Saturday, November 22, 2008


With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I like to ask students in a bonus discussion to consider the history behind the holiday that we all enjoy and to share their family traditions. Another option for higher ed is for students to pick an historical figure and explain why they are thankful for that person's actions.

For perspective, I asked my 6 and 4 year olds to blurt out things that they think of with Thanksgiving. Here is the down and dirty list as given by my daughters: Turkey, Pumpkin Pie, Holiday, Mashed Potatoes, Family, Butter Rolls, Green Bean Casserole, Stuffing, Gravy, Cranberry Sauce, Laughter, Celebration, Hugs, Warmth, Pecan Pie, Thankful, Mayflower, Pilgrims, (These two I contribute to the Peanuts Mayflower episode), Table, Indians, Eat, Kisses, Love, Colorful Leaves, Decorations, Cloth Napkins, Table Cloth. This list certainly gives you an idea of what our holiday entails at the Kaemmerling house at least from two apparently hungry children. By taking time to consider this holiday, the students connect with each other and with instructors, as we have certain commonalities that unite us and connect us to the past.

Here are a few web sources you might also share with your students:
Mayflower myths
History of Thanksgiving
Plymouth Plantation
Fun thanksgiving things

Mayflower Society History
Pilgrim Lore
Mayflower history

Presidential Proclamations
Hippocampus Information

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


Dorene from Ohio said...

Your blog is terrific!

Here is a blog post about a Thanksgiving concert in Ohio long ago:

Karen Kaemmerling said...

HI Dorene from Ohio,
Thanks for your feedback and participation! Cool primary source pictures at your blog!