Read the text.
story of America’s Thanksgiving begins with the Pilgrims. Early in the 17-th
century, the Pilgrims left England in search of religious freedom. In 1608,
they sailed to Holland. Then, in 1620, they set sail once again and crossed
the Atlantic aboard a leaky ship called the Mayflower.
After sailing for many
weeks, the Pilgrims landed at a place now called Massachusetts. They set up a
colony at Plymouth, where they planted the seeds they had brought from
England. But the seeds didn’t grow well, and there was so little food for the
Pilgrims that many of them starved to death.
Luckily for the Pilgrims,
some nearby Indians came to rescue. They taught the Pilgrims to grow native
food such as corn. The Indians even helped to build houses for the newcomers.
Without this help, the Pilgrims would not have survived.
After the first harvest, the
governor of Plymouth Colony - William Bradford - suggested that the Pilgrims
hold a feast of thanksgiving. He felt that it was a good time to thank God for
the Pilgrims’ survival in their new homeland. And to their thanksgiving feast
the Pilgrims invited the Indians. The Pilgrims were grateful to the Indians
for helping the Colony survive. In addition, they hoped that the celebration
would strengthen their friendship with the Indians.
Nobody knows the date of the
first Thanksgiving feast, or even if it was called Thanksgiving. But we do
know that the Pilgrims and Indians enjoyed a huge feast of deer, goose, duck,
oyster, eel, bread, fruit, and corn meal pudding. Everything was cooked over
open fires, and the Indians even showed the Pilgrims how to roast corn over
the flames to make popcorn!
In 1789 George Washington
declared that Thanksgiving would be a national celebration. But later the
holiday faded in importance. In 1827, Sarah Hale started a campaign to have
Americans observe Thanksgiving once again. Her efforts were finally successful
in 1863, when President Lincoln declared that Thanksgiving would be celebrated
every year on the third Thursday of November. In 1941, while Franklin
Roosevelt was president, Thanksgiving was moved to the fourth Thursday in
Ex.1. Translate from Russian
into English using the text above:
âåðîèñïîâåäàíèÿ; äûðÿâîå ñóäíî; óìåðåòü îò ãîëîäà; èíäåéöû, æèâøèå íåïîäàë¸êó;
ïðèõîäèòü íà ïîìîùü; âûæèâàòü; áûòü áëàãîäàðíûì; óêðåïëÿòü; ïèð, ïèðøåñòâî;
óñòðèöà; ïðîâîçãëàøàòü; ïîñòåïåííî óòðàòèòü çíà÷åíèå; íà÷àòü êàìïàíèþ.
Ex.2.Unscramble the letters
to find the missing word in each sentence below. But beware! Each set of
scrambled letters contains an extra letter.
1. The Pilgrims left England
for Holland because they wanted i g o r s e u i l p freedom.
2. In 1620, the Pilgrims
sailed to the New World aboard the a l r a f M w o y e.
3. The Pilgrims landed in
t a t a M s s s s u e h t c
4. The e e h s d s
they had brought from England didn’t grow well.
5. Many of the Pilgrims v
e u d r s a t to death.
6. The a i I n n y s d
helped the Pilgrims by teaching them how to grow corn.
7. The Pilgrims were u g
m f r t a l e for their help.
8. Without the help of the
Indians, the Pilgrims wouldn’t have u z e s d v r i v .
9. v g o e r a n r o
Bradford suggested a Thanksgiving celebration after the Pilgrims’ first
10. The first Thanksgiving
was meant to strengthen the Pilgrims’ i s f f h r p n d e i with the
11. The e t a p d of
the first Thanksgiving feast is not known.
12. At the first
Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims enjoyed wild birds and strawberries, squash and
u i p p v n m k.
13. Even n p r o o d c
p was served at the first Thanksgiving.
14. The first Thanksgiving
feast may have lasted for e i h e t r days.
15. In 1789, George
Washington d p k r e o m c i l a Thanksgiving a national holiday.
Ex.3.Answer the questions.
1. The story of America’s
Thanksgiving begins with the Pilgrims, doesn’t it?
2. When did the Pilgrims
cross the Atlantic?
3. What was the name of
4. What kind of ship was it?
5. Was it a long voyage or a
6. Where did they land after
sailing for many weeks?
7. They set up two colonies
at Plymouth, didn’t they?
8. Why didn’t the seeds,
which they had planted, grow well?
9. Who helped the Pilgrims
10. How did the natives help
11. Who suggested holding a
feast of thanksgiving after the first harvest?
Who were the Pilgrims going to thank?
13. Were the Indians invited
to the feast?
14. Why were they invited to
the thanksgiving feast?
15. Is the date of the first
16. We even don’t know
whether it was called Thanksgiving, do we?
17. What kind of meal did
the Pilgrims and Indians enjoy?
18. How was the meal cooked?
19. Do you think the meal
20. Who declared that
Thanksgiving would be a national celebration?
eat over 75 million turkeys each year, most of them at Thanksgiving time.
A male turkey is called a tom. A female is
called a hen. Young turkeys are poults.
Turkey eggs are twice as big as chicken
The turkey is native to North and South
America - the only kind of poultry that is.
A wild turkey can fly up to 55 miles per
The largest turkey can weigh
up to 50 pounds.
Facts About the Natives
- The Native Americans who
came to the thanksgiving feast at Plymouth were members of the Wampanoag (wam-puh-NO-ag)
nation. Chief Massasoit, their leader, arrived at the feast with 90 of his
people. The Wampanoag smoked their pipes, tasted English cooking, and
presented a dance to the Pilgrims.
- Wampanoag men living near
Plymouth wore deerskin aprons in warm weather. In cold weather, they wore
deerskin leggings, moccasins, and mantles. They often wore an eagle feather in
- Wampanoag women wore
deerskin dresses and moccasins. Their long hair was worn braided. Jewelry was
made of shells, and coats were made of deerskin or beaver fur.
- The Wampanoag moved
several times during each year in order to get food. In the spring they would
fish in the rivers for salmon and herring. In the planting season they would
move to the forest to hunt deer and other animals.
- They respected the forest
and everything in it as equals. Whenever a hunter made a kill, he was careful
to leave behind some bones or meat as a spiritual offering, to help other
animals to survive. Not to do so would be considered greedy.
- Squanto (SKWAN-toe), the
man who came to help the Pilgrims and who could
speak English, was originally from the village of Patuxet (Pa-TUK-et). Patuxet
once stood on the exact site where the Pilgrims built Plymouth. In 1605,
Squanto went to England with a friendly English explorer named John Weymouth.
He had many adventures and learned to speak English. Squanto came back to New
England with Captain Weymouth. Later Squanto was captured by a British slaver
who raided the village and sold Squanto to the Spanish in the Caribbean
Islands. A Spanish Franciscan priest befriended Squanto and helped him to get
to Spain and later on a ship to England. Squanto then found Captain Weymouth,
who paid his trip back to his homeland. In England Squanto met Samoset, who
had also left his native home with an English explorer. They both returned
together to Patuxet in 1620. When they arrived, the village was deserted and
there were skeletons everywhere. Everyone in the village had died from an
illness the English slavers had left behind.
One year later, in the
spring, Squanto and Samoset were hunting along the beach near Patuxet. They
saw people in their deserted village. For several days they stayed nearby
observing the newcomers. Finally they decided to approach them. Samoset walked
into the village and said, “Welcome!” Squanto soon joined him.
This traditional Thanksgiving
hymn, based on a Netherlands folk hymn, was translated by Theodore Baker (1851
We gather together to ask
the Lord blessing:
He chastens and hastens his
will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now
cease from distressing,
Sing praises to his name: He
forgets not His own.
Beside us to guide us, our
God with us joining,
Ordaining maintaining his
So from the beginning the
fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, was at our side,
all glory be thine!
We all do extol thee, thou
And pray that thou still our
defender will be.
Let thy congregation escape
Thy name be ever praised! O
Lord, make us free!
Following, is a song
traditionally performed by American school children during the Thanksgiving
Holiday in November. This song originally appeared as a poem written by Lydia
Maria Child in Flowers for Children, vol.2 in 1844.
Over the river and through
to Grandmother’s house we
the horse knows the way
to carry the sleigh
through the white and
Over the river and through
to Grandfather’s house away!
We would not stop
for doll or top,
for ‘tis Thanksgiving Day.
Over the river, and through
when Grandmother sees us
she will say, “Oh, dear,
the children are here,
bring a pie for everyone.”
Over the river, and through
now Grandmother’s cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun!
Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!
Enjoy the poems by Jack
It’s Happy Thanksgiving
going to dinner
I love at
make the gravy,
and I stir,
and we talk,
makes such a fuss
dinner for us.
sit at the table
the weather is windy
chilly and gray,
family is happy
The Middle of November
middle of November
weather’s crisp and cool,
Thanksgiving’s getting closer
there’s lots to do at school.
teacher gives us projects
work on every day,
Indians and Pilgrims
paper, paste and clay.
bright Thanksgiving murals
displayed on all the walls,
cut out paper pumpkins
decorate the halls.
drew a turkey
fat and funny face -
middle of November
a very busy place.
The First Thanksgiving
gathered together to share
their Indian friends
mild autumn air,
lifted their voices
bread on the table
berries and maize,
and for forest,
turkey and deer,
blessed with that year.
thankful for these
they were thankful,
The Thanksgiving Parade
Thanksgiving Day is here today,
parade is under way,
though it’s drizzling quite a bit
that I’ll see all of it.
balloons are floating by,
creatures stories high,
Mouse and Mother Goose,
and the mammoth, moose,
the autumn air.
the windy skies they sway,
that they don’t blow away.
are marching, here they come;
pipe and drummers drum,
tubas and the flutes,
clowns in silly suits.
pouring now, but not on me,
as dry as dry can be,
and watch, but don’t get wet,
watching on our TV set.
for all my hands can hold-
and melons gold,
both ripe and sweet,
peas and beans
so good to eat
for all my eyes can see-
white clouds - boats
and see - deep sky,
all my ears can hear -
birds’ song echoing
far and near,
songs of little stream, big
cricket, bullfrog, duck, and
Ex.4. Answer the questions
given below. The information you need is in the texts, poems, and songs about
Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims, and Indians.
1. Why is school a very busy
place in the middle of November?
2. What kind of projects
does the teacher give the students to work on?
3. What is displayed on all
the walls at school?
4. What is the hall
5. Do you think the children
enjoy decorating their school for Thanksgiving?
6. You also decorate your
school for Thanksgiving, don’t you?
7. When was the first
Thanksgiving Day celebrated in America?
8. Whom did the Pilgrims
invite to share their festive meal?
9. How many Indians came to
see the Pilgrims and to celebrate with them?
10. Could any of the Indians
11. Where did they learn the
12. What meal was served
during the first Thanksgiving?
13. What meal do people
14. Kids like to visit their
grandmothers on Thanksgiving, don’t they?
15. What do they love at
16. Do children only go to
eat a delicious meal or do they help their grandmothers to cook?
17. What else do people do
on Thanksgiving besides eating a lot of food?
18. Why is Thanksgiving
celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November?
Ex.5. Can you unscramble
these words and read the names of the meals that were served during the first
Time for fun.
by Jack Prelutsky
turkeys thought, they’d run away
a week before Thanksgiving
But turkeys can’t
and so there’s turkey on my
Here’s a silly Thanksgiving
song. It is sung to the tune of “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush”. Learn
this song and sing it to the students of the elementary school who learn
English. Or you might help them to have their own Thanksgiving lessons. Some
of the younger students will be squirrels, woodchucks, chipmunks, and so on.
You will help your young friends to enjoy their English lesson.
Here Go Over to
go over to Silly Tilly’s
Tilly’s, Silly Tilly’s.
go over to Silly Tilly’s
Squirrel brought acorn jam,
jam, acorn jam.
Squirrel brought acorn jam
Woodchuck brought nut cake,
nut cake, brought nut cake.
Woodchuck brought nut cake
Turkey brought corn to pop,
pop, corn to pop.
Turkey brought corn to pop
Chipmunk brought cranberry stew,
stew, cranberry stew.
Chipmunk brought cranberry stew
Fieldmouse brought oat bran pudding,
pudding, oat bran pudding.
Fieldmouse brought oat bran pudding
brought potato pie,
pie, potato pie.
brought potato pie
the very best Thanksgiving,
Thanksgiving, best Thanksgiving.
the very best Thanksgiving
animals had ever had!
A MATH SHEET FOR
It is based on historic
figures and measurements. Tackle it in small groups.
The Mayflower left England with 102 passengers on September 16, 1620.
It got to Plymouth Rock on November 21, 1620. How long did the trip take?
2. Today a ship makes this
trip in 6 days. How much longer did the Mayflower take to cross the
3. Two babies were born on
the Mayflower: Oceanus, a boy, and Peregrine, a girl. That first winter
was hard. By April only 53 Pilgrims were still alive. How many Pilgrims died
in the first15 months they were there?
4. The men were able to build
7 houses and 4 public buildings. About how many people had to live in each
5. The first Thanksgiving was
(some scientists believe) in 1621. How long ago was that?
6. There were 55 Pilgrims at
the feast. Five Women and few girls did all the cooking. About 90 Indians
came. Around how many people were at the first Thanksgiving?
7. The Plymouth Colony was
begun in 1620 and ended in 1692 when it became part of the Massachusetts Bay
Colony. How long did the Plymouth colony last?
8. G. Washington made November
26, 1789, the first US Thanksgiving. How long ago was that?
9. In 1941 the US Congress
fixed the date for Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday of November. How many
years have Americans had this date for their national holiday?
10. The Spanish explores found
60 lb. turkeys living in the New World. They sent some to Spain in 1579. How
long ago was it?
Read the text.
If you are anything like me,
then you don’t like getting up at 5:30 in the morning to fight crowds along
the parade route just to get best seat. And when it’s all over, you have to
wait in all that traffic just to get back home and eat. You stay home and
watch this great event on TV. That makes you feel like you are right there in
But millions of people line
the streets between 77-th Street to 34-th Street. Over 2 miles! (3,2 km.) They
are here for one reason - to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
For over 70 years, Macy’s
has given Americans a tradition, which both celebrates America and calls forth
How did this most famous of
American parades get started?
It actually stems from
European tradition. In the 1920’s, many of Macy’s department store employees
were first generation immigrants. Proud of their new American heritage, they
wanted to celebrate the American holiday with the type of festival they loved
The employees marched from
145 Street down to 34-th Street dressed as clowns, cowboys, knights, and
sheiks. There were floats; professional bands and 25 live animals borrowed
from the Central Park Zoo. With the audience of over a quarter of a million
people, the parade was a hit!
Large balloons first
appeared in 1927 with Felix the Cat. One tradition long gone is the releasing
of the balloons. They would float for days and the lucky finder could claim
for a prize! Ah, the good old days!
the 1930’s the Parade grew and grew. New balloons such as Walt Disney
characters were among the favorites. Radio audiences were able to hear the
ceremonies and Santa’s arrival at 34-th Street.
The 1940’s saw an end to the
Parade since there wasn’t much to celebrate during World War II. The rubber
and helium could not be wasted, either.
The Parade resumed in 1945 and
was televised in New York. The Parade also began the route it still runs
With nationwide television,
the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade assumed its hold on the entire nation in
The Parade has always been
known for its policy of going on rain or shine.
The most bittersweet year of
the Parade had to be 1963. Less than a week after President Kennedy’s
assassination, the country was still mourning. But, it went on so as not to
“disappoint the millions of children.”
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day
Parade is a true New York experience that is magical for both children and
adults. We thank Macy’s and wish them another 70 years of marching down
Answer the questions about
the Macy’s Parade.
1. At what time are people
in New York supposed to get up in the morning if they want to get best seats
to see the Parade?
2. What does this Parade
3. When did this tradition
4. Who started this
5. Why did they start it?
6. How did the parade differ
from the one nowadays?
7. Large balloons first
appeared in 1928, didn’t they?
8. What new balloons
appeared in 1930?
9. What happened to the
Parade in 1940?
10. Did the Parade resume in
1945 or in 1946?
The Parade was not televised in 1945 yet, was it?
12. Is the Parade held in
13. Do you know who finishes
14. Why does Santa appear at
the end of the Parade?
Here we are, close to the
Christmas section of the book.
the spirit of this season,
Harmony, Love, and Understanding
a way of life,
and may the coming year
and Peace to all mankind.