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ho chunk native american thanksgiving thanksgiving bakers dozen story

Thanksgiving is primarily celebrated in America but that doesn't mean that we cannot all take a moment today to remember what we are grateful for.

The pilgrims were eventually welcomed and helped by the Native American Indians - and the pilgrims needed this help in order to survive. Even though we know the pilgrims arrival eventually led to the demise of the Native American people and their culture we can use their spirit of generosity and kindness as inspiration to reach out to someone we know who is struggling.

Our lives are so busy - full of work, appointments and commercial noise and products - we can forget the importance of human connections.

Young children learn from actions and if we can teach them the importance of not only giving to those who have nothing but giving freely without holding back then they will grow this in their hearts. We must be careful to teach children that being an American Indian is not a character but real and part of who that person is with a culture and history of their own.

The Oneida and Ho Chunk Natives give thanks year round and it is part of who they are and their spiritual lives. They don't wait for one special day in the year to remember what they are thankful for rather they think of every day as Thanksgiving.

So in our teaching of thanksgiving as a celebratory day we can help the children in our group to see things not only from the perspective of the pilgrims who were cold, hungry and struggling in a strange land but from the Native Americans too who helped and supported them.

Showing kindness and gratitude is a lesson that is never too early to learn and if we can teach children to be kind we can overcome so many prejudices in life.

There are lots of ways to incorporate Thanksgiving into your curriculum plan - you can find some in our book ‘World Cultures and Festivals’ for children resource.

The activities in the ‘World Cultures & Festvals’ resource can enhance and extend children's everyday learning - from our story ‘A baker's dozen’ to art and craft ideas and wonderful Native American and current American music to dance and sing along to.

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