“A Thanksgiving Dinner” by Maude M. Grant

With Thanksgiving Day (the U.S. one) coming up, in this week’s poetry post I’ll share with you a cheerful holiday-themed poem. Titled “A Thanksgiving Dinner”, it was written by Maude M. Grant (1876-1941), a children’s poet and fiction writer from Michigan.

If you’re learning or teaching English, you can use this poem to introduce or revise some of the food-related vocabulary. Don’t miss the two simple exercises I’ve prepared, found below. (Answer key available.)

Without further ado, let’s read the poem!


Take a turkey, stuff it fat,
Some of this and some of that.
Get some turnips, peel them well.
Cook a big squash in its shell.

Now potatoes, big and white,
Mash till they are soft and light.
Cranberries, so tart and sweet,
With the turkey we must eat.

Pickles-yes-and then, oh my!
For a dessert a pumpkin pie,
Golden brown and spicy sweet.
What a fine Thanksgiving treat!

VOCABULARY EXERCISES

Match the following action verbs found in the poem with their definitions:

TO COOK | TO MASH | TO PEEL | TO STUFF

  1. to remove the outer covering of a fruit / vegetable
  2. to fill the inside of something
  3. to prepare food by heating it
  4. to beat something into a soft mass

Match the following words with the images below:

  1. cranberries
  2. pickles
  3. potatoes
  4. squashes
  5. turnips

To check your answers, click here.


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

31 Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas for the Perfect Feast – ideas and suggestions from the Country Living magazine

Thanksgiving: An American Tradition – a listening and reading exercise for language learners

Thanksgiving Traditions – a feature from National Geographic Kids

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