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Reliving the first Thanksgiving on the web

November 25, 2010 2:43:15 PM PST
A webcast was the next best thing to visiting the birthplace of Thanksgiving.

"Kids actually get to see history. They hear history because you can put that history on an interactive whiteboard. It's loud. It's exciting. It comes to life," Christy Crawford, the technology teacher at P.S. 51, said.

Kids at P.S. 51 in the Bronx were among more than a million students nationwide who saw the webcast.

It was produced by Scholastic, the publishers of children's books.

Actors at the Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts portrayed the Native Americans, known as the Wompanocs, and the English settlers.

"And then, essentially, we come to this first harvest meal, which was the coming together of these two peoples in a 3 day feast that has essentially become known as the first Thanksgiving celebration in the colonies," Billy DiMichele, Scholastic Vice President of Production, said.

The kids learned a little about the politics in Plimoth. They also learned about the lifestyle of the pilgrims.

"That the pilgrims didn't have any refrigerators and there was no turkey in the first Thanksgiving," student Stephen Molina said.

Students were served dried meats and apple cider, thought to be on the menu in 1621.

"The best thing was they all got together and they had this great feast and now we call it Happy Thanksgiving," student Annabel Ampah said.

Educators are confident the children of P.S. 51 will approach the holiday with a good sense of connection between the first Thanksgiving and the traditions we observe today.

You can learn more about the Plimoth Plantation and watch a replay of the Scholastic webcast at www.plimoth.org.


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