Michelle's independent resources for ESL Students at Vancouver Community College

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Canadian Thanksgiving Eh!

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!  

On Monday October 12th, millions of Canadians will sit down with their families to eat a traditional turkey dinner and to give thanks for the many blessings they have had in their lives. 

Since Canada is a very multicultural country,  many ethnic groups will not celebrate Thanksgiving at all, while others have begun to adapt to Canadian culture and have started including some Canadian holidays and traditions into their own lives.  

Today, for example, when I went to pick up some last minute things for my own family feast, many immigrants from different countries were doing the same thing as I was - complaining that the store had sold out of "cranberries " a, a typical fruit used to make a sauce that goes with turkey. 

Chinese, Spanish, Polish, Russian, Iranian and native born Canadians - we were all in the same line ups - all feeling a little stressed about preparations for the feast, but still smiling. After all  Thanksgiving is  a paid holiday in Canada. And you couldn't have asked for a more beautiful sunny day in October.  . 

Immigrants Buying Into New Traditions 

Since I am an English instructor whose very job is to communicate with newcomers and second language learners, I often make small talk with immigrants. Today was no exception. 

"So, how are you celebrating Thanksgiving?"  I asked a number of people standing in line with me.  The question drew big smiles.  

" I learned how to make turkey in my English class," replied one woman I spoke to. Everything is ready, but  forgot to buy one of those pans you cook the turkey in. I didn't realize a turkey was so big.." 

"We don"t usually celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. Instead we celebrate  the Moon Festival, replied another woman. " 

But this year, my children really wanted to do the same thing as their classmates. They knew everything about Thanksgiving, so I agreed to try to do it.  My children are helping. They even decorated the house.  Still, I don't know if they will like mashed potatoes." 

Canadian vs American Thanksgiving 

Canadian Thanksgiving is similar to American Thanksgiving in several ways - especially in terms of the food and family aspect. But, there are some major differences between Canadian and American Thanksgiving. 


Watch the following video and do the quiz. Make sure you take notes first. 


Charlie Chaplin Thanksgiving Meal   



Watch the video and try to retell the story to a partner, your friend, husband, wife, parent using time words and connectors. 

You could also summarize what happened in the story using time words and time clauses.   
Remember, you should use the past tenses ( simple plast, past continuous, past perfect) 

Thanksgiving Vocabulary: 

A Few Thanksgiving Videos with Quizzes  :

Short Stories 

Listening Quizzes and Interactive Activities: 

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