Saturday, November 23, 2013

14 Days of Thanksgiving - day 9

Turkey Bonk
Thanksgiving Theme Unit

Addams Family Values
Ok, this movie doesn't take place at Thanksgiving, and it technically doesn't have much to do with Thanksgiving. However, the play the kids have to perform at camp is Thanksgiving themed. It is also my favorite Thanksgiving themed scene in any movie.

The basic plot: A Black Widow, Debbie, sets her sights on Fester. She moves into the Addams' home as a nanny for the newest Addams, Pubert. She convinces Gomez & Morticia to send Pugsley & Wednesday to summer camp. The kids hate camp, where everyone else is peppy, smiley, & perpetually cheery. Everyone except Joel Glicker, a nerdy misfit who has a crush on Wednesday. While the kids are away at camp, they are informed that Fester & Debbie are getting married. After the wedding, Debbie tries to kill Fester. Meanwhile, the kids at camp have to put on a play, written by one of the counselors, about "The First Thanksgiving." Wednesday does a little re-writing of the script, which adds in a few facts & makes the play far more entertaining. The kids escape from camp & make it home in time for Debbie's last attempt on Fester's life, which is also endangering the rest of the family.

1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving
This book takes a new look at what we call 'The First Thanksgiving.' It gives a more balanced version, including some information on the Wampanoag. It may not be 100% accurate (there are sources that provide somewhat different views of the event, but with almost no written record from the time, it is difficult to know for certain what exactly happened), but it is far better than the typical version taught in schools. As is to be expected of a book connected to National Geographic, the photography is beautiful.

Possible Activities:
Research the different perspectives of 'The First Thanksgiving'
Try a traditional Wampanoag recipe
Learn about the contributions Natives have made to our society - words, foods, etc.
Learn about the Wampanoag culture (aim for learning about the culture then & now, to prevent giving the impression that the Wampanoag, or Native Americans in general, are no longer around)

Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message
I think the Author's Note does a far better job describing the book than I would:
The words in this book are based on the Thanksgiving Address, an ancient message of peace and appreciation of Mother Earth and all her inhabitants. These words of thanks come to us from the Native people known as the Haudenosaunee, also known as the Iroquois or Six Nations - Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Onondaga, Seneca, and Tuscarora. The people of the Six Nations are from upstate New York and Canada. These words are still spoken at ceremonial and governmental gatherings held by the Six Nations.
Children, too, are taught to greet the world each morning by saying thank you to all living things. They learn that according to Native American tradition, people everywhere are embraced as family. Our diversity, like all the wonders of Nature, is truly a gift for which we are thankful.

Possible Activities:
The publisher site has a Teacher's Guide

The Birchbark House
I have not read this one, though my son has read it & at least one of the sequels.
From the back of the book:
Omakayas and her family live on the land her people call the Island of the Golden-Breasted Woodpecker. Although the "chimookoman," white people, encroach more and more on their land, life continues much as it always has: every summer they build a new birchbark house; every fall they go to ricing camp to harvest and feast; they move to the cedar log house before the first snows arrive, and celebrate the end of the long, cold winters at maple-sugaring camp. In between, Omakayas fights with her annoying little brother, Pinch;plays with the adorable baby, Neewo; and tries to be grown-up like her big sister, Angeline. But the satisfying rhythms of their life are shttered when a visitor comes to their lodge one winter night, bringing with him an invisible enemy that will change things forever - but that will eventually lead Omakayas to discover her calling.
By turns moving and humorous, this novel is a breathtaking tour de force by a gifted writer.