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Thanksgiving on Thursday

Last updated Thursday, February 20, 2020

Author: Mary Pope Osborne
Illustrator: Sal Murdocca
Date of Publication: 2002
ISBN: 0375906150
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Nov. 2004

Synopsis: The Magic Tree House whisks Jack and Annie back to the eve of the first Thanksgiving. There they meet the Pilgrims as well as Squanto, a Native American who helped them. The story offers an age-appropriate, in-depth picture of what life was really like for early settlers, as well as the usual Magic Tree House adventure and excitement.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do you know about the Pilgrims and Indians and the origins of Thanksgiving?
•  If you could go back in time, what would you like to ask the early settlers and the natives?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What new things did you learn about the Pilgrims and Indians?
•  How can you apply the words, "Be kind to those who feel different and afraid," to your lives today?

Craft ideas:
•  Roll a paper tube into a "magic telescope." On separate sheets of paper, cut out large circles. In each circle, draw scenes of "life for the early settlers" as mentioned in the book with a written description on the back of each circle. Look through the telescope at each circle, and follow Jack and Annie's journey through time.
•  Make flash cards featuring the boldface items throughout the text.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!