The first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Mass., probably didn't resemble the modern holiday we celebrate today. Economics correspondent Paul Solman steps back in time to explore the contrasting exchange models used by Native Americans and pilgrims in 1621 and how that alters the meaning behind the first act of giving thanks.

This video is from the Making Sen$e with Paul Solman video series from PBS. Learn more about these videos and view a listing of the most recent videos we have available.

Key Concepts

Barter, Choice, Cost/Benefit Analysis, Definition of Money, Trade


The South's Decision to Secede: A Violation of Self Interest?

Your students will consider the following questions: In deciding to secede from the Union in 1861, did the South violate its own self-interest and thus disprove the basic economic principle that people seek to further their self-interest in the decisions they make? To get at the question, each ...

Grades 6-8, 9-12

What's the Problem with Digital TV

Students will be introduced to the mandate for digital TV transmission by 2006, consider the implications this mandate will have for the environment (negative externalizes), and evaluate possible solutions to this "problem".

Grades 6-8, 9-12

"What Pet Should I Get?" Dr. Seuss and Decision Making

Recently published, but likely written between 1958 and 1962, What Pet Should I Get? is the delightful tale of a definitive childhood event: selecting a family pet. The activities in this lesson focus on the decision-making process. The text, told in the classic Seuss cadence and rhyme scheme,...

Grades K-2

In the Market for a New Car?

There are three major purchases that you will make in your lifetime, and one happens to be buying a car. Buying a car can be a challenging and daunting task if you haven't done your due diligence. Doing so helps you form a game plan prior to speaking with a salesperson, and will minimize the ...

Grades 9-12

"The Giver": Jonas Makes a Choice

Jonas, a twelve-year old, lives in a seemingly perfect futuristic world. His community protects him from all harm and in doing so has taken away his opportunity to make decisions. Will Jonas ever be able to make a choice on his own? This lesson is based on the award-winning book "The Giver&q...

Grades 6-8


  • “I enjoyed viewing this video because Paul really provides insight into how the pilgrims lived and used resources.”

    Lauren C., Fayetteville, AR   POSTED ON February 3, 2014

  • Be the first to review this interactive tool!

    Add a Review