Con el Día de Acción de Graciasa la vuelta de la esquina, es momento de considerar actividades especiales para implementar en el aula. Para los profesores que enseñan inglés como lengua extranjera a niños pequeños, esta temporada ofrece una oportunidad maravillosa para explorar tradiciones culturales al tiempo que se perfeccionan las habilidades lingüísticas.
En este artículo, nos sumergiremos en una amplia gama de ideas para llevar a cabo en el aula con los más pequeños durante el Día de Acción de Gracias. Desde la lectura de textos adaptados que narran los orígenes de Thanksgiving, hasta la creación de poemas y la realización de actividades artísticas, te proporcionamos una variedad de recursos y propuestas para garantizar que tu clase sea una experiencia educativa inolvidable para tus estudiantes.
💡Ideas para tu plan de clase💡
🦃 Guess the Riddle! Read the following riddles based on key elements of THANKSGIVING to your students for them to guess. You can also place them on the walls of the classroom and ask them to run, read them, and shout out the answer.
I’m a large, orange vegetable,
Carved with a smile so bright,
On Thanksgiving, I might be seen
As a lantern in the night.
What am I? Pumpkin (Calabaza)
I’m a bird, big and brown,
With a wattle and a snood,
Eaten with some stuffing,
On Thanksgiving, I’m quite good.
What am I? Turkey
I’m a dish made of maize,
A tradition on this day,
Tasty with some butter,
And enjoyed in every way.
What am I? Cornbread
I’m a tart, fruity delight,
Often made into a sauce,
Served with turkey, oh so right,
Enhancing flavors without a pause.
What am I?
I’m a feeling of gladness,
For things that we adore,
A time for being thankful,
And sharing so much more.
What am I? Gratitude
🍁 Guess the Emoji! Show the following text to your students and ask them, in pairs, to replace the emojis with the corresponding word.
Thanksgiving is a holiday where families come together to enjoy a 🍴. The dinner table is filled with delicious dishes like 🌽, 🍠, 🥔, and, of course, 🥧 for dessert. It takes place during the autumn season when the trees shed their 🍂, displaying brilliant colours, particularly the stunning 🍁. One of the main stars of the feast is a large bird, not your usual chicken but a larger one – it’s the 🦃, the centre of a traditional Thanksgiving meal. This holiday is all about expressing ❤️ and appreciation for the good things in life.
- 🍠Sweet Potato
- 🥕 Carrot
- 🍴 Meal
- 🍂 Fallen Leaf
- 🥧 Pie
- 🍊 Tangerine
- 🍁 – Maple Leaf
- 🦃 Turkey
❤️ Put the students to work in small teams and ask them to write the answers to the questions below. To make it more fun, award points to the team that manages to correctly guess and write the highest number of answers.
- What is Thanksgiving?
- When is Thanksgiving celebrated?
- What is the name of the bird that is traditionally eaten on Thanksgiving?
- What are some foods that are typically served at a Thanksgiving dinner?
- What are you thankful for?
- What is your favourite Thanksgiving food?
- What are some ways to show gratitude on Thanksgiving?
📖Reading Time! You are going to read a text about the origins and traditions of Thanksgiving. First, to familiarize yourself with the key vocabulary in the text, match each of the key terms (1-6) with their corresponding definition (A-F). Then, create sentences using the key words to see how they function in context. Which one is your favourite? Why?
A. A celebration with a procession of floats, music, and giant balloons.
B. People who travelled to America seeking freedom and a new home.
C. A ceremonial dinner involving a large bird commonly roasted for Thanksgiving.
D. An expression of thankfulness and appreciation for good things in life.
E. The gathering of ripe crops after planting and cultivation.
F. Creative activities such as making handprint turkeys or painting pumpkins related to Thanksgiving.
- Pilgrims – B. People who traveled to America seeking freedom and a new home.
- Harvest – E. The gathering of ripe crops after planting and cultivation.
- Turkey – C. A ceremonial dinner involving a large bird commonly roasted for Thanksgiving.
- Gratitude – D. An expression of thankfulness and appreciation for good things in life.
- Parade – A. A celebration with a procession of floats, music, and giant balloons.
- Crafts – F. Creative activities such as making handprint turkeys or painting pumpkins related to Thanksgiving.
The Origins and Traditions of Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a very special holiday in the United States. It’s a day when people gather with their families and friends to give thanks for all the good things in their lives. This celebration has a fascinating history that began many, many years ago.
Long ago, in the year 1620, a group of people called «Pilgrims» set sail from England on a ship called the Mayflower. After a long journey, they arrived in America, seeking freedom and a new home. It was a very challenging voyage, but they finally reached what is now Massachusetts.
The Pilgrims were not used to the new place, so the native people living there helped them. They taught them how to plant corn, hunt, and fish. Together, they shared knowledge and friendship, which allowed the Pilgrims to have a good harvest and survive.
To celebrate and give thanks for the bountiful harvest, the Pilgrims invited their Native American friends to a big feast. This was the first Thanksgiving celebration. They ate turkey, corn, pumpkins, and many other delicious foods they had harvested. Since then, Thanksgiving has been celebrated as a day to be grateful and to share with others.
During this festivity, families come together to enjoy a special meal. The main dish of this meal is often a roasted turkey. In addition, side dishes like mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and pumpkin pie are prepared. Everything tastes delicious!
It’s also a day for sharing love and gratitude. People gather, share stories and memories, and give thanks for all the good things they have in their lives. They are thankful for family, friends, delicious food, and all the experiences they’ve had throughout the year.
In addition to food and family gatherings, Thanksgiving is a time for fun. Some people watch parades with huge balloons, music, and dancing in the streets. There are also sports games like American football that many people enjoy watching.
Another fun tradition is expressing what we are grateful for. Some people write on a piece of paper the things they’re thankful for and put it in a jar. Then, at the Thanksgiving dinner, they read the notes to remember all the reasons they are grateful. At school, children learn about the history of Thanksgiving and do crafts like making handprint turkeys, painting pumpkins, or creating pilgrim hats. They also play themed games, listen to fun stories, and sing songs related to the holiday.
Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful, to share, and to enjoy with the people we love. It’s a time to appreciate what we have and to be kind to others. It’s a wonderful holiday that reminds us how fortunate we are!
✏️In pairs, answer the following questions using the evidence from the text.
- What do people celebrate during Thanksgiving?
- Who were the Pilgrims, and what was their significant journey?
- What happened during the first Thanksgiving celebration?
- What kind of food does the text mention that is eaten during Thanksgiving?
- Why is Thanksgiving important to people?
- What types of activities take place during Thanksgiving
- What traditions are observed during this celebration?
- Why is it a special and significant holiday for people in the United States?
🎵 Encourage your students to fill in the blanks with their own creative ideas about Thanksgiving and the traditions they enjoy or what the holiday means to them:
«Thanksgiving’s here, a time to cheer,
Families gather, the season’s near.
A feast awaits, on the table laid,
Grateful hearts, in every parade.»
Now, here are three more verses with blanks for the students to complete with their ideas:
«_____________ in the air, leaves changing bright,
_____________________, joy, in everyone’s sight.
Appreciation for all we hold dear,
___________________ and friends, so very near.
At the table, a ______________________ roast,
Sides of _______________ and cranberry boast.
A time to reflect, to give our thanks,
___________________ memories in life’s banks.»
Some further ideas for your Thanksgiving Lesson
🦃Thanks, But No Thanks
Instructions: Give each student a piece of paper and ask them to write down three things they are grateful for. Collect the papers and redistribute them randomly. Instruct the students to read the paper they received and think of one reason why they are grateful for that particular thing. After a few minutes, have the students share their thoughts with the class, without revealing whose paper they have.
🦃 Turkey Talk Taboo
Instructions: Prepare a set of Thanksgiving-themed vocabulary flashcards. Divide the students into pairs or small groups and distribute the flashcards. Instruct the students to take turns describing the word on their flashcard without using the actual word. The other student(s) must guess the word based on the description. Encourage the students to use complete sentences and to ask follow-up questions if needed. After a few minutes, have each group share some of the words they described and guessed.
Instructions: After reading the text about Thanksgiving, ask the children to draw their interpretation of the first Thanksgiving celebration. They can draw the pilgrims, Native Americans, the food mentioned in the text, the Mayflower ship, among other elements.
Instructions: Encourage the children to write a poem or rhyme about Thanksgiving. They can use key words from the text, such as «turkey,» «corn,» «pumpkin,» and «gratitude» to create their own poetic composition.
🦃 Gobble Vocabulary Dash
Instructions: Create cards with Thanksgiving-related words found in the text (turkey, corn, pumpkin, family, gratitude, etc.). Divide the children into teams and hold a race to see who can find and read all the words the fastest.
🦃 Blind Turkey Drawing
Instructions: Choose a keyword from the text (like «turkey» or «corn») and ask a child to draw that word on the board, but blindfolded! The other children must guess which word it is. This promotes vocabulary comprehension.
🦃Pair-Up Pilgrim Memory
Instructions: Prepare cards with images of Thanksgiving-related elements mentioned in the text. Place the cards face down and ask the children to find the pairs. This game enhances memory and reinforces vocabulary.
🦃First Thanksgiving Scene Play
Instructions: Divide the children into small groups and ask them to depict a scene from the first Thanksgiving. They could use simple costumes or props to recreate the story. This allows them to visually comprehend and recreate the history of the celebration.
🦃Thanksgiving Jokes Fun
Materials Needed: Printed joke cards or projected on a screen for students to read.
- **What do you call a turkey on the day after Thanksgiving? Answer: Lucky
- **What did the turkey say before it was roasted? Answer: Boy! I’m stuffed.
- **What do you get when you cross a turkey with a centipede? Answer: Drumsticks for everyone!
- **Why did the turkey cross the road? Answer: To prove he wasn’t chicken.
- **What do you call unhappy cranberries? Answer: Blueberries.
- Introduction: Begin by introducing the activity and explain that it’s a light-hearted joke session related to Thanksgiving.
- Presenting the Jokes: Display or distribute the Thanksgiving-themed jokes one by one for the students to read aloud. You can either project them on a screen or provide printed cards with each joke.
- Reading Aloud: Ask for volunteers or randomly call upon students to read out the joke and the answer. Encourage clear and expressive delivery to make it more enjoyable.
- Understanding the Jokes: After each joke is read, allow a moment for the students to understand the joke and its punchline. Discuss the wordplay or humour involved in each joke to ensure everyone comprehends.
- Encourage Participation: Invite students to share their thoughts or reactions to the jokes. Ask if anyone knows similar jokes or wants to share their own Thanksgiving-related joke.
- Creative Activity: Encourage students to create their own Thanksgiving-themed jokes. Provide time for them to write or share their jokes with the class, fostering creativity and humour.
- Positive Atmosphere: Encourage laughter and create a fun and positive environment for the activity, appreciating each student’s contribution.
I hope you enjoy these funtastic Thanksgiving activities! 🦃🍁 Share if you care and show your appreciation ❤️
Manuela Mena es Licenciada en Traducción e Interpretación, Máster en Neuropsicología, Experta en Docencia Online & Qualified CELTA Teacher. Actualmente trabaja como directora académica de la escuela de idiomas The Language House y CEO de la consultora educativa feelthelanguage.com. Asimismo, imparte clases en la Universidad Antonio de Nebrija y el SDI de Múnich, además de examinar para los diferentes niveles de Cambridge ESOL.