Useful Literature When Teaching Thanksgiving

An Annotative Bibliography

Bruchac, Joseph and Thomas Locker. The Earth Under Sky Bear's Feet; Native American Poems of the Land. Scholastic Inc. 1995. Poetry. (All ages)
This book has beautiful illustrations that enhance the poems on every page. Pictorially and in song, The Earth Under Sky Bear's Feet is an anthology that truly reflects and emphasizes the importance of nature and the mystery of life to the Native American culture. This is truly an enriching book.

Cohen, Barbara. Molly's Pilgrim. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books. 1983. Fiction. (Grade 2- Grade 3)
Based on a true story of a relative of the author, this book is eye opening and truly touching. Molly's third grade classmates all make fun of her imperfect English and old-country clothes. She feels helplessly miserable until the day arrives that she realizes that she too is a pilgrim, just like the ones that came three hundred years ago!

Graham-Barber, Lynda. Gobble! The Complete Book of Thanksgiving Words. Bradbury Press. 1991. Informational. (Grade 2- Grade 5)
The possibilities are endless with this book, as it is almost like a dictionary with every Thanksgiving word imaginable described on every page. It explores harvest festivals throughout time and space, and sets up a visual time line for the reader about worldly events related to Thanksgiving. Recipes, songs, and games are all a part of this very informative book which definitely takes the reader through time with Thanksgiving.

Harness, Cheryl. Three Young Pilgrims. Aladdin Paperbacks. 1992. Informational. (Grade 1- Grade 2)
This very pictorial book is perfect for young readers to visualize the first Thanksgiving and what life was like for the Pilgrims and Indians. There are visual representations of their food, the layout of the colony of Plymouth, the setup of the Mayflower, the timeline of historical occurrences and even worldly happenings. This book may truly represent what it was like for the Pilgrims to journey to the New World and start a new life. This is a good book for looking at Thanksgiving through the eyes of a Pilgrim.

Jeffers, Susan. Brother Eagle, Sister Sky. Scholastic Inc. 1991. Multicultural. (All ages)
When looking for a more sensitive way of helping students to understand the true occurrences after the first Thanksgiving, first read them this story, and then read them the prologue. After the feast in 1621, the white settlers began a bloody war against the Indians, and in the span of a lifetime claimed all the Indians' land for themselves. Near the end of the battles, one brave chief spoke out to the white people the text of this book. It has been made into a very inspirational story with a most compelling truth about environmental awareness and our sacred earth. This is truly an exceptional and enlightening book.

Manitonquat. The Children of the Morning Light; Wampanoag Tales. Macmillan Publishing Company. 1994. Multicultural. (Grade 3- Grade 4)
Take a close look into the oral tradition of the Native Americans that interacted with the Pilgrims during the first Thanksgiving. This unique collection of tales and legends is told by Manitonquat, a Wampanoag elder and an internationally respected storyteller. He discusses with us in the author's note his inner conflicts about printing these traditional stories for the first time. It is also decorated with exquisite illustrations.

Swamp, Chief Jake. Giving Thanks; A Native American Good Morning Message. Lee & Low Books Inc. 1995. Picture Book. (All ages)
Based on the Native American Thanksgiving Address, the words in this book are just as beautiful as the pictures. The Mohawk people traditionally teach all children to respect, love, and appreciate nature, and this is emphasized in this book. It is for all people of all ages and definitely helps the reader to reassess what he or she is truly thankful for in his or her life.

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