Grateful Girl: An ESL Listening Activity for Thanksgiving

American Thanksgiving is coming soon! Have you tried Sprout English’s Thanksgiving-themed Word Bank lesson? We also have a NEW extensive grammar lesson on the Simple Future. Try both of these lessons before you try this follow-up Thanksgiving listening activity.

Listening Activity

Play the recording of the story Grateful Girl in class or have your students listen to it for homework. Ask your students to listen for the informal pronunciation (gonna).

Grateful Girl


Grateful Girl
Thanksgiving is coming up next week. I am going to go to my grandma’s house with my family. For Thanksgiving dinner, my dad and grandma are going to make turkey with cranberry sauce, yams, and pumpkin pie. Before dinner, my brother and I will set the table.

Before we eat, we’ll all say what we are thankful for. I’ll go first. I am going to say that I am thankful for my family, my friends, my house, my school, my health, my city, my country, and our universe. My grandma is going to call me Grateful Girl like she always does. My brother will say that he is thankful for his cat and our TV.

After dinner, my brother and I will wash the dishes. We will not fight as we do the dishes! At least, I won’t fight. The day after Thanksgiving, we are going to take Grandma to the mall. On Black Friday, Grandma will buy candy, desserts, and fashion magazines. I’ll buy a gift for my best friend. It’s going to be a great weekend.

What are you going to do for Thanksgiving? Where are you going to go and what are you going to eat? Will you go shopping? What will you buy? Most importantly, what will you be thankful for?


    • Thanksgiving
    • mall
    • grateful/thankful
    • turkey
    • cranberry sauce
    • yams
    • pumpkin pie
    • set the table
    • wash/do the dishes


Here are some questions you can ask your students after they listen to the story.

1. Where is Grateful Girl going to go for Thanksgiving?
2. What will Grateful Girl have for dinner on Thanksgiving?
3. Why will the grandmother call her granddaughter Grateful Girl at the dinner table?
4. What will Grateful Girl and her brother do before and after dinner?
5. What is Grateful Girl NOT going to do after Thanksgiving dinner?
6. What is Grateful Girl’s family going to do on Black Friday?
7. What will Grateful Girl’s grandma buy?

1. Grateful Girl is going to go to her grandma’s house for Thanksgiving.
2. Grateful Girl will have turkey with cranberry sauce, yams, and pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.
3. The grandmother will call her granddaughter Grateful Girl because the girl will say that she is thankful for many things.
4. Grateful Girl and her brother will set the table before dinner. After dinner, they will wash the dishes.
5. Grateful Girl won’t fight with her brother as they do dishes.
6. Grateful Girl’s family will go shopping at the mall on Black Friday.
7. Grateful Girl’s grandma will buy candy, desserts, and fashion magazines.

Write and record your own Thanksgiving story

Invite your students to write a similar story about their plans for Thanksgiving using the simple future. If your students don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, they can make up some characters who do. Record your students reading their stories out loud.


How to Set the Table (prepositions of place)
What Are You Grateful For This Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving Word Bank Lesson
Simple Future Lesson

Tara Benwell

Tara Benwell is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry. She is the media director and head writer for ESL-Library, and a contributor to its sister site Sprout English. Tara is the author of an iPad storybook series for kids called Happy Campers Books. Her debut novel, The Proper Order of Things is available on Amazon and in the iBookstore.

Leave a Reply