3rd grade students at the Alice B. Beal Elementary School in Springfield, Massachusetts, created this coloring book as part of a Learning Expedition on the “real story” behind Thanksgiving. A case study investigation, this Learning Expedition focused on “what really happened” at the first Thanksgiving, using multiple perspectives from varied texts and local experts to dispel myths and provide a more accurate portrayal.
Students researched many aspects of Pilgrim and Wampanoag culture through primary sources, books about the first Thanksgiving, related websites, and field work during a trip to Plimoth Plantation.
This coloring book includes line drawings and multi-sentence paragraphs in which students depict their knowledge of people, events and interactions between the two cultural groups. The book also became part of a service project: baskets of food were made by a local organization for families-in-need at Thanksgiving; the book was included as a gift for each family.
How This Project Can Be Useful
- Highlights a history expedition in which students attempt to uncover something – not just tell the same story that’s been told – giving students a sense of mission
- Shows a high level of skillful writing by 3rd graders
- Shows the wide range of the type of information students gathered and analyzed
- A creative and effective format to address and deepen content required in state curriculum frameworks and district science requirements
- A useful format for showing students’ knowledge of both historical and cultural information
- An example of a product with an authentic audience and a service component
Common Core State Standards
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