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 English Settler and Wampanoag lifeways, including analysis of primary source documents. Web resources and a booklist are included in these materials. From their research, students will write summary paragraphs on the two cultures and an opinion paragraph wherein the student chooses to live in one culture. 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 an English 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 art, drama, and technology.
Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School
English Language Arts