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Thanksgiving. Lesson: Objective 3 (5.10) (I) find similarities and differences across texts such as in treatment, scope, or organization Grade 5 (TX). Introduction. Thanksgiving is nearing, and today’s lesson is about this charming old-fashioned celebration, and its history.

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Lesson: Objective 3 (5.10) (I) find similarities and differences across texts such as in treatment, scope, or organization

Grade 5 (TX)



  • Thanksgiving is nearing, and today’s lesson is about this charming old-fashioned celebration, and its history.
  • In today’s lesson you will be required to find similarities and differences across texts such as in treatment, scope, or organization.
  • You will have to compare and show how two passages are alike or how they differ.
  • For this reason, you will be required to read two passages at a time.

These are called paired selections.

  • You will have to compare the following parameters:

Main idea, subject and setting, characters, plot, conflict,

and organization.



Feature # 1 – Thanksgiving at Plymouth

One hundred two passengers on the ship,

Sixty-five days was a very long trip.

’Twas November 11 when there was a shout.

 “Land ho!  We’ve made it!” a voice yelled out.

Their very first winter was cold and was gray.

The Pilgrims worked hard in the new land each day.

People got sick and some even died.

Still others continued to work side by side.

To the Pilgrims, Squanto was a teacher and friend.

He helped them from sunrise until each day’s end.

  He told them to plant corn in rows long and narrow.

He taught them to hunt with a bow and an arrow.



Feature # 1 - Thanksgiving at Plymouth 

When the leaves once again turned gold in the fall,

Enough food for the winter was stored up for all.

The Pilgrims felt joy they wanted to share.

They wanted their Indian friends to be there.

There were tables piled high with fish and with meat.

Vegetables, fruits, and good things to eat.

The Pilgrims gave thanks for all that they had. 

Pilgrims and Indians together were glad.

– Author Unknown



Feature # 2 – Thanksgiving: a history

  • Throughout history, mankind has celebrated the bountiful harvest with thanksgiving ceremonies. Many ancient farmers believed that their crops contained spirits which caused the crops to grow and die. Some harvest festivals were celebrated to defeat these spirits. This was done so crops would flourish. Harvest festivals and thanksgiving celebrations were held by the ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Hebrews, the Chinese, and the Egyptians.
  • 2. The Greeks: The ancient Greeks worshipped many gods and
  • goddesses. Their goddess of grains was Demeter, who was honored at
  • the festival held each autumn. On the first day of the festival, all the
  • married women would build leafy shelters and furnish them with
  • couches made with plants. On the second day they fasted. On the
  • third day a feast was held and offerings to the goddess Demeter were
  • made – gifts of seed corn, cakes, fruit, and pigs. It was hoped that
  • Demeter would be happy and grant them a good harvest.



Feature # 2 – Thanksgiving: a history

  • The Romans: The Romans also celebrated a harvest festival called Cerelia.Cereswastheir goddess of grains (from which the word cereal comes). The festival was held each year on October 4th and offerings of the first fruits of the harvest and pigs were offered to Ceres. Their celebration included music, parades, games and sports and a thanksgiving feast.
  • The Chinese: The ancient Chinese celebrated their harvest festival,
  • Chung Ch'ui, with the full moon that fell on the 15th day of the 8th
  • month. This day was considered the birthday of the moon and special
  • "moon cakes", round and yellow like the moon, would be baked. Each
  • cake was stamped with the picture of a rabbit – because the Chinese believed it was the face of a rabbit (and not a man) on the moon.
  • The families ate a thanksgiving meal and feasted on roasted pig, harvested fruits and the "moon cakes".



Feature # 2 – Thanksgiving: a history

  • The Hebrews: Jewish families also celebrate a harvest festival called Sukkoth. It has been celebrated for over 3000 years each autumn. Sukkoth begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Tishri, 5 days after Yom Kippur – the most solemn day of the Jewish year.
  • When celebrating Sukkoth, which lasts for eight days, the Jewish people build small huts of branches. These recall the tabernacles of their ancestors. These huts are constructed as temporary shelters; the branches are not driven into the ground and the roof is covered with foliage which is spaced out to let the light in. Inside the huts, are hung fruits and vegetables, including apples, grapes, corn, and pomegranates. On the first two nights of Sukkoth the families eat their meals in the huts under the evening sky.
  • The Egyptians: The ancient Egyptians celebrated their harvest festival in honor of Min, their god of vegetation and fertility. The festival was held in the springtime, the Egyptian's harvest season.



Feature # 2 – Thanksgiving: a history

  • The festival of Min featured a parade in which the Pharaoh took part. After the parade a great feast was held. Music, dancing, and sports were also part of the celebration. When the Egyptian farmers harvested their corn, they wept and pretended to be grief-stricken. This was to deceive the spirit which they believed lived in the corn. They feared the spirit would become angry when the farmers cut down the corn where it lived.
  • Canada:Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated on the second Monday in October. Observance of the day began in 1879. Canadians give thanks for a successful harvest. The harvest season falls earlier in Canada compared to the United States due to the simple fact that Canada is further north.
  • United States: In the US, Thanksgiving is always celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. In 1817 New York State adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom. By the middle of the 19th century many other states also celebrated a Thanksgiving Day.



Feature # 2 – Thanksgiving: a history

11. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln appointed a national day of thanksgiving. Since then each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, usually designating the fourth Thursday of each November as the holiday.



Check Your Understanding

  • In what way is Feature # 1 and Feature # 2 similar?
  • a. they are both about local ancient customs
  • b. they are both about Thanksgiving
  • c. they are both about the religious aspects
  • d. they both talk only about goodies like food



Check Your Understanding

  • In which way does Feature # 1 differ from Feature # 2?
  • a. one is about human beings; two is about Gods
  • b. one is about Pilgrims; two is about spirits
  • c. one is about ancient traditions; two is about modern day practice
  • d. one is a poem; two is a passage



Check Your Understanding

  • Mentioned below are four phrases / groups of words.
  • In which Feature do they find a place?
  • i. a helpful Indian ……...................... (a) Feature # 1 / (b) Feature # 2
  • ii. harvest festivals ……………………(a) Feature # 1 / (b) Feature # 2
  • iii. proclamation and holiday ……….. (a) Feature # 1 / (b) Feature # 2
  • iv. a bleak winter …………………….. (a) Feature # 1 / (b) Feature # 2



Check Your Understanding

  • Who was it that taught the people to “…plant corn in rows long and narrow”?
  • a. Pilgrims in Feature # 1
  • b. Indians in Feature # 1
  • c. ancient Chinese in Feature # 2
  • d. Greeks in Feature # 2



Check Your Understanding

  • 5. Who were the people who “…gave thanks for all that they had”?
  • a. the Hebrews
  • b. the Egyptians
  • c. the Greeks
  • d. the Pilgrims



Check Your Understanding

  • 6. There was a common belief that “…crops contained spirits” and that
  • they “…lived in the corn”.
  • Among which group of people was this a common belief?
  • a. the Indians
  • b. the Hebrews
  • c. the Egyptians
  • d. the Canadians



Check Your Understanding

7. November 11 is the date when:

a. Greeks and Romans celebrate the harvest festival

b. Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving

c. Chinese eat “moon cakes”

d. the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth



Check Your Understanding

  • 8. Mark “T” for True and “F for False.
  • a. the ceremony is called “Thanksgiving” across all the cultures
  • b. every country has different dates for Thanksgiving
  • c. fruit, vegetables, and meat are mainly served during the
  • ceremonies
  • d. Pilgrims did not want Indians and excluded them from their
  • Thanksgiving



Check Your Understanding

9. Discuss the main differences in the days and ways Thanksgiving is celebrated in the US and Canada. How do Jews traditionally celebrate Thanksgiving?



Feature # 3 – Diary of a Dog

  • 8:00 am – My yummy dog food given to me in my big yellow bowl! My favorite!
  • 9:30 am – Wow! A car ride to the school and I can look out of the window! Life is a breeze!
  • 9:45 am – A walk in the park after the kids are dropped to school! Can’t believe my luck!
  • 10:30 am – Oh boy! A car ride back home! I shall nap after I reach home! Zzzzzz!
  • 12:00 noon – Lunch. My favorite dog food again! Mmmmm!
  • 1:00 pm – A romp in the garden! Love it!
  • 4:00 pm – Kids are back home! My favorite time!



Feature # 3 – Diary of a Dog

  • 5:00 pm – Playtime! Can’t believe it.
  • 5:30 pm – Hurrah! Dad is back home! Some tickling time watching TV together!
  • 7:30 pm – Sleeping in Mom’s bed! Best Mom in the world!



Feature # 4 – Diary of a Cat

  • Family? They are my captors. I am certainly not their “pet”. They dine lavishly. I am forced to eat cereal. Is this justice?
  • They repulse me. Why must they tie a red bow on my neck? I shall
  • tear it to shreds. What do they know of feline fashion?
  • Smells from the kitchen…Why am I asked to leave? What is so bad about my losing a few hairs? Hasn’t the bald old Grandfather lost all of his?
  • Why is their pet parrot kept away from me? Am I a leper or a beggar?
  • Milk again? Can’t they plan a little variety in the menu?
  • Why am I just given a ball of wool to play with? Can’t they afford Barbie or a Lego set?



Feature # 4 – Diary of a Cat

  • When I climb a tree, I shall not come down! Let someone come up to try and rescue me. I shall hope and pray that he falls! Let him break his leg!
  • Why am I supposed to kill mice in their house? Am I paid for my services? Ungrateful cruel people!
  • Appointment with vet. Ugh! Do they think I enjoy the needles?



Check Your Understanding

10. What is similar between Feature # 3 and Feature # 4?

a. they are both diaries of animals

b. they are both accounts of the food they eat

c. they are both accounts of enjoyable days

d. they are both thankful appreciations of their lifestyles



Check Your Understanding

11. What is the difference between the writers of these two diaries?

a. the writer of Feature # 3 is foolish; the writer of Feature # 4 is

wise and sees people in their true colors

b. the writer of Feature # 3 has not been honest; the writer of

Feature # 4 is honest

c. the writer of Feature # 3 does not understand human beings; the

writer of Feature # 4 understands human beings very well

d. the writer of Feature # 3 is loyal and grateful for what he gets;

the writer of Feature # 4 is ungrateful and hates what he gets



Check Your Understanding

12. Going by the comments in the diary, how would you describe the family members of the cat?

a. they are health conscious

b. they are mean and strict

c. they do not know anything about cats

d. they ill treat the cat



Check Your Understanding

13. Fill in the blanks.

i. Both the families are ……………………………………………..........

(a) wrong in their treatment to their pets / (b) very caring

ii. Both the families feed their pets………………………………….

(a) correctly / (b) poorly or improperly



Check Your Understanding

14. The diaries reveal the true natures of the writers / animals.

Discuss the natures of both the writers / animals and give

examples that support your opinions.


  • Today you have learned the history of Thanksgiving.
  • The lesson also reveals what pet animals think of their masters!
  • In today’s lesson, you learned to find similarities and differences across texts such as in treatment, scope, or organization. You have done this by reading paired selections.