Text message mistake leads to lasting friendship

Nick's ESL News Lessons

A printable worksheet for news-based English conversation classes.

Date: 2023/12/03

Difficulty: Intermediate B1

PDF: Text message mistake leads to lasting friendship

Vocabulary Match

mourned -   - popular
viral -   - long-term
relationship -   - connection
launching -   - sad
accidental -   - unexpected
lasting -   - starting


In 2016, Jamal Hinton, a teenager, received a text from an unknown number inviting him to Thanksgiving dinner. The sender, Wanda Dench, thought she was texting her grandson. Jamal, who is Black, realized the mistake after they exchanged photos, as Wanda was a White woman. Despite this, Wanda invited him over, saying grandmas feed everyone. Jamal accepted and has celebrated Thanksgiving with Wanda's family every year since then. Their story went viral on social media.

Over the years, Jamal shared updates about his relationship with Wanda. He introduced his girlfriend Mikaela to Wanda, and they mourned together when Wanda's husband died from COVID-19. In 2023, Jamal and Wanda became business partners, launching a product called BlackMP. They also host others for Thanksgiving, offering a stay with them through Airbnb. Their accidental meeting turned into a strong, lasting friendship.


  1. Who did Wanda Dench think she was inviting to Thanksgiving dinner?
  2. What did she say to Jamal when she realized her mistake?
  3. When did Jamal, Mikaela and Wanda mourn together?
  4. What did Jamal and Wanda start offering through Airbnb?


A: Hey Wanda, got your text for Thanksgiving dinner.
B: Oh, you're not my grandson. But you're welcome to join us anyway, grandmas feed everyone.
A: That's kind of you, Wanda. I'd love to join.
B: Great! See you on Thanksgiving, Jamal.
A: See you, Wanda. And thanks for the invite.
B: You're welcome, Jamal. Looking forward to it.


  1. Do you know what Thanksgiving is and why people celebrate it?
  2. Have you ever sent a message to the wrong person?
  3. What are some ways to make friends with someone you don't know?
  4. How can you keep a friendship going for many years?

Vocabulary Answers

mourned → sad
viral → popular
relationship → connection
launching → starting
accidental → unexpected
lasting → long-term

Quiz Answers (examples)

  1. Wanda thought she was inviting her grandson.
  2. She said that grandmas feed everyone.
  3. They mourned together when Wanda's husband died from COVID-19.
  4. Jamal and Wanda started offering a stay with them through Airbnb.

Source Material


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Nick's ESL News Lessons