You are the Historian

Empowered Learner


Students use clues to investigate the first Thanksgiving on this interactive website called You are the Historian. 

Students will:

  • Be able to read, watch short videos or have sections read to them as they interact and learn about the history of the First Thanksgiving and the Wampanoag Indians and the English Colonists.

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Historian: A historian is an expert in history, especially that of a particular period, geographical region.
  2. Fact: A fact is a thing that is known or proved to be true.
  3. Myth: A myth is a misrepresentation of the truth.
  4. Wampanoag: The Wampanoags are a Native American tribe that lived in Southeastern Massachusetts between Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island to the western end of Cape Cod, including the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.
  5. English Colonists: The English Colonists are people who settled Plymouth in the 1620s are generally called the Pilgrims.

To prepare for this lesson:

  • The teacher should preview the website and the activities asked of students.
  • Here is a direct link to the student game. 
  • Introduce vocabulary to the students.


  • This activity requires reading. The teacher may want to pair students that struggle with reading.
  • This is a high-interest activity especially during the month of November.

See Accommodations Page and Charts on the site in the Teacher Resources. 

Directions for this activity:

  1. Students log onto the website and watch the introduction.

  2. Students read and interact with the pages that are introduced to them.

  3. The activity walks the student through each section.

Different options for assessing the students:

  • Observations
  • Check for understanding
  • Students create their own presentations on the First Thanksgiving.
  • The teacher creates exit tickets with facts and details on the First Thanksgiving.
  • Have a class discussion.
  • The Teacher creates or locates a Kahoot on The First Thanksgiving.

MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.

Empowered Learner 
1a. Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.
1b. Students build networks and customize their learning environments in ways that support the learning process.
1c. Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.
1d. Students understand the fundamental concepts of technology operations, demonstrate the ability to choose, use and troubleshoot current technologies and are able to transfer their knowledge to explore emerging technologies.

Device: PC, Chromebook, Mac, iPad

Browser: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, ALL

App, Extension, or Add-on:

You are the Historian Website

Student Game



Write an informational piece on The First Thanksgiving.

The students create posters of what was learned.

Students locate on a map where the activities took place. 

This task card was created by Julie Hoehing, Lake Shore Public Schools, February 2020. Updated January 2022.