Thanksgiving, along with other holidays, poses an interesting teaching dilemma.
How do we teach it? Or not teach it?
At what age do we cover it? Is it okay to just not discuss it at all until the children are “old enough” to gather a fuller picture…
We need to consider the purpose of education, our educational goals, and think carefully before we simply “cover” Thanksgiving.
There are many angles here, but if you plan on covering the “history” then you owe it to your students to be accurate. If you plan on simply discussing it as a tradition of family and fun, and do not bring in the Native Americans or Pilgrims at all … then maybe, just maybe you are okay… as long as we are talking prekindergarten or kindergarten.
On the other hand, if you think just putting turkeys on a worksheet means you are doing the holiday or the material the worksheet is meant to cover any justice, I believe you may be mistaken. Simply turning an addition worksheet into one covered in turkeys does neither the math nor the history any justice. If you are simply having preschoolers and kindergartners making Pilgrim hats and stereotypical Native American garb, then I also believe you are doing an injustice to the actual events. Let’s work hard to make everything we cover in a classroom meaningful and purposeful.
So before you copy those worksheets– ask yourself, why?