Thanksgiving Believe It or Not!

See how well your students know some historical facts about Thanksgiving.


Thanksgiving, Icebreaker


Several Prizes (Candy, slices of pumpkin pie, pilgrim hat, etc.)


Approximately 15 minutes    


What you will do during class:

Read the Eleven Thanksgiving Facts shown below one at a time. If the students believe the fact is true, have them stand. Otherwise, they will stay seated to indicate they believe it is not true. After the students indicate their choice, reveal the correct answer. Have the students keep score of how many correct answers they have as the game proceeds.

At the end of the game, award whoever gets the most correct answers with a small prize. Make sure you have more than one prize in case there are multiple students who tie for first place.
Eleven Thanksgiving Facts - Believe It or Not
• The Pilgrims sailed on a ship known as the “Mayflower.” (BELIEVE IT)
• The Pilgrims sailed across the Pacific Ocean to get to North America. (NOT - The Atlantic Ocean)
• Pilgrim leader William Bradford invited Wampanoag Indians to the first Thanksgiving. (BELIEVE IT)
• One of the main reasons the pilgrims came to North America was for religious freedom. (BELIEVE IT)
• The first Thanksgiving feast did not feature forks. Participants ate with spoons, knives, and fingers. (BELIEVE IT)
• Mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, corn on the cob, and cranberries were all present at the first Thanksgiving dinner. (NOT - probably wild meat, fish, dried fruits, and nuts)
• Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States. (BELIEVE IT)
• The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition began in the 1890’s. (NOT - 1924)
• Although it is widely considered an American holiday, Mexico celebrates Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October. (NOT - Canada does)
• In the United States, about 280 million turkeys are sold for the Thanksgiving celebrations. (BELIEVE IT)
• Congress made it a law in 1941 to celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of every November. (BELIEVE IT)

Discussion Questions:
1. When you think of Thanksgiving, what normally comes to mind? (Turkey, football, family, etc.)
2. What does Thanksgiving Day mean to you on a deeper level? (Allow for answers.)
3. How does being a Christian affect your Thanksgiving celebration? (Allow for answers.)

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