Thanksgiving Day in Cleveland 1845
Through the analysis of a primary source, students will identify
how Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1845 as well as identify some
of the games children played during that time period.
- How was Thanksgiving celebrated in the 1840's? How has it
changed through the years?
- What did children do to entertain themselves in the 1840's?
What games did they play?
- How has childrens' entertainment changed through the years?
- Ask students to share with the class how they celebrate Thanksgiving?
- Distribute transcription of "Thanksgiving Day Letter"
to students and read and discuss. What foods were prepared for
the celebration? How are they the same or different than the foods
we prepare for Thanksgiving today? What activities did the adults
do on that day? The children? Compare and contrast with today.
- Distribute Handouts 1, 2, 3. Read through the games and discuss.
Do you play these or variations of these games today? Would these
games be played at parties today? Students can try playing some
of the parlor games in class. Students can also create and take
turns playing with the "cup and ball" game and "Buzzer
Buttons". Groups can try solving the puzzles or try to create
- Ask students to compare and contrast the games of the past
with those of today. How are they the same? How are they different?
It is 2026. An elementary school class is studying how people
in Cleveland celebrated Thanksgiving Day 30 years ago. Write a
letter to the class describing how you and your family celebrated
the holiday. Be certain to describe the foods you ate, the preparations,
and the activities of the day.