Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mini Lesson: Thanksgiving

Review the following document written by Hamilton Fish (1849) regarding the observance of Thanksgiving Day as a public holiday, and then complete the questions.


{click to enlarge images for printing}

Questions for Discussion:
1. Who wrote this letter? What position do you think he held in New York? Defend your hypothesis.
2. To whom was this letter written? Of what state was he governor?
3. On what topic does the letter focus? Is this issue a matter of concern today? Why not?
4. Why do you think November 29th would be more convenient than one earlier in the month?
5. What does Fish call the holiday being discussed? What insight does this give you into how 19th-century Americans viewed this day? How does this view compare to today?

National History Standards:
Era 4, Standard 4B: The student understands how Americans strived to reform society and create a distinct culture.
Historical Thinking: Standard 1: Chronological Thinking, Standard 2: Historical Comprehension, Standard 3: Historical Analysis and Interpretation, Standard 4: Historical Research Capabilities, Standard 5: Historical Issues—Analysis and Decision-Making

New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards:
6.1.12.D.3.e Determine the impact of religious and social movements on the development of American culture, literature, and art.
Social Studies Skills: Chronological Thinking and Critical Thinking

Fish, Hamilton. Letter to Governor Daniel Haines. 6 October 1849. LWS Lloyd William Smith Collection. Morristown National Historical Park.

National History Standards: http://nchs.ucla.edu/standards/us-standards5-12.html
New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards: http://www.state.nj.us/education/cccs

ML7: Thanksgiving

Mini Lesson by Laurie Schmid

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