This lesson is about Thanksgiving, one of the most important annual celebrations in the United States. It is held on the fourth Thursday in November.
- Ask your students to name the most important annual holidays/celebrations in their country, and to describe what people usually do on those days. Are any of those occasions associated with particular kinds of food? Then ask the students how much they know about annual holidays/celebrations in the United States. How much do they know about Thanksgiving? (It might be worthwhile to introduce some information before the students begin reading the text. Pictures might be useful if you wanted to pre-teach the food vocabulary.)
Give each student in the class a copy of Worksheet A and give them enough time to read through it, encouraging them to look up new vocabulary. Tell the students it is important that they try to remember as much of the information as possible.
Tell the students they are going to prepare a quiz for each other. Then divide the class into two teams, A and B.
Cut Worksheet B in half and give each member of each team the corresponding half. Explain that each team has to work together in order to formulate the questions that produce the answers given, based on the text on Worksheet A. Note that it is possible for there to be slight variations of each question.
When both teams have finished preparing their questions, ask them to turn over Worksheet A and the glossary so that they can’t see them.
The two teams now take it in turns to ask and answer the questions. Encourage the teams to confer before answering, but make it clear that once they have given their answer they cannot change it. You should only accept answers given in correct English. Keep score on the board; the team with more correct answers at the end of the quiz wins.
Hand out Worksheet C and ask the students to complete the crossword in pairs.
Check answers in open class.
1. When is Thanksgiving (Day)?
2. When did the first settlers/people from England arrive in North America?
3. What is pumpkin pie?
4. Who helped the settlers/people from the Mayflower?
5. Who decided (in 1941) that Thanksgiving should be on the fourth Thursday in November?
6. What accompaniments/things do Americans (often) eat with turkey at Thanksgiving?
7. When did the Mayflower arrive in North America?
8. Where did Courage go to live?
1. What (meat) do Americans usually eat at Thanksgiving?
2. Who decided (in 1863) that Thanksgiving should be on the last Thursday in November?
3. When did the settlers/people from the Mayflower have a feast?
4. Who did the settlers/people from the Mayflower invite to the feast? Who helped the settlers?
5. How did the Native Americans help the settlers/people from the
6. When was President Obama’s first Thanksgiving / turkey pardoning as President?
7. What was the name of the turkey President Obama pardoned?
8. What did many of the settlers/people from the Mayflower die from (during the first winter)?
1. settlers 2. take 3. celebration 4. forward 5. survive 6. first
7. moment 8. November 9. arrived 10. pie 11. weekend 12. anniversary
If the sentences have been completed correctly, Stars and Stripes will read from top to bottom.
Send your students to these websites, or just take a look yourself.
The Thanksgiving entry from Simple English Wikipedia.
news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/newsid_8380000/newsid_8380100/8380107.stm From BBC from Newsround, a video of President Obama pardoning Courage in 2009, with a short text.
news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/newsid_7750000/newsid_7753300/7753392.stm Also from Newsround, pictures of the annual Thanksgiving parade in New York City.
Texts and videos on Thanksgiving from History.com.