Native American Thanksgiving Story for Kindergarten

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​​​​​​​Introduce Native American culture by exploring the story of the first Thanksgiving with this interactive lesson plan for Kindergarten. Explore the beautiful picture book Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story for an engaging and meaningful lesson, perfect for Native American Heritage Month, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, or Thanksgiving.

Introducing Keepunumuk: for Kindergarteners

This interactive lesson plan is the perfect accompaniment to the story of Keepunumuk, a children's book that tells the tale of Maple and Quill, who learn the story of Weeâchumun (corn) and what really happened on the first Thanksgiving from their grandmother. Introduce your Kindergartners to Native American history and culture with this charming storybook that retells the Thanksgiving story and honors the Native peoples who made it possible.

Explore more worksheets and lesson plans that explore Native American history and culture. Get creative with Native American corn husk dolls, or learn about traditional Native American food with this Wampanoag recipe activity. If you’re looking for fall harvest activities for Thanksgiving, try this harvest printable for Kindergarten.

What's Inside:

  • Standards-aligned printable lesson plan
  • Step-by-step instructions
  • Ideas for questions and follow-up activities.

Lesson details:

  • Read Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story to the class.
  • Before you read, make sure to review each of the Wampanoag language words listed on the front pages of the text.
  • After you read the book, ask the following questions: What are the names of the children in this story? Where does this story happen? Does it happen in more than one place? Aside from the humans, what other animals are in this story? What are the names of some of the plants in this story? (Encourage students to use the Wampanoag word, Weeâchumun) Why did Weeachumun send the First Peoples to help the newcomers? Why did she send Fox to watch the newcomers to see what they do? What is Keepunumuk?
  • Now without reading, show the book page by page and have students identify Fox throughout the story. Ask the students what Fox is doing in each of the scenes.
  • Follow up with the question, “Why does Fox hide from people?”
  • Have students draw a picture inspired by the story and ask them to explain how they chose what to draw.
  • With prompting and support, explain that reading the cover or title page is a way to learn who created a book. Name the author and illustrator and define the role of each in telling the story.

This lesson plan provides a great opportunity to combine social studies with reading and language arts with your Kindergartners. If you’re looking to also incorporate arts and crafts into your lesson, try this craft activity to accompany Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story, easily adaptable for Kindergarten.



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