ARC Calendar: Heritage Months, Holidays, and Awareness Days – Primary source materials (including sound clips) organized by month in a calendar.
History of the Holidays – Videos and information on various well-known and not so well-known holidays!
Holiday Insights – Fun, information, and lots more about every holiday you can imagine. They’ve got you covered on the big ones, the small ones, and all of them in between.
Holidays – A listing of links for a variety of holidays (some better known than others).
Holidays on the Net – Listing of holidays, information, history, current daily holiday, activities, and more.
Looking Into Holidays Past Through Primary Sources – Help students analyze primary sources they see, hear, or read, using seasonal holiday-themed resources from the Library of Congress.
Teaching With Historic Places – Features places relevant in the past and in the current time (i.e. Heritage months). Includes lesson plans for teaching about the sites included.
Christmas / Winter :
Christmas ‘Round the World – Holiday customs listed by country.
Christmas Around The World – How countries around the world celebrate Christmas.
Christmas Around the World: a Christmas Play – A musical play about Christmas.
Christmas Traditions Around the World – Links to world holiday traditions, including songs and recipes. (Does play continuous music at the time the page loads.)
Holidays From Around The World – Links to information on holiday celebrations, listed by country.
What is Kwanzaa? – In this activity, students will learn about the background and cultural significance of the holiday Kwanzaa through an an analysis of various resources.
Grandparents Day Activity Kit – Activities and ideas for Grandparents’ Day.
Halloween: The Fantasy and Folklore of All Hallows – The origins and traditions of Halloween. A selected bibliography on Halloween and related topics compiled by American Folklife Center staff is also included.
Everything About Kwanzaa – Information about the African-American celebration of Kwanzaa.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day:
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Poem – A poetry tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., including links to other resources.
Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King! – Lesson plans about Martin Luther King, Jr.
King Center – Information about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his wife Coretta Scott King, and the holiday.
Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site (National Park Service) – National Park Service’s Martin Luther King National Historic Site in Atlanta, which includes information on King’s birthplace and childhood home and the Ebenezer Baptist Church Museum.
Martin Luther King Jr. – Lesson plans and activities related to Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Activities and Resources for Kids – Activities, quizzes, and other items related to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Memory Shall Be Ours: Celebrating Memorial Day – Lesson plans and activities for celebrating and remembering Memorial Day.
Article: Do American Indians celebrate Thanksgiving? – This essay from Smithsonian Magazine was originally published in 2011. It is updated every few years to add new comments from Native American readers.
Article: Five Ideas to Change Teaching about Thanksgiving, in Classrooms and at Home – “Specific strategies to help deepen your teaching and bring more meaningful content about Native Americans to your current education setting.” (from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian)
Article: Native educators say Thanksgiving lessons can be accurate, respectful, and still fun—here’s how – Suggestions and key takeaways of how to accurately and respectfully talk about Thanksgiving. (from the website NEA.org)
Article: Rethinking Thanksgiving Celebrations: Native Perspectives on Thanksgiving – “For many students, Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude and be with family. Teachers often include fun activities related to the holiday in their classrooms. When teaching about Thanksgiving, it is important not to misrepresent Native American cultures.” (from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian)
Article: Teaching Thanksgiving in a Socially Responsible Way – “Educators have an ethical obligation to teach accurately about Thanksgiving. Here are some online resources that can help.” (from the website Teaching Tolerance)
A Little Background/Pre-Reading on Thanksgiving (for educators) – A quick background on Thanksgiving from the starting event to the establishment of a national holiday.
American History Told Through Squash – Explore the role of squash in early American history, beyond its common use as fall decor. As a natively grown vegetable cultivated by the Wampanoag Indians, squash holds a special place in American history.
American Indian Perspectives on Thanksgiving – From the website: “This poster is a resource for teachers (grades 4-8) to use as a jumping-off point for more in-depth discussion. Discussion and other classroom ideas are included in each section. Before you jump into the content of this poster, we recommend that you introduce your students to the “real Thanksgiving story” found in “Harvest Ceremony: The Myth of Thanksgiving,” which can be downloaded from https://americanindian.si.edu/nk360/resources/Harvest-Ceremony. There you will also find an image gallery and other resources to supplement this poster.” (from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian)
American Indians in Children’s Literature: “Good Books about Thanksgiving” – Gives a bit of background, then recommendations from Oyate.
Americans – exhibition by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, which includes sections titled:
- The Invention of Thanksgiving
- Queen of America
- The Removal Act
- The Indians Win
Creating a Colony in the New Land – Resources relating to the Pilgrims and creating a colony.
Deconstructing the Myths of “The First Thanksgiving” – “We offer these myths and facts to assist students, parents and teachers in thinking critically about this holiday, and deconstructing what we have been taught about the history of this continent and the world.” (from the website Oyate)
Edward Winslow Letter – “What do you know about the first Thanksgiving?” Evaluate a letter by Edward Winslow, describing what actually happened at the event.
First Thanksgiving – Information, pictures and resources to teach about the 1621 Harvest Festival.
First Thanksgiving – You Are The Historian – An online exploration of the first Thanksgiving celebration, using tools that historians use.
Harvest Ceremony: beyond the Thanksgiving myth – Although Native American people have always given thanks for the world around them, the Thanksgiving celebrated today is more a combination of Puritan religious practices and the European festival called Harvest Home, which then grew to encompass Native foods. (from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian)
Harvest Ceremony: beyond the Thanksgiving myth – A look at the events around the harvest festival, looking beyond the “traditional” story.
The Invention of Thanksgiving – Watch this video from the National Museum of the American Indian to learn more about the unique and challenging nature of “explaining” Thanksgiving.
Learn at Plimoth Plantation – Information, historical artifacts, and activities related to Plimoth Plantation and the first Thanksgiving.
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe – Information and links for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.
Mayflower Compact – A copy of the text from the Mayflower Compact.
Native American Heritage Month – A rich variety of information, lessons, art, webinars and other resources. These resources are provided by multiple partners, including the Library of Congress, the National Park Service, the Smithsonian, and more.
Native American Perspectives on Thanksgiving – A selection of teacher resources that support cultural, accurate, and inclusive understanding of the historical events surrounding the popular myth of the first Thanksgiving.
Remembering Thanksgiving – A variety of resources to look deeper at the “Thanksgiving” event.
Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving – a video reading of the book.
Thanksgiving Mourning – In this activity from Teaching Tolerance, students will explore the perspectives of two Native American authors about the meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday and then write journal entries.
The Wampanoag: a Thanksgiving lesson – In this lesson, students will learn more about the Wampanoag people and will consider the background of Thanksgiving and what the holiday means to them today.
Wampanoag Indian Thanksgiving Story by Lindsay McVay (via the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian) – The “traditional” story vs. what actually happened.
Experiencing War: Buffalo Soldiers, the 92nd in Italy (Stories from the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress) – Told through oral history interviews, memoirs, diaries, and correspondence, these stories are not a formal history of war, but a treasure trove of individual feelings and personal recollections.
What Is Veteran’s Day? (Lesson Plan) – A lesson plan explaining why we celebrate Veteran’s Day.
History of Taps – Arlington National Cemetery – The history, music, and words of the song “Taps” with pictures from Arlington National Cemetery.
Taps Bugle Exhibit- Arlington National Cemetery – Information on an exhibit with the song “Taps” at the Arlington National Cemetery.