On Thursday, our 3rd and 4th grade students participated in an author webinar with children’s book authors Kate Messner and Traci Sorell. Ms. Sorell is one of the authors of the book Indian No More, which is our Global Read Aloud book for 4th grade. The webinar was titled “Rethinking Thanksgiving,” and offered a thought-provoking author visit based on their books about the real history of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people, the myth of the “First Thanksgiving,” and modern-day Native traditions of gratitude.
Kate is the author of more than four dozen books for kids, including her new HISTORY SMASHERS illustrated nonfiction series, which unravels myths about history. In this webinar author visit, she shared a look behind the scenes at HISTORY SMASHERS: MAYFLOWER and challenged readers to some fun history quizzes, including a “What’s Wrong With This Picture?” investigation of a famous “First Thanksgiving” painting.
Traci Sorell is the author of the Sibert-Honor picture book WE ARE GRATEFUL: OTSALIHELIGA and several other works for young readers that celebrate Indigenous cultures. Traci talked about Native perspectives on Thanksgiving, using a scene from her 2020 Global Read Aloud selection INDIAN NO MORE as a jumping off point. She shared her Cherokee tribe’s views on gratitude along with a partial read-aloud of WE ARE GRATEFUL: OTSALIHELIGA
I had fun talking with some of the 4th grade students after the webinar and they loved sharing all they had learned about Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims and the Mayflower.
The author’s books are readily available at our local public libraries and through The Book Stall in Winnetka so be sure to check them out and explore this interesting time period just in time for Thanksgiving.