Our American Holidays: Thanksgiving {Free eBook}

One of our favorite things to do during holidays is to read! Thanksgiving by Robert Haven Schauffler is a free and comprehensive collection of poems, essay, plays, and stories all about Thanksgiving. The extensive introduction explains the origins of this “very American” holiday beginning with the harvest celebrations found in the Old Testament through George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789.

Then the heart of the book is divided into literary works that fit the categories of:

  • Origin.
  • Celebration.
  • The Spirit of Thanksgiving.
  • The Thanksgiving Season.
  • Exercises (readings and plays).

You’ll recognize many of the authors in this anthology including James Whittier, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, hymn writer Frances Ridley Havergal, and others.

This is a wonderful book to pick up at the beginning of November and read straight through Thanksgiving Day — and it’s free!

Free eBook

  • Simply read the book together each day as a family read-aloud.
  • Have each child choose a favorite poem to copy in his or her copybook.
  • Ask each child to narrate one of the longer stories.
  • Older children can write passages from dictation.
  • Compare and contrast one of the Thanksgiving celebrations mentioned in the book with that of your own.
  • Write your own poem of Thanksgiving based on the rhyme and meter of one of those in the book.
  • Older children can outline the introductory material that covers the origins of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Additional Resources

6 Ways to Get the Most from Literature-Based Studies
Other ways to interact with the book.

Thanksgiving {Holiday Helps}
Enormous list of Thanksgiving resources!

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