Leveled Close Reading Lessons About the Origins of Thanksgiving

It's that time of year again. Pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, and football. But as most adults know, the myth of Thanksgiving differs quite a bit from actual story. This year, we're asking teachers to engage their students in a discussion or debate about the origins of Thanksgiving using ThinkCERCA's free close reading lessons that dig into the details of the first Harvest Celebration. Ask your class to #CERCAitout by supporting their Claims with Evidence from the following leveled texts.

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How Thanksgiving Became a Holiday
What were the steps necessary for Sarah Josepha Hale to successfully make Thanksgiving a national holiday?
Grades 3-5
CCSS.CCRA.R.3
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Harvest Celebration
How did the tradition of American Thanksgiving become what it is today?
Grades 9-10
CCSS.CCRA.R.8
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Talking Turkey About the Real First Thanksgiving
How did common Thanksgiving misconceptions begin and why do they continue today?
Grades 11-12
CCSS.CCRA.R.5
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Elizabeth Riley Boyer

Elizabeth Riley Boyer

Elizabeth Riley Boyer is an experienced journalist, digital content strategist, and operations manager. Prior to joining ThinkCERCA, she was part of the founding team at Impact Engine, Chicago’s first social impact investment fund and accelerator. As Impact Engine’s Director of Operations & Communications, Elizabeth oversaw the company’s overall processes, day-to-day planning and finances, curriculum development, marketing strategy, and community outreach.

Elizabeth also spent three years at Chicago magazine, most recently as its Digital Engagement Editor, where she managed the organization’s social media and reader engagement initiatives. Elizabeth also works as a freelance content strategist, writer, and communications consultant. Her recent writings on impact entrepreneurship have been featured by the Huffington Post and Crain’s Chicago Business.

In 2007, Elizabeth helped open a private school for underprivileged children while volunteering for a nonprofit organization in the Dominican Republic. This experience inspired her to quit a paper-pushing job at an insurance brokerage firm to pursue a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Elizabeth also holds a bachelor’s degree in American studies from the University of Texas at Austin.