Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thanksgiving Skit


This is a skit that my mother-in-law wrote for Thanksgiving.  There are no speaking parts other than the narrator's. She has used it as an activity for nursing home residents and as a Thanksgiving activity for the grandchildren.  I have used a modified version in a class of second graders.  (I didn't have the second graders sing a hymn, and I shortened it a little.) My mother-in-law usually uses the following props:  pilgrim hats, a fish, toy guns, toy bows and arrows, sea shells, Native American headresses, pumpkins, squash, a piece of corn, and a piece of jewelry to be used as a gift.  




THE FIRST THANKSGIVING

Narrator:
In scene one we see the puritans in one of their secret meetings, in defiance of King James I.


Scene 1: A group of Puritans singing a hymn. Near the end, two English policemen arrest the men. The rest weep.

Scene 2: The Mayflower
Narrator:  Because the government of England persecuted the Pilgrims, the new land of America appealed to them, and some English merchants agreed to finance a trip to America.

The group left England in September of 1620 aboard the Mayflower. The ship carried 102 passengers, including women and children. The Pilgrims and sailors were crowded together to sleep and eat. The food turned bad and there was not enough water for drinking or washing. Storms came and many of the Pilgrims got sick.

The Pilgrims anchored in Plymouth harbor on December 26th.

There was a large granite boulder near the spot where the Pilgrims landed. According to a popular story, the Pilgrims stepped ashore on this rock when they landed in America. [A few pilgrims come ashore]

 They were very happy to set foot on land but they were scared too. What kind of land was this? there were no houses, no stores, only an empty, white sandy beach with trees and bushes behind it. [Pilgrims look around and pick up shells]

 They arrived at the beginning of winter. Because of a navigational error they landed in Massachusetts, far north of the Virginia colony where they had planned to settle.

That first winter in Plymouth was terrible for the Pilgrims. They could not finish building their homes before the snow fell, so most of the Pilgrims lived aboard the Mayflower. [Snow falls and Pilgrims reboard]

Overcrowded and poorly clothed and fed, nearly half of them died. [Some “die” on stage]

Scene 3: Spring of 1621. The Pilgrims are busy building and planting. Narrator:  In the spring of 1621, help came to the Pilgrims. An Indian walked into the little village and introduced himself to the startled people as Samoset. {Samoset enters, people stare, Samoset exits].

Two weeks later, he returned with Squanto. {Samoset and Squanto enter] Squanto spoke English well. He had been kidnaped and had spent several years in England. {Squanto shakes hands with a few pilgrims and greets them] 


 He taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn. {Puts a fish and corn grain in the ground.]

He taught them to fish and hunt. {Squanto poses with bow] It was largely because of this help that the Pilgrims lived and had a harvest to be thankful for!

{Squanto and Samoset exit... .and return with Chief. Music as they enter]
 Squanto and Samoset introduced the Pilgrims to Massasoit [MAS uh Soit], the Chief of the Wampanoag tribe that controlled all southeastern Massachusetts. Governor Carver and the chief exchanged gifts and arranged a treaty of peace. {Exchange gifts and sign treaty]

Scene 4: Fall of 1621. The first Thanksgiving.

[The Pilgrims are busy fixing a feast. Have a big table with lots of food on it.]


Narrator:  The bountiful harvest that year led the Governor to declare a celebration. Sometime in the autumn of 1621, the Pilgrims invited their Indian friends to join them in a three day festival which we now call the first New England Thanksgiving.

{ Indians enter, carrying food. Music as they enter]

Narrator:   About 90 Indians came to the festival. There were more Indians than Pilgrims. The Indians brought several deer, wild turkeys, and fish. The Pilgrims had so much to be thankful for. That first long hard, terrible year was over. They gave thanks for good friends, new homes, and plenty of food. They gave thanks for the new life they had begun in Plymouth.

The Indians and the Pilgrims entertained each other. They ran races, played drums, and showed their skill with their muskets and bows and arrows.

Narrator:  Pilgrims have become a lesson for all Americans of how a people with little more than courage, perseverance, and hard work can build a home for themselves in a hostile world. Their bravery set an example for future generations of Americans. We invite everyone to join us in singing, “America the Beautiful”
 
 




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