By Glenn A. Hascall


THANKS-ME, a learning machine, helps a class of children to understand the origins and meaning of Thanksgiving.


T-H-A-N-K-S M-E - a refrigerator box decorated with knobs and switches. Painted with a sign and button reading "Imaginator Generator". Costumes for Columbus, Isobella, Philip, Squanto, Samoset, Pricilla, Thomas, & Abe Lincoln. A few school desks or chairs.


Four or more students in a classroom (Gender neutral)
The voice of T-H-A-N-K-S M-E (child or adult)
Abe Lincoln


(Students enter looking at a strange machine sitting in the middle of the stage)

# 1: Where's our teacher?

# 2: Yeah, Where is she?

# 3: I haven't seen her.

# 4: (Pleased) Maybe we don't have class.

T. M.: - Good morning students, your regularly scheduled class will commence
as previously directed by the governing bodies of this institute of
learning. Allow me to pass on notes of introduction. I am T.H.A.N.K.S. M.E.

# 2: Uh, Thank you?

T. M.: T.H.A.N.K.S. M.E. is the consumer friendly term provided by our
marketing department. The more correct term is

# 3: And the letters M - E? What do they stand for?

T.M.:  Millenium Edition. I have been programmed to assist you with detailed
information dating back to the fifteenth century - Gregorian calendar. Due
to a corrupted file in a nasty Y2K incident I am unable to provide detailed
information prior to the aforementioned time period.

# 1: No offence, but you're about the size of a refrigerator. My dad has a
laptop that's about the size of a plate.

T.M.: True, but in a dramatic sketch such as this, a high tech computing
devise that is not visible from the second row lacks a theatrical flare, if
we have reached a common ground of understanding.

# 4: (Pauses looking dumbfounded) So that's why you're so big.

T.M.: Precisely.

# 1: Do you speak English?

T.M.: I detect problems assimilating techno-jargon into a comprehensive
understanding.  A regrettable error, but one that is easily overcome. If one
of you would simply adjust my vocabulary meter to the appropriate grade
level I am certain this will make communication definitively adequate.

(# 4 adjusts a knob on T.M.)

T.M.: This should be better. Thanksgiving is the lesson for today.

# 2: Why didn't you just say so?

T.M.: I believe I did.

# 1: Do we have to get our books out?

T.M.: Not with T.H.A.N.K.S. Millenium Edition. You see, I have special
features in my microchip brain that will help you learn today. Please press
the button labeled Imaginator Generator. (Columbus, Isobella and Phillip
move from behind the box to the side where the students watch) Are you able
to see Christopher Columbus?

# 3: This is so cool.

T.M.: (Confused) Current temperature readings indicate a temperature that is
comfortable - it is not as you say - cool.

# 2: No, we mean that we've never seen anything like this.

T.M.: In that case let's listen in.

# 4: It's like watching a movie.

COLUMBUS: Queen Isobella, I have been to many countries seeking support for
a trip across the ocean.

ISOBELLA: That, my dear Columbus is the silliest idea I have ever heard. You
should know that the world is flat. Why would I wish to spend my wealth
knowing I may be sending you to your death at the end of the earth?

COLUMBUS: My Queen, I am one of many who believe that the world is not flat,
but round.

(Isobella is silent as she gazes at Columbus. She then addresses her advisor, Philip)

ISOBELLA: Philip, my trusted advisor, is this mad idea of a round world
worth spending my wealth on?

PHILIP: (Stage whisper as he leans close to Isobella) If it is true that the
world is round, and Columbus succeeds, we could be rich.


PHILIP: (Startled) I mean, you. You my Queen would be rich, if indeed you
were to receive a good portion of whatever he finds.

ISOBELLA: (Thoughtful for a moment) Very well, Christopher Columbus, you
shall have your ships.

COLUMBUS: (Excited) Thank you, my Queen.

ISOBELLA: On the condition that half of all the gold and silver you find is
returned to me.

COLUMBUS: (Less excited) Thank you, my Queen.

(The three walk off stage as attention shifts back to the class)

T.M.: Does anyone remember the names of the three ships Columbus used?

# 2: The Nina, The Pinta and The (Pause) Mayflower.

(Students laugh)

T.M.: Actually it was the Santa Maria - not the Mayflower. But the Mayflower
did have a role in the celebration of Thanksgiving.

# 3: Really?

T.M.: That's right. The good ship Mayflower brought the Pilgrims to America.
These people wanted to worship God freely, which is why they came to this
country. Would one of you please set the year to 1623 and press the
Imaginator Generator button.

(Chose a child to do this - the box should shutter slightly as attention
focuses on the Pilgrim's in the Imaginator Generator.)

THOMAS: Our life has not been easy in this new land.

SQUANTO: When I first saw you from the hill I could see that you needed

PRICILLA: That is true. We were very surprised when you told us that fish
could help us grow corn.

BRITTANY: We lost many of our friends and family coming to this country.

THOMAS: (Looks at Squanto) Believe me when I say that we are deeply sorry
that your people died of the plague.

SOMOSET: The Heavenly Father knew that you would need our help.

(Attention back to THANKS ME as Pilgrim actors leave stage)

T.M.: Squanto had been taken as a slave two different times. The Pilgrims
made their home in the same region where Squanto grew up. It is believed
that Squanto was a Christian.

# 1: Maybe that's why he helped the Pilgrims.

# 4: Even though they were so different from him.

T.M.: Perhaps they weren't as different as you might think. You see, Squanto
and the Pilgrims both lived in a country where worshipping God was more
important than an abundant crop and where hope was whispered in prayerful
thanksgiving. Would somebody press my on board MP3 player?

(Cast should press a button and sing along with Whisper a Prayer or another
appropriate Thanksgiving song at the end of the song a printout should slide
though a slot in THANKS ME)

# 3: (Pulls out the paper and reads) All ye Pilgrims with your wives and
little ones, do gather at the Meeting house, on the hill...there to listen
to the pastor, and render Thanksgiving to the Almighty God for His

# 2: What does that mean?

T.M.: Well, all the Pilgrims were to come to the MeetingHouse, their pastor
would provide a sermon and then the Pilgrims would praise God for all he had
done for them. Does anyone remember when the U.S. Congress proclaimed the
first National Day of Thanksgiving?

# 4: November 1, 1777.

T.M.: Someone has been paying attention in class. Now for another question:
When did Americans actually celebrate Thanksgiving?

# 1: It was almost Christmas before they celebrated.

T.M.: Your teacher should be very proud of you. You're right, Thanksgiving
originally was celebrated the third Thursday of December. Later,
Thanksgiving would be celebrated in February. Then something happened that
set Thanksgiving in November, just like it is this year. Let's check in on
the Imaginator Generator.

ABE LINCOLN: (Reads from proclamation) By act of Congress the annual
National day of Thanksgiving will be held the last Thursday of November, as
a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father, who dwelleth in
the Heavens.

T.M.: So you see Thanksgiving has a long history that actually goes back to
earth's first couple, Adam and Eve.

(Teacher walks in)

TEACHER: Sorry I'm late, guys. Have you been learning anything from
T.H.A.N.K.S. Millenium Edition?

(All students agree that they have)

TEACHER: Now maybe each of you can understand why we have a special day set
aside to thank God for all He's done for us.

T.M.: There is still one thing that I find difficult to understand. Why do
humans only express thankfulness one day a year?

TEACHER: Good question. (Addresses class) Class, why don't we go around the
room and tell what we are thankful for.

(Actors should prepare a list of things they are thankful for as music for
"Thank You, Lord" begins. Actors begin to sing once all four of them have
the chance to tell what they are thankful for.)
Copyright Glenn A.Hascall, all rights reserved. This script may be used free of charge, provided no charge is made for entry. In return, the author would appreciate being notified of any performance. He may be contacted at glenn.hascall<a>