Maps and videos of where Thanksgiving foods come from

Where does Thanksgiving dinner come from? It’s an interactive story map that I’ve shared in the past and still find fun. The map shows where eight popular Thanksgiving foods are grown and harvested in the United States. The story map includes a map for each component. Each map shows the locations of the commercial producers. Fun facts are included in the story map, too. For example, did you know that Illinois has at least twice as many acres of pumpkins as any other state?

Where does Thanksgiving dinner come from? It shows where the food comes from today, but it doesn’t show the historical origins of traditional Thanksgiving foods. This is an interesting topic in itself. It’s good to be smart and TED-Ed offer video tutorials on the origins of traditional Thanksgiving foods.

During It’s good to be smart The surprising origins of Thanksgiving foods Students can learn how the most popular traditional Thanksgiving foods originated and evolved into what they are today. This lesson includes an explanation of how archaeologists and scientists determined that turkeys were among the first animals to be domesticated in North America. We also learn why the turkeys we find in the grocery store today are so much larger than the turkeys of just a few generations ago.

Corn is often seen as a symbol of Thanksgiving. Today, corn and the many products made from it are a staple in the diet for many of us. How did corn become a staple in our diets? What enabled it to become one of the most cultivated crops in the world? And what are the consequences of growing too much corn? These and many other questions are addressed in this TED-Ed lesson How did corn conquer the world?.

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