Lesson Plans (4)
A Rafter of Turkeys
Students investigate the domestication and life cycle of the turkey, discover how turkeys are raised on farms, and identify turkey products. Grades 3-5
The Geography of Thanksgiving Dinner (Grades 6-8)
Identify common Thanksgiving foods and their farm source, determine if those foods can be produced locally, and locate the common origins of their Thanksgiving day dinner. Grades 6-8
The Geography of Thanksgiving Dinner (Grades 9-12)
Identify common Thanksgiving foods and their farm source, determine if those foods can be produced locally, and locate the common origins of their Thanksgiving day dinner. Grades 9-12
Students explore the life cycle of wild rice, compare the steps of the traditional Native wild rice harvest with a cultivated wild rice harvest, and create their own wild rice bowls. Grades 3-5
Companion Resources (14)
The Great Pumpkin
This is a fun and simple activity in which students will make a paper-plate model of the life cycle of a pumpkin.
Wheat Weaving: How to Make a Corn Dolly
Students will learn about the history of weaving with straw and make their own woven wheat ornaments, traditionally known as "corn dollies." The art of weaving with wheat stems (straw) is practically as old as wheat itself. Traditionally, corn dollies were made using the last stems of harvested grain. Wheat was most common, but oats, rye, barley, and corn were also used. The woven ornaments with the heads of grain still on the stem were hung on inside walls where they made it safely through the winter. These sacred grains were then planted the next season to ensure the fertility of the entire crop.
Eating the Plates
A fascinating slice of American history, Eating the Plates describes the customs, manners, and eating habits of the Pilgrims. From the hardships of the settlers' first years in the wilderness, to their eventual success in farming and hunting, the reader is immersed in the sights, sounds, and smells of life in Plymouth. The evolution of diet in early America is a subject that should appeal to students; the glimpses of Pilgrim manners and home life are sure to amuse. Ten tasty, simple recipes provide directions for a full meal.
How Groundhog's Garden Grew
Little Groundhog, in trouble for stealing from his friends' gardens, is taught by Squirrel to grow his very own. From seed-gathering to planting, harvesting, and eating home-grown fruits and vegetables, children join Little Groundhog in learning about the gardening process. At the end, Little Groundhog invites his animal friends to a Thanksgiving harvest feast.
From late summer to Thanksgiving, pumpkins are everywhere, a symbol of fall and a reminder of the holidays to come. In this book, Ken Robbins portrays the pumpkin from seed, to sprout, to flower, to fully fledged fruit, and back again. Instructions are given to (safely) carve a jack-o’-lantern.
Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie
Pumpkins! Who can resist the sight of big, round, orange pumpkins ripening in a field? Children piling off school buses to pick one out. Carving out funny faces, smiles, or scary frowns to illuminate Halloween doorsteps. Making room for that last piece of pumpkin pie after a delicious Thanksgiving feast. In this book, pumpkins aren’t just a fruit, they’re a symbol, a scent, a flavor of the entire season.
The Life Cycle of a Pumpkin
How big can pumpkins grow? Why do pumpkins have very big leaves? What can we make with pumpkins? Explaining concepts through stunning photographs and simple text, Life Cycle of a Pumpkin takes an in-depth look at this familiar but fascinating plant.
The Pie that Molly Grew
Using "The House that Jack Built" rhyme scheme and beginning with the planting of a single seed, the journey of bringing a pumpkin to harvest comes to life for young readers. Under Molly's watchful eye and care, each stage of growth—from the seed to the sprout to the leaves to the final fruit on the vine—is showcased. And at the end, Molly's lovely pumpkin is turned into a delicious pie for one and all to share in a celebration of gratitude. All from the seed that Molly sowed.
The Pumpkin Book
Big, small, round, tall—pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes. Here one learns the marvels of the growth cycle of these incredible plants—from flat seeds, to thick vines covered in golden flowers, to brilliant orange pumpkins! Gail Gibbons also relates the special role pumpkins played in the first Thanksgiving. Simple and clear directions for drying seeds, planting and tending pumpkin patches, and carving funny or scary faces are included in the book, along with a fascinating section on pumpkin facts and lore.
Time for Cranberries
From the cranberry bog to the Thanksgiving table, join Sam and his family as they harvest a classic American fruit. When the vines hang heavy with berries that the autumn winds have turned deep red, it's time for cranberries, and Sam is finally old enough to help with the harvest! This charming, lyrical picture book follows Sam and his family as they raise the water in the bog, pick the cranberries, and gather the fruit for processing. It's a story of modern family farming in action, showing readers where their food comes from but mostly delighting them along the way. This book is a great companion to lessons on farming, harvesting, use of machines, Thanksgiving, or cranberries.
All About the Pumpkin Video
In two minutes, this video engagingly delivers a host of facts about pumpkins. Students will learn that each pumpkin has about 500 seeds, pumpkins originated in Central America, 19th century New Englanders thought that pumpkins could cure snake bites, and much more.
A great video to celebrate Thanksgiving. See an enactment of the first North American Thanksgiving at Plymouth. Watch children put on hip waders and go chest high into the bog during the fall cranberry harvest. Cranberry Bounce introduces children to the seasons on a cranberry farm. Along the way, they learn about the biology of cranberry reproduction, geography of cranberry growing areas, some cranberry recipes, and cranberry decorations.
Visit an Iowa Turkey Farm
In this virtual farm tour, go inside a modern brooder barn to see two-week-old turkey poults and a grow out barn with 10-week-old turkeys. Learn how farmers use technology every day to regulate barn temperature, air flow, feed and water use, and monitor turkey health.
Thanksgiving Maps and Posters
Visit this website to see maps and graphs to discover where your Thanksgiving dinner foods such as green beans, carrots, celery, sweet corn, cranberries, onions, pecans, potatoes, pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes, turkey, and wheat were produced.