The First Thanksgiving

Historical content: 
The Colonial Era
Historical skills: 
Sourcing

Assessment

Directions: 

Look at the painting below and evaluate the claim that follows.

Source: 

This painting by J.L.G Ferris, titled The First Thanksgiving 1621, was published in 1932.

Question:

The painting The First Thanksgiving 1621 is a useful resource for historians who wish to understand the relationship between the Wampanoag Indians and the Pilgrim settlers in 1621. 

Do you agree or disagree? (Circle one.)

Briefly support your answer.

About the Assessment

This assessment measures students’ ability to source a document.  When historians interpret a document, they look at who wrote it and when.  Source information presents clues about whether the document provides reliable evidence about the past.  This HAT gauges whether students understand an important aspect of sourcing: the time elapsed between when a document was produced and the event it depicts.   

Students who properly evaluate the source will notice that the image was painted over 300 years after the actual event, which limits its usefulness as evidence of the relationship between the Pilgrims and Wampanoags. This student explains the problem thoroughly: