Common Sense Media says

Info-packed, interactive look at Pilgrim life.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The site aims to make history and learning fun -- and emphasizes the achievements that America's early settlers made and the help they received from Native Americans.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The site is sponsored by and features ads from Scholastic.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Kids aren't asked to submit personal information to read the site content, but they can submit an email address to receive letters from fictional Thanksgiving characters.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this history-centric site is designed to be used in classrooms or at home as a way for kids to learn about the first Thanksgiving and the customs and issues that surrounded that time period. Because kids can't IM, email, or otherwise contact each other on the site, they can learn about pilgrim life and the first Thanksgiving safely. The site occasionally hosts live video webcasts and live chats, which are archived on the site and remain on topic and focused on learning. The site also contains quizzes, an interactive look at the Mayflower, and other elements to make learning fun.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading comprehension
  • text analysis

Social Studies

  • history
  • timelines

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • analyzing evidence
  • applying information

Self-Direction

  • personal growth
  • academic development

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Lots of interesting information and multimedia material, yet most interaction is limited to looking and reading (or listening to) text. Content is also limited. Users can sign up to receive letters from Thanksgiving characters by e-mail.

Learning Approach

Information is presented through text (with an audio option for kids who are not yet strong readers), pictures, and video. There is no way to track or test learning, and experiences are not personalized in any way.  

Support

Layout is clear and well-organized. Teachers will find guides for creating lesson plans and in class, off-screen activities exploring the topics covered and issues raised.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading comprehension
  • text analysis

Social Studies

  • history
  • timelines

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • analyzing evidence
  • applying information

Self-Direction

  • personal growth
  • academic development

Kids can learn what life was like in Pilgrim times by taking a virtual field trip to tour Massachusetts' Plimoth Plantation living history village, seeing what the voyage to America involved, plus other videos and text. A slideshow also offers historical background on the first Thanksgiving, including what was served (probably duck) and how it was prepared. Kids probably won't spend weeks on the site -- the content is limited, but it's concise, organized, and well-presented. Expanding the content would add to the interactive elements and provide kids with a good starting point for a vivid overview of daily Pilgrim and Native American life.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Brereton

Parents say

Kids say

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What's it about?

The First Thanksgiving site, sponsored by book publisher Scholastic, includes videos, images, and historical background on both the origin of Thanksgiving and life during that era. Users can check out a slideshow illustrating the differences between the Pilgrim and Wampanoag settlements; take a virtual tour of the Pilgrim village; and find out how Native Americans helped the Pilgrims survive. 

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

THE FIRST THANKSGIVING offers teachers and students an in-depth look at the pilgrims' journey to America and subsequent lifestyle -- and, of course, there's plenty of information about the first Thanksgiving feast. Younger kids will enjoy the site because a narrator supplies much of the background about the ship, daily life for both the Pilgrims and the Native Americans who they met, and the feast.

However, older kids can also access written content, including user-submitted questions about pilgrim life that have been answered by a member of the Wampanoag tribe. To keep kids interested, the site also contains some interactive elements -- including quizzes and a short script they can perform. Online interaction: Occasionally the site hosts web chats, where students (with teachers' help) can submit questions for fictional historical characters to learn more about early settlers and Native Americans. Teachers and students can sign up to receive letters from Thanksgiving characters by providing an email address.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why the Pilgrims initially come to America. What principles was the country founded on?

  • Why was the first Thanksgiving meal and meeting so significant? How did the groups work together to ensure that the Pilgrims survived once they'd arrived in America?

  • The site contains a look at how housing and other things differed for the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe. What are some major ways that both groups' lives were different? How are cooking, daily chores, and other things different for us today?

Website details

Genre:Educational
Pricing structure:Free

This review of The First Thanksgiving was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Educator Written byginagibbs September 11, 2010
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Very good tool to use aroung Thanksgiving Holiday

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