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The holiday feast dates back to November, 1621, when the newly arrived pilgrims and the Wampanoag Native Indians gathered at Plymouth for an autumn harvest celebration, an event regarded as America’s first Thanksgiving.
Below are some interesting facts around the history of the Thanksgiving Feast or alternatively you can download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- For many Americans, the Thanksgiving meal includes seasonal dishes such as roast turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.
- Edward Winslow noted in his journal that the colony’s governor, William Bradford, sent four men on a fowling mission in preparation for the three-day event.
- Turkey was indeed plentiful in the region and a common food source for both English settlers and Native Americans.
- But it is just as likely that the fowling party returned with other birds such as ducks, geese and swans.
- Instead of bread-based stuffing, herbs, onions or nuts might have been added to the birds for extra flavor.
- Many people report feeling drowsy after eating a Thanksgiving meal.
- Turkey often gets blamed because it contains tryptophan, an amino acid that can have a drowsy effect.
- But studies suggest it’s the carbohydrate-rich side dishes and desserts that allow tryptophan to enter the brain.
- In other words, eating turkey without the trimmings could prevent that post-Thanksgiving energy lull.
- Winslow wrote that the Wampanoag guests arrived with an offering of five deer.
- The 1621 Thanksgiving celebration marked the pilgrims’ first autumn harvest, so it is likely that the colonists feasted on the bounty they had reaped with the help of their Native American neighbors.
- Local vegetables that likely appeared on the table include onions, beans, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, carrots and perhaps peas.
- Corn, which records show was plentiful at the first harvest, might also have been served, but not in the way most people enjoy it now.
- In those days, the corn would have been removed from the cob and turned into cornmeal, which was then boiled and pounded into a thick corn mush or porridge that was occasionally sweetened with molasses.
- Fruits indigenous to the region included blueberries, plums, grapes, gooseberries, raspberries and cranberries.
- Native Americans also used cranberries as a natural dye.
- The pilgrims might have been familiar with cranberries from the first Thanksgiving.
- Culinary historians believe that much of the Thanksgiving meal consisted of seafood, which is often absent from today’s menus.
- Mussels in particular were abundant in New England and could be easily harvested because they clung to rocks along the shoreline.
- The colonists occasionally served mussels with curds, a dairy product with a similar consistency to cottage cheese.
- Lobster, bass, clams and oysters might also have been part of the feast.
- Both the pilgrims and members of the Wampanoag tribe ate pumpkins and other squashes indigenous to New England even during the harvest festival but the colony lacked the butter and wheat flour necessary for making pie crust.
- Moreover, settlers hadn’t yet constructed an oven for baking.
- According to some accounts, early English settlers in North America improvised by hollowing out pumpkins, filling the shells with milk, honey and spices to make custard, then roasting the gourds whole in hot ashes.
Thanksgiving Feast Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Thanksgiving Feast Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about this special holiday feast thats dates back to November, 1621, when the newly arrived pilgrims and the Wampanoag Native Indians gathered at Plymouth for an autumn harvest celebration, an event regarded as America’s first Thanksgiving.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- Thanksgiving Feast Facts
- Draw It!
- Turkey Substitute
- Turkey Effect
- Vegetable Menu
- Pumpkin Pie
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Link will appear as Thanksgiving Feast Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 26, 2017
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.