Webquest: Thanksgiving
By Gabrielle Jones

USA full width image
USA full width image

Activity 1: The history of the Thanksgiving celebration

Visit: www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/history-of-thanksgiving and read the first section entitled ‘Thanksgiving at Plymouth’. In pairs or small groups, look for the answers to these questions.
1. Who travelled on board the Mayflower and why?
2. Was their journey comfortable?
3. What route did their journey take?
4. What problems did the Pilgrims experience during their initial few months in New England?
5. Why was Squanto, a Native American, able to communicate in English with the Pilgrims?
6. What did the Pilgrims learn from Squanto?
7. Who were the Wampanoag and what was their relation to the Pilgrims?
8. Why did William Bradford organize a celebration?
9. What kind of food was eaten at the first Thanksgiving meal?
10. What differences are there between the Thanksgiving meal eaten by the Pilgrims and the one people eat today?

Activity 2: A traditional Thanksgiving meal

Visit: www.organicauthority.com/sanctuary/history-of-thanksgiving-table.html. Read the descriptions of typical Thanksgiving dishes and find the answers to these questions. Discuss the answers with your partner.
1. Which dish with an exotic background got a sweet addition in the twentieth century?
2. Which sweet nut dish has ancient origins?
3. Which food helped make a brand of soup more popular?
4. Which food is made from different ingredients, depending on the origins of the people cooking it?
5. Which food is very good for you and can be stored for a long period?
6. Which food made one woman very rich?
7. Which food got its name by mistake?
8. Which food probably wasn’t eaten at the first Thanksgiving meal because of lack of technology?

Activity 3: Thanksgiving traditions

You are going to read about some typical traditions in North America at Thanksgiving. Before you read the information on the website, decide whether you think the statements below are true (T) or false (F).
1. Many people watch tennis at Thanksgiving every year.
2. Shops often sponsored Thanksgiving parades.
3. Washing neighbors’ cars is the most popular way to help others in the community at Thanksgiving.
4. The White House is given three turkeys each Thanksgiving – two are dead and one is pardoned and not cooked.
5. The turkey that is kept is given a name chosen by the president’s family.
6. The president announces the official date of Thanksgiving every year.
Now visit: people.howstuffworks.com/culture-traditions/holidays/thanksgiving5.htm and check your answers.