Our Story, Our History: Reimagining the Past in Poetry and Historical Record

This middle school project is a re-examination of the traditional Thanksgiving story in several parts. First, students are asked to activate prior knowledge as the whole class writes a version of the Thanksgiving story. Students will then research and collect facts on Pilgrim and Wampanoag lifeways, including analysis of primary source documents. Web resources and a booklist are included in the materials. From their research, students will write summary paragraphs on the two cultures and an opinion paragraph where the student adopts the life of one group. Templates and organizers included in the project handout help students to build a three paragraph essay.  Finally, students will turn research into poetry when they choose a Pilgrim or Wampanoag identity and write an ode to that individual’s life, weaving historically accurate information and the small details of poetic form into their tributes. At this point, the project may optionally become cross-curricular with ties to art, drama, and technology. 

School name: 

Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School

School district: 




Grade Level: 


Subject Area Focus: 

Social Studies/History

Estimated days to complete: 


Creator Name: 

Susannah Remillard