IN THE CLASSROOM
- Sign-up for a Thanksgiving-themed Classroom Exchange on November 23 or 25! Teachers can register their classes to discuss a big constitutional question with a classroom somewhere else in the United States. This Thansgiving season, explore questions like: “Why are you thankful for the First Amendment?
The National Constitution Center facilitates these dialogues by pairing classrooms, connecting them with an expert moderator, and setting up videoconferencing sessions.
Sign up today!
The History of Thanksgiving Video Lesson
Grab a seat at the table as we talk turkey! Everyone who loves to eat loves Thanksgiving, so join us as we take a look at what this holiday is all about. Learn the real story of the first Thanksgiving, and find out more about the American Indians who were living in what is now New England. We’ll learn about what kinds of foods our early Thanksgiving dinners did and didn’t have, and discover how the day was made a national holiday during the Civil War. And we’ll check out the background of our favorite Thanksgiving traditions—we’ll even talk a little football! So bring your appetite for knowledge and join us as we explore the history of Thanksgiving.
AT THE CENTER
Over Thanksgiving weekend, the National Constitution Center invites visitors to enjoy a variety of special programs and activities that highlight the history of Thanksgiving.
The interactive “History of Thanksgiving” program explores the origins and importance of this national holiday. At special talk-back discussions led by the Center’s education staff, visitors will learn about the Wampanoag people who lived in what is now New England and their culture, as well as the historic meal they shared with European settlers in 1621 and the events leading up to the harvest feast that year. The talk will highlight key people and moments in Native American history from a constitutional perspective. The program also touches on the role Presidents Washington and Lincoln played in making Thanksgiving a national holiday and looks at some favorite Thanksgiving traditions such as the annual turkey pardon.
History of Thanksgiving Program
The interactive “History of Thanksgiving” program invites visitors to explore the origins and importance of this national holiday. Visitors will learn about the Wampanoag people who lived in what is now New England and their culture, as well as the historic meal they shared with European settlers in 1621 and the events leading up to the harvest feast that year.
Thanksgiving: Deconstructing the Myth
Visitors can join the Center’s education staff to discuss and deconstruct images of Thanksgiving from different periods of our country’s history, taking into account the historical context of each period. This program will unravel some of the myths surrounding the holiday by presenting a more holistic view of the past, which considers multiple perspectives and tells the story of the Wampanoag people. The program will also examine how the nation’s relationship with Native Americans has shaped contemporary understandings of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Growing Up, American Style
Visitors can learn about growing up in different eras of American history through a costume runway show, featuring traditional-style dress from historical periods, like Washington and Lincoln’s presidencies.
Corn Husk Doll Making Station and Activity Table
Visitors can create corn husk dolls and leaf wreaths at craft tables while learning about the games children in the 18th century played, including marbles, whirligigs, bilobo catchers, tops, nine pins, and other popular games of the time.