Thinking about Thanksgiving

In my multi-cultural classes, I have learned more about the truths behind Thanksgiving and how to bring it up with children. I was searching for a good TedTalk or other video on this subject, but there weren’t any other than documentaries. It is interesting to me that in my program, we are being taught about the importance of teaching the truth and talking about controversies with our students; but I can’t even find a kid-friendly video on the topic of Thanksgiving that doesn’t give the same impression as always (pilgrims coming to America and meeting Indians and deciding to having a feast). I don’t mean to put a damper on this day of spending time with family and making a delicious meal, but it was just something I thought about as I was going to sleep.

Before my Senior year, I had never thought about how History could be isolating to other races since I am a white middle-class female. We delved into the common pictures and language in textbooks, and how it is usually aimed at the Americans being saviors and there aren’t very many paragraphs about other cultures, unless it is the Civil Rights Movement section. There is a curriculum entitled Rethinking Schools, which does a good job of breaking down subjects into their biases and cultural relevance.

rethinking schools for thanksgiving reflection

Not that the message that some schools portray isn’t beneficial, such as having students complete a “Thankful Tree” with what they are thankful for; however, simply not covering Columbus or the Native Americans aspects doesn’t help the children understand the biases. It is difficult to incorporate this type of education into schools with all the curriculum in play. I could see the history topics being relevant because they are still teaching similar ideas, just with a new take on the events. I think I will try my best to include some of this curriculum in my future career, and recommend it to other educators in my school.

Hope this was interesting – Happy Holidays! 🙂