Smithsonian offers new takes on Thanksgiving for teachers, students


The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian is offering help on rethinking and teaching about Thanksgiving through its Native Knowledge 360 initiative.

First up is “Giving Thanks: Telling More Complete Narratives About Thanksgiving.” It is two virtual sessions of professional development for K-8 teachers.

Registration for both hour-long sessions is online at the following links:

  • Nov. 10, 7 p.m. ET: Deals with primary sources and mythology about the First Thanksgiving.
  • Nov. 17, 7 p.m. ET: Covers food traditions in Native communities and why some groups offer thanks throughout the year.

The Smithsonian also offers programs for students. Through the following Skype in the Classroom link, teachers can book a live, interactive virtual field trip for grades 4-12 led by a museum educator. The events are free, but have a minimum of 10 students and must be booked at least two weeks in advance.

Students can hear from young Native activists in the free “Youth in Action: Conversations About Our Future” series for middle and high schoolers.

Online registration is required. Topics vary; the next webinar is on Indigenous Food Sovereignty, at 4 p.m. ET Nov. 19. The session will discuss indigenous food sources displaced by European settlement and foods, and current attempts to return to traditional, healthier diets.