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 Thanksgiving feast
(read the charts)


  • Mathematics
    --Applied Math
  • Health
    --Family Life
  • Science
  • Social Studies


  • 3-5
  • 6-8


Brief Description

Read a chart to learn more about where the foods in your family’s Thanksgiving feast were grown.



  • read a chart for information.
  • interpret questions to figure out what information is wanted and use a chart to answer those questions.
  • learn about how food production adds to a state's economy.


economy, geography, turkey, Thanksgiving, food, nutrition, farm, food, production

Materials Needed[shopmaterials]

Lesson plan

Begin the lesson by asking students to list foods that might be found at a Thanksgiving feast in their families. (Use this as an opportunity to point out that one family's Thanksgiving feast might differ greatly from another's. Many family use foods that are part of their own culture of family tradition when they celebrate Thanksgiving.) Write down the foods that students call out.

Write the information in the chart below on a board or chart. The chart shows five U.S. states that are among the leaders in turkey production and the number of turkeys raised in each of those states.

Name of
Number of
Turkeys Produced
Arkansas 28,500,000
Minnesota 46,500,000
Missouri 21,500,000
North Carolina 39,000,000
Virginia 19,700,000

Give students an opportunity to study the information on the chart. If you teach younger students, you might walk them through the information on the chart. (You might also round off information on the chart. For example, you might round 46,500,000 to the nearest million: 47,000,000. Or you might simply write out the information in words: 47 million turkeys.)

Then ask students grade-appropriate questions about the information on the chart. The questions below serves as examples of the kinds of questions you might ask:

  • Which state produces the most turkeys? (Minnesota)
  • Which state on the chart produces more turkeys -- North Carolina or Virginia? (North Carolina)
  • How many turkeys were produced on farms in Missouri? (21,500,000 turkeys)
  • Which state on the chart produces the fewest turkeys? (Virginia)
  • Which state produces fewer turkeys -- Arkansas or Minnesota? (Arkansas)
  • How many more turkeys are produced in North Carolina than in Arkansas? (10,500,000 turkeys)
  • If Arkansas produces 500,000 more turkeys this year than in the year on the chart, how many turkeys will they raise? (29,000,000 turkeys)
  • How many million turkeys in all are produced by these top turkey-producing states? (155,200,000 turkeys)

Provide each student with a copy of the Thanksgiving feast work sheet. On that work sheet, students study charts and answer questions about the production of two other common Thanksgiving foods -- sweet potatoes and cranberries.


WORK SHEET ANSWERS: 1.c, 2.c, 3.a, 4.b, 5.b, 6.c, 7.b. BONUS: 6,494,000 barrels.

Lesson plan source

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

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