smashers: The Mayflower by Kate MessnerBookshop.org
Race to the Truth: Colonization and the Wampanoag Story by Linda CoombsBookshop.org
Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving by Danielle Greendeer (Y) – Bookshop.org
Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message – by Chief Jake Swamp (Y) – Bookshop.org
The People Shall Continue by Simon J. Ortiz (Y)
We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell (Y) – Bookshop.org

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About Build Your Library

Have you been looking for a literature based homeschool curriculum that is secular? How about a way to incorporate narration, copywork, dictation and memory work into your child’s education? Or art study that ties into history?

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