Tuesday, Le Mars elementary school students celebrated that occasion by making Native American and pilgrim costumes and sharing a meal.
Franklin Elementary first graders' Thanksgiving feast didn't include turkey and mashed potatoes, instead they ate seeds, nuts, raisins, popcorn, apples and oranges.
First grade teacher Leigha Scheitler said students learn about Thanksgiving as part of their social studies unit, Celebrations and Holidays.
"We talk about the Wampanoag Indians and the pilgrims," she said.
"We do a lot of activities and read a lot of books that compare and contrast life now and life as a child during the first Thanksgiving," she said.
Kluckhohn students wore their homemade Native American and pilgrim costumes while enjoying regular school lunches Tuesday.
"We learn that even though things were different back then, the pilgrims and Native Americans were probably thankful for the same things that we are today: our family, health, friends, food to eat and a place to live," Murphy said.
At Franklin Elementary, first grader's sat side-by-side at long tables to enjoy their feast, something, the Native Americans and pilgrims might have done.
"We are trying to re-enact as much as we can of the first Thanksgiving," Scheitler said.
Her students wore pilgrim hats and collars while first graders in Linda Cline's class wore Native American head pieces and shirts cut from paper grocery bags.
Students sat, not by class, but rather as a mix of Native Americans and pilgrims to enjoy their "harvest feast."
Le Mars first graders weren't the only ones who shared a Thanksgiving meal Tuesday.
Second graders at Clark Elementary School also gathered for a feast in teacher Becky Boehmer's classroom.
"We have Mrs. (Florrie) Adler's class dress up as pilgrims, my class does the Indians," Boehmer said. "We just get together and have a little feast."
Students enjoyed foods such as popcorn, carrots and nuts for their Thanksgiving meal.
"The feast kind of makes it more realistic for them," Boehmer said. "It's something fun for them to do."
In preparation of their Thanksgiving meal, students talked about how the pilgrims came to America, how they learned to grow different crops, she said.
"The Indians taught them how to plant corn," Boehmer said. "Iowa's a big place for planting corn."
Learning the history of Thanksgiving is important for students, she said.
"All they think of when they think of Thanksgiving is turkey dinner at mom and dad's," Boehmer said.
And wrapping up those lessons with a feast is something students at Clark, Franklin and Kluckhohn enjoy, the teachers said.
"They love it every year," Boehmer said.