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The First Thanksgiving

Experience the First Thanksgiving with this interactive, immersive online activity and multimedia resources used in thousands of classrooms across the country every year.


PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

Activity Type

  • Interactive Whiteboard Activities

The First Thanksgiving student activity offers books, lessons, media and resources to teach students the story behind our national holiday.

  • Students will get an up-close-and-personal look into 17th-century life in Colonial America through four video virtual field trips to Plimoth Plantation:
    • Tour the Pilgrim Village
    • Tour the Wampanoag Homesite
    • Go on a virtual field trip to Plimoth Plantation that includes interviews with interpreters
    • Take a virtual field trip aboard the Mayflower
  • In Voyage on the Mayflower, students can explore a timeline of the ship's voyage in 1620, "tour" the ship, and follow their journey on a map. Along the way, students learn why the Pilgrims risked their lives to move to the New World.

  • Daily Life offers students a glimpse into what it was like for Pilgrims in the New World as compared to the native Wampanoag people. Plus, they'll learn how the Wampanoags helped the colonists survive.

  • Students can browse a slideshow of what the first Thanksgiving Feast consisted of and take a quiz to test their knowledge.

  • Students can read historical fiction letters from the Mayflower and Wampanoag tribe.


Learning Objectives

Scholastic's online activities are designed to support the teaching of standards-based skills. While participating in The First Thanksgiving activities, students learn to:

  • Use technology tools to access, explore, and synthesize information about the Mayflower, Pilgrims, Plymouth colony, Wampanoags, and the first Thanksgiving
  • Develop an understanding of why Pilgrims moved to the New World
  • Develop an understanding of the colonial and Wampanoag cultures of the early 1600s
  • Compare and contrast lifestyles of the Pilgrims and Wampanoags
  • Interpret information from timelines
  • Create a timeline
  • Read for detail
  • Participate in a variety of active writing activities
  • Demonstrate comprehension through experiential response
  • Reflect on what has been learned after reading by formulating ideas, opinions, and personal responses

Go to The First Thanksgiving activity.

Susan Cheyney

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