Time: 20 min.
to promote pupils’ cultural understanding of national American holidays;
to develop communicative, cooperative, creative, and acting skills of pupils;
to promote pupils’ motivation towards English language learning;
to develop pupils’ awareness of themselves as learners;
to train such pupils’ abilities as imagination, concentration, and observation;
to improve pupils’ pronunciation, listening and speaking skills;
The setting: The USA
Two Russian girls (exchange students in the USA)
Two American girls
Russian 1: Hi, girls! What is this turkey for & where are you going?
Am1: Don't you know what holiday it's today?
Am2: It’s Thanksgiving!
Russian 1: Thanksgiving? I haven’t heard anything about Thanksgiving in Ukraine.
Am1: But it is a very important holiday for all Americans. It is celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November to recall the goodness of God in blessing the Pilgrims with their good harvest. Besides, today people thank God for good things that they have.
Am2: Yes, today is Thanksgiving & we thank God for everything he has done for us. It is a family holiday. Families come together from near & far. Religious services are held in the morning.
Am1: Then comes the traditional feast. Turkey with stuffing is the main dish. It is served with sweet potatoes, squash, cranberry sauce, & pumpkin pie. Today family members go to the house of their older relatives to visit them. So, if you want to know more about this tradition let’s go to visit our Granny, she’ll tell us a story about the origin of this holiday.
Russian 2: It sounds great. Besides, when in Ukraine we’ll be able to tell about this interesting American tradition to our Russian classmates & friends.
Am 1: When people come to their grandparents’ houses on Thanksgiving Day, they traditionally sing a song “Over the River & through the woods”. Let’s sing it together!
Over the river & through the woods to grandma’s house we go;
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
Through the white & drifted snow.
Over the river & through the wood
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes & bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.
Over the river & through the woods to have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring, ting-a ting-ting!
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!
Over the river & through the wood, trot fast, my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground like a hunting hound,
For this is Thanksgiving Day!
Over the river & through the wood now Grandma’s cap I spy!
Hurrah for fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!
( At the Granny’s place.)
Am1: Hello, Granny! Happy Thanksgiving Day!
Gr: Oh, my dears! Happy Turkey Day!
Am2: We brought you a turkey.
Gr: Oh, and I’ve certainly cooked your favorite pumpkin pie.
Am2: Wow, it smells nice. I enjoy Granny’s pies. They are so delicious.
Am1: Granny, meet our friends from Ukraine. They are exchange students & they don’t know much about Thanksgiving. Will you tell us your fascinating story about the beginning of this American custom?Gr: Sure, I will. I am ready to begin. Where is Ann? Come here, my child & sit on this stool at my feet & listen to your old grandmother’s story about Thanksgiving in Pilgrims days. It was a long time ago, my children, that first Thanksgiving was held. I want a sweet memory of it to go down in our family through you to your grandchildren. I’ll tell you about our voyage from our native town Plymouth in England to this beautiful but severe country. Your grandfather & I were little children like you at that time.
( The cassette with the recording of sea waves’ sound is switched. Pilgrims are boarding.)
We had a very long voyage, people suffered & died from illness, lack of water & food. We had sailed to land in Virginia, where there were many English settlers before us. But the storm brought us here to a rocky, cold, empty land where there was no one to welcome us.
Am1: Granny, tell us, please about your first year in America. What was it like?
Gr: The first winter was terrible, for nearly half of the people had died of starvation & illnesses. But we survived. We had built our settlements & found our new home.
Am2: And what about the Native Americans? As far as I know they were the Indians. Were you afraid of them?
Gr: When spring came, it brought warmer weather & hope. We survived due to the help of friendly Indians. One day a young Indian came to our settlement. I can clearly remember it as if it happened some days ago.
(A student in the costume of an Indian comes onto the stage with corn-cobs in his hands).
The Indian: My name is Squanto. I’m your friend. Take this corn. You’ll have to enrich the soil & the harvest will be better. We’ll teach you how to tap maple trees for sap. We’ll show which one has medical power. We’ll teach you how to plant, to fish, to hunt & how to survive in America.
Am2: Did you have a good harvest?
Gr: Yes, about ninety Indians came, they brought five deer, as a gift for the feast. It was a great festivity. Truly, the food melted away that day. Later on our guests came & we wrestled, ran races, sang, danced, and played games.
The Indian: Nowadays we, Indians, celebrate Thanksgiving along with the rest of America, maybe in different ways & for the different reasons. Despite everything that’s happened to us since we helped the Pilgrims, we still have our language, our culture, our distinct social system. Even in nuclear age we still have tribal people.