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Create a Thanksgiving Menu

Students will create their own Thanksgiving menus featuring their favorite foods and drinks along with items that are directly related to their family's heritage.

PROCESS:

  1. After reading the article, point out that two criteria determined what was served at the first Thanksgiving: items served at an English celebration at that time and, more importantly, what foods and drinks were available.
  2. Tell students to imagine that they are planning the perfect Thanksgiving meal. Instruct them to create a list of foods and drinks they would serve. Encourage them to include both their favorite foods and drinks and items that are directly related to their family's heritage. If any students' families do not celebrate this holiday, tell them to think of a special holiday that they do celebrate and create a menu for a meal served on that day.
  3. Provide an assortment of art supplies or access to a digital design program. Instruct students to create a complete Thanksgiving menu. Challenge them to design the menu in a way that reflects their family's heritage.

ASSESSMENT: 

Invite students to share their menus with the class. As they do, instruct them to identify foods and drinks that reflect their family's heritage. Challenge them to explain the connection. Then encourage students to identify elements in the design of their menus that tell about their culture. If you wish to extend the lesson, invite students to bring in a sample of their favorite Thanksgiving food to share with the class.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:    

Grades 3-4:
Brainstorm a list of Thanksgiving foods and drinks as a class. Prompt ideas by encouraging students to identify items that their families always serve during this meal. Then have each student create his or her own list. Provide art supplies so students can make a hard copy of their menus. Challenge students to include at least one element in the design that tells about their culture.

Grades 5-6:
Have students brainstorm a list of Thanksgiving foods and drinks in small groups. If necessary, prompt discussion by encouraging students to identify items that their families always serve during this meal. Then have each student create his or her own list. Provide art supplies so students can make a hard copy of their menus. Challenge students to include at least two elements in the design that tell about their culture.

Grades 7-8:
Have students brainstorm a list of Thanksgiving foods and drinks with a partner. Encourage them to include items that their families always serve during this meal. Have each student create his or her own list. Then give students time to conduct research to identify colors, symbols, etc. that reflect their family's culture. Give students the option of using art supplies to create a hard copy or using a design program to create a digital version of their menus.

Grades 9-10:
Instruct students to brainstorm a list of foods and drinks that their families always serve on Thanksgiving. Then give students time to conduct research to identify colors, symbols, etc. that reflect their family's culture. Instruct students to use a design program to create a digital version of their menus.