Thanksgiving & the Danger of Unchecked Imagination

By November 27, 2019Articles

‘Twas the night before the last day (which evidently is a half-day!) of school before Thanksgiving Break, and all through this house we’re thinking about how to talk about Thanksgiving with our kids (along with, you know, resisting bedtime, fighting over stickers from Art class, and painting clothespins with fingernail polish).

Sure, pausing to be grateful is essential & should happen much more often than once a year, but the more I come to understand just how whitewashed and colonized the histories I was taught and are still taught are, the more I want to intentionally parent this holiday. Thankfully, I’m not anywhere near the first parent or person who’s had this desire, so I lift up to you some of the best guides, resources, and tools I’ve found. Each one below is FULL of additional books & resources, so please dig in. Check them out, add yours, and let me know what works for your family or circle of influence.

The more we grapple with our past & come to terms with the true beginnings of this country & the days some people in power decided for us to celebrate, the better way forward we can imagine.
Come, let’s imagine together.

1. ‘I Was Teaching a Lot of Misconceptions.’ The Way American Kids Are Learning About the ‘First Thanksgiving’ Is Changing a TIME article from November 21st by Olivia B. Waxman.

2. Decolonizing Thanksgiving: A Toolkit for Combatting Racism in Schools by Lindsey Passenger Wieck from November 2018.

3. How to Talk to Your Kids About Thanksgiving by Sara Langer in Motherly.

4. Teaching Thanksgiving in a Socially Responsible Way by Amanda Morris in Teaching Tolerance.

5. The Mashpee/Wampanoag Tribe’s brief history and cultural timeline.

6. How To Talk To Kids About Thanksgiving by Meg Anderson November 2015 in NPR.

7. A Story of Survival: The Wampanoag and the English. A Thanksgiving Lesson Plan Booklet from a Native American Perspective. from Embracing Equity.

I hope wherever you are this week, that gratitude, reflection, healthy & necessary interrogation fill your days. I am grateful for you & this world we imagine together!

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