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The History of Thanksgiving Day

The last Thursday in November, as you know, is a holiday in America. People call this holiday Thanksgiving Day. It is perhaps the most important day in the American year. People go to church, and families come together for the day. They decorate their houses with autumn fruits and flowers and prepare traditional American food: roast turkey, potatoes and pumpkin. It’s rather like Christmas, but what are people celebrating? What are they giving thanks for?

Do you remember about the first colonists in New England? In 1620 they came to America and began a new life there. It was a very hard life. Many people were sick and died during the first winter in the cold. In the spring the colonists started to farm the land. The work was difficult and full of danger. In New England, the place where they lived, there were many wild birds. They were like chickens but much bigger. They were turkeys. In the autumn of 1621 the colonists had their first harvest. It was rather good. The colonists decided to have a special dinner. They wanted to thank God – to give him their thanks for many things. It was a difficult year, but the people still had food to eat. The colonists had a thanksgiving dinner for all the people. It lasted three days. For the whole three days they gave thanks for their good harvest and their happy year in a new country. Wild turkeys were on the table of this meal and since then the turkey has become a symbol of Thanksgiving Day.

(Учебник для углубленного изучения английского языка для 4-го класса, автор Верещагина И.Н.)

Teacher: Good. Here is the first task for you:

a) The first task will be: what is this or that word phrase connected with? Use the colloquial phrases:

– as far as I remember;
– as far as I know.

For the right answer you get an odd turkey.

1. the last Thursday
2. people and families
3. traditional American food
4. in 1620
5. wild birds
6. in the autumn of 1621
7. a special dinner
8. three days
9. a symbol of Thanksgiving Day.

b) The next exercise – say “That’s right” or “That’s wrong”. If you say “wrong”, correct the sentence.

1. Thanksgiving Day is a British holiday.
2. This day is the most important day in America.
3. People celebrate this holiday in offices.
4. They eat bacon and eggs to celebrate Thanksgiving Day.
5. Thanksgiving Day is rather like Christmas.
6. Since 1620 turkey has become a symbol of Thanksgiving Day.

c) The last task based on the text is to answer the questions.

1. When did the people celebrate this holiday for the first time?
2. Why did the people do it?
3. When do the people celebrate this holiday nowadays?
4. What is the traditional food of Thanksgiving Day?
5. Why is the turkey a symbol of Thanksgiving Day?

Teacher: Very good. Enough for the text and I think you have learned some information from it. Count your turkeys.
Thanksgiving Day is a time for tradition and sharing. Even if people live far away from home, the family members gather for a reunion (воссоединение) at the house of an older relative. All give thanks together for the good things that they have. And they send and get greeting cards for the holiday.
Now each team gets an invitation and corrects the mistakes in it.

Текст приглашения:

Deer puipils, There will be Thankgiving leson in Thursday 27th November. Plese let me know if you went to have it or not. You teacher.

По количеству найденных ошибок команды получают жетоны – “индюков”.

Teacher: Thank you for wishing to have such a lesson today. As far as we know from the text people have Thanksgiving dinner at home and Americans have different Thanksgiving menus in different regions of their country. Now try to make up 2 menus.

Даются карточки с названиями блюд, команды составляют 2 вида меню.

Меню 1

1. roast turkey stuffed with herbs
2. cranberry jelly
3. white mashed potatoes
4. pumpkin pies

Меню 2

1. ham
2. sweet potatoes
3. creamed corn
4. mincemeat pies

По количеству правильно отобранных блюд вручаются жетоны – “индюки”.

Teacher: Fantastic! And today we have learned that some foods are symbols of Thanksgiving Day.
What are they? Unscramble the words(учитель показывает карточки):

Very nice of you. And now two questions for you: 1. Which words are synonyms? (corn – maize); 2. Which two go together? (cranberry sauce)

Teacher: And now we have some food on our tables. You are cooks and are ready to prepare cranberry sauce. Your task is – arrange the sentences in a logical order. (5 minutes)

Каждому выдаются карточки, на которых написаны предложения вразброс.

1. wash the cranberries.
2. put the cranberries and water in a saucepan.
3. bring to a boil.
4. cover the pan.
5. cook for 6 to 8 minutes.
6. remove the mixture from the heat.
7. stir in the sugar and salt.
8. mix thoroughly.
9. chill.
10. serve with turkey.

Products for 1 liter of sauce: 4 cups cranberries,1 cup water, 2 cups white sugar, dash of salt.

За каждое правильное предложение ученик награждается жетоном.

Teacher: Thank you for your cranberry sauce. Not bad for the first time. Count your turkeys.
Now it’s time to conclude. So, today we have learned some facts about…

Pupil: The history of the holiday, the date, the symbols, some menus and how Americans cook cranberry sauce.

Teacher: All right. And what do the people do during any holidays?

Pupil: Dance, eat, play games, sing.

Teacher: Now listen to the song “Happy Thanksgiving to All” and try to sing it all together.

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