History of Thanksgiving

Video & discussion activity – History Channel
Length: 3.15 min

Source: www.history.com/videos/history-of-the-thanksgiving-holiday
Pre-watching segment

  • What do you know about the Thanksgiving holiday celebrated in the U.S? These clues will help you: Gratitude – 1621 – Pilgrims – Family   -  Look up any words you don’t know in your dictionary

  • When is Thanksgiving observed?  Is it a national holiday? What’s its origin?   Which traditions do families follow on this day?

Watching segment

Go over the questions below and look up any words you don’t know. Then, watch the clip and choose the right answer.


1.What happened in 1620?
the first Thanksgiving - half of the Pilgrims died in the winter - the Indians made war on the Pilgrims

2.What skills did the Pilgrims learn from the Natives?
planting, fishing, and hunting - farming, leather making, and hunting  -  fishing, swimming, and cooking

3._____________ in 1621.
The Pigrims arrived at Plymouth Rock  -  The Natives made friends with the Pilgrims  -  The first Thanksgiving Feast happened

4.At the first Thanksgiving, they enjoyed a main dish of...
goose and lobster  -  turkey and chicken  -  ham and goose

5.To the Puritans Thanksgiving was mainly about...
making new friends and being thankful to God  -  fasting and being thankful to God  -  enjoying a big feast and being thankful to God

6.The narrator mentions the Puritans practice of praying and fasting to give an example of...
how religious they were  -  how scared they were  -  how confident they were

7.What year did the Continental Congress declare that all 13 colonies must celebrate a day of Thanksgiving?
1812  -  1621  -  1777

8.The Thanksgiving holiday was celebrated for many years...
on the weekend  -  on different days in November  -  on different days of the year

9.Why did Sarah Josepha Hale want to establish a national day for Thanksgiving?
to extend the end of the year holiday -  to unify the country  -  to make things simpler and easier

10.In 1863 who declared the first National Thanksgiving holiday?
Abraham Lincoln  -  Thomas Jefferson  -  Sarah Josepha Hale

11.Why did the Detroit Lions have a Thanksgiving Day football game?
to establish a national past-time  -  to boost attendance  -  to provide entertainment on a break from the 6 day work week

12.Why did Macy's and other department stores have a Thanksgiving Day Parade?
to show off their patriotic spirit  -  to kick off the Christmas shopping season  -  to show how important the American economy is.

13.Thanksgiving is mainly about...
family, rest, and being thankful  -  eating a big dinner and watching the football game  -  family, sports, and being thankful

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