Thanksgiving Day

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Part 1Listen and Read: Listen to the recording, answer the questions, and then read along with the audio recording.

Many countries have a day of thanksgiving sometime during the year. In the United States, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month. Traditionally, this is the day when people get together with family and friends to give thanks for their many blessings including family, health, good fortune, and safety throughout the year. People usually prepare a wide variety of foods including turkey, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, green beans, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. The head of the house often carves the turkey, and the rest of the family sits down to eat when all of the food is ready and set on the table. Often, someone is chosen to offer grace, or a prayer. After the prayer is finished, people start passing around the food and helping themselves to the dishes on the table. People usually engage in light conversation as they eat. After the meal is over, pumpkin pie is served, and then the family helps clean up the table and dishes. It is often common for family members to sit and watch American football on TV.

Part 2: Discussion

Do you have a day of thanksgiving in your country? If so, what takes place on this day? What special foods are prepared? What meaning does this day have for you?

Part 3: Online Investigation

Now, search the Internet for the history behind Thanksgiving Day in the United States. How and when did this holiday start? How did the custom of eating turkey come about, especially since it probably wasn’t eaten at the first Thanksgiving? Summarize your findings.

Part 4: Online Listening Practice (from