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The following topics have bunches of ideas and resources, as well as links to other topics in our Bible Story forums related to thanksgiving and stewardship. If you have a specific Bible story in mind that teaches thankfulness, gratitude, or stewardship, look it up in our Bible Story Lesson Forums. Here are three of the most popular "thanksgiving" stories: Parable of the Talents, The Thankful Leper, and Widow's Mite Please also see our "Thanksgiving and Stewardship in 2020" topic below for ideas specific to giving thanks and being good stewards during the 2020 COVID pandemic.

Need help with a lesson idea? Post your question in our Teachers Lounge.


If you are planning on teaching about the "first Thanksgiving" and "pilgrims," please remember to choose good culturally sensitive resources that share the real story of Thanksgiving and not the idealized and often false story.

Many traditional and older Thanksgiving resources are based on whitewashed versions of the known and documented story of the pilgrim's encounter with natives and their first "thanksgiving" meal which looked nothing like our celebration today and first occurred in March.

A better Thanksgiving story is the reason behind why Abraham Lincoln called for a national day of thanksgiving -- to heal the wounds which the Civil War had opened.

Still better yet are the Thanksgiving Festivals described in the Old Testament. Here's an article about several biblical Thanksgiving celebrations.

Links for the "real" story of Thanksgiving, its history, and native perspectives:

Here's a good overview of the real "first" thanksgiving story as best as historians can now reconstruct it, the Civil War origins of a national day of Thanksgiving, and the thanksgiving featuring the "legend" of the Pilgrims which took its place in the early 20th.

From Native American Educational site NativeCircle.com : http://www.nativecircle.com/fi...anksgiving-myth.html

From Time magazine, “The Thanksgiving Tale We Tell is a Harmful Lie”: https://time.com/5457183/thank...ve-american-holiday/

A current perspective on Thanksgiving from 4 different Native American voices from the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/1...licated-holiday.html

Editor's Note: This important post has been updated and added to.

Last edited by Luanne Payne
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A better historical example for the American celebration of Thanksgiving could be referencing President Lincoln. At the urging of editor Sara Josepha Hale, President Lincoln declared that the last Thursday in November should be a day of national thanksgiving.  Even in the midst of the terrible Civil War, Lincoln urged people to remember the source of our many blessings:

"The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God."

He goes on to encourage people to offer thanksgiving and praise to God, as well as to pray for the nation and for those affected by the war.

Last edited by Lesson Wrangler

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