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Wheelock College Library: Turkeys

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


I love those silly turkeys that kids make by tracing their hands. There are all kinds of variations (do a Google image search to see some approaches you might not have considered...), they’re adorable, and fun and easy to make. But they do not constitute meaningful curriculum about Thanksgiving, Pilgrims, Native Americans, or harvest festivals.

Every year Wheelock students flock to the Library to gather Thanksgiving books for their early childhood and elementary classrooms. The students who come early are grateful, because every year demand outstrips supply; it is a popular topic. Extend the impact of the books you do find by using free online resources. The journal Booklist has published a guide called “Classroom Connections: Thanksgiving Books as Hooks—Linking Literature to Primary Sources.”

“As your thoughts turn to turkey, pumpkin pie, fall leaves, and football,
consider connecting these high-quality Thanksgiving-themed books to Library of Congress resources. Go beyond the words on the page—dig into primary sources, engage your students, spark critical thinking, and guide them toward a deeper understanding of Thanksgiving traditions and history.”
Also try the Library’s Curriculum Resources Subject Guide, which is available from the Library’s homepage. The Plimoth Plantation and the Mashantucket Pequot Museum websites (in the Guide) are full of resources, and you can easily find many more in all of the other selected websites on that page by searching for “Thanksgiving” with the custom search box at the top of the list of websites.

And then be thankful you do not have to pluck and clean a turkey before you can eat it. Did you see the size of those things?

Ann Glannon

"Turkeyday" image by Alicia Alferman from and used with permission.

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