Monday, October 15, 2007

Thanksgiving Lesson Plans

With November approaching, teachers across the country are getting ready to teach about Thanksgiving and the "Indians."

In some classes, students will dress up to reenact the "First Thanksgiving." But... What "Indians" will they dress like? What will they "wear" for this reenactment? Will they emulate stereotypical "Indians" or, is the teacher among those who know how crucial it is to be specific----to identify a tribe, to make certain anything taught is correct with respect to that tribe's location, history, clothing, food, politics, etc.

Teachers have good intentions, but with respect to the ways they were trained and socialized to think about American Indian, their good intentions are actually contributing to misperceptions about who we are. I wrote about a flawed lesson plan last year. Click here to read that post.

My colleagues at Oyate prepared some excellent resources on "Thanksgiving." The resources are on-line. Please download them. Read and think. If you're a teacher, there is still time to revise your lesson plans. If you're a parent, give the materials to your child's teachers and librarian.

To find the materials, click here.

Look, especially at the "Books to Avoid" page on Thanksgiving... You will be dismayed to see how many there are, and further dismayed to realize that you have those books on your shelves right now.

To order books that counter those on the "Books to Avoid" list, to help all children learn about American Indians, look through Oyate's catalog. Order books from Oyate. It is the best source for these materials, and it is a not-for-profit organization, too.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this good information. I'm requesting materials from the library.

Unknown said...

Debbie, the link to the resources is not hot. Could you possibly them to me to use in my social studies methods course?

Debbie Reese said...

Fixed it, Shameem. Thanks for letting me know!