Rediscovering Thanksgiving: Fact vs. Fiction

Students learn about the Pilgrims and the first Massachusetts colonies, including why the Pilgrims came to the New World, their relationship with the Native peoples, and the truth behind the first Thanksgiving. 

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ELA

Unit 2

3rd Grade

Unit Summary


This unit challenges students to view history with a critical lens, and to notice how there is always more than one side to a story. The unit begins with the Mayflower and helps students develop an understanding of why so many colonists decided to leave England and travel to the New World. Students will explore the hardships faced by the colonists, both on the ship and once they arrive in the New World, and how the colonists persevered and relied on the geography and environment to meet their needs. Students will then learn about the Wampanoag, the people who were on the land before the Pilgrims arrived. They will learn about what the Wampanoag valued, how they viewed the Pilgrims, and how the arrival of explorers and settlers negatively influenced their tribe. Then students will be pushed to analyze what really happened at the first Thanksgiving, and whose story is being told. Students will realize that the traditional story of the first Thanksgiving contains many myths that don't accurately reflect the Wampanoag and what really happened in 1621. 

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Texts and Materials


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Core Materials

Supporting Materials

Assessment


These assessments accompany this unit to help gauge student understanding of key unit content and skills.

Additional progress monitoring suggestions are included throughout the unit. Essential Tasks can be found in the following lessons:

Unit Prep


Intellectual Prep

Unit Launch

To learn more about how to prepare a unit, internalize a lesson, and understand the different components of a Fishtank ELA lesson, visit our Preparing to Teach Fishtank ELA Teacher Tool.

Essential Questions

  • Why did the Pilgrims leave England? What challenges did they face when they reached the "New World"? 
  • Who were the first people to live in present day New England? How were their lives and communities impacted by the Europeans? 
  • What parts of the Thanksgiving story are true? What parts are myths? 
  • Why is it important to look at history from multiple perspectives? 

Vocabulary

Text-based

accurate alliance ally bitter bustling captive colonization colony custom damp delight epidemic establish fearsome grateful grim ill influential linger motive pleasant pledge sheltered sorrow stench swallow temper thievery treaty wary will

Root/Affix

-ance -al -ful -some -tion

To see all the vocabulary for Unit 2, view our 3rd Grade Vocabulary Glossary.

Content Knowledge and Connections

Supporting All Students

In order to ensure that all students are able to access the texts and tasks in this unit, it is incredibly important to intellectually prepare to teach the unit prior to launching the unit. Use the intellectual preparation protocol and the Unit Launch to determine which support students will need. To learn more, visit the Supporting all Students teacher tool.

Lesson Map


Common Core Standards


Core Standards

L.3.1
L.3.1.f
L.3.1.h
L.3.1.i
L.3.2
L.3.2.a
RI.3.3
RI.3.6
RI.3.9
SL.3.1
SL.3.1.a
SL.3.1.d
SL.3.6
W.3.2
W.3.2.a
W.3.7
W.3.8

Supporting Standards

L.3.2.e
L.3.2.f
L.3.2.g
L.3.4
L.3.4.b
L.3.6
RF.3.3
RF.3.4
RI.3.1
RI.3.4
RI.3.5
RI.3.7
RI.3.10
SL.3.4
SL.3.5
W.3.4
W.3.5
W.3.6
W.3.10
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Unit 1

Exploring Ancient Civilizations: Rome

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Unit 3

Understanding the Animal Kingdom

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