Do you love adding Thanksgiving activities to your classroom? I do! Every year, I look forward to a little decorating and a whole lot of Thanksgiving-themed activities! They’re just so fun… and the kids think so too! If you’re ready to bring some Thanksgiving joy to your students, read on! Here are my favorite Thanksgiving activities for your upper elementary classroom!
1. Read Thanksgiving Themed Books
No matter how old your students are, they will always enjoy being read aloud to! Whether you use picture books to introduce a lesson on character traits or simply have a few extra minutes before heading to lunch, a good read-aloud will always get your students into the holiday spirit! Here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving picture books:
- Thanksgiving in the Woods by Phyllis Alsdurf
- Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano
- A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting
- A Little Thanksgiving SPOT by Diane Alber
These incredible books run the gamut of being a little serious and a little silly. You can choose the story that fits the tone you want to set for whatever your plans are after the read-aloud. Picture books are a great way to teach or review a variety of reading comprehension skills. They are also perfect for beginning a conversation on gratitude, so any writing activity asking students to share what they are thankful for would be a perfect complement!
2. Writing to Thanksgiving Themed Prompts
And speaking of writing after a read-aloud… it really is a perfect time! While you’re reading, your students are focused on the book and thinking about how they relate to the characters and storyline. So once the book is finished, they will have plenty of connections they will want to share!
Capitalize on the magic of those books by getting creative with those themed writing prompts!
Every kid needs to truly contemplate and write about what they are thankful for. However, also consider some other Thanksgiving prompts such as:
- “My life would be so different if I didn’t have…”
- “Traditions that my family has on Thanksgiving are…”
- Write a persuasive letter to the cafeteria staff asking them to cook something else instead of Turkey for Thanksgiving.
- Write a fantasy story where students have to rescue a turkey!
With students’ imaginations ready to go from their read-aloud, they should have no problem coming up with creative ideas for their writing! Add illustrations or a festive paper for students to write on and you can turn this activity into a hallway display!
3. Try Digital Thanksgiving Activities
The week leading up to Thanksgiving is often a very stressful time! To cut down on your teacher prep but still give students fun Thanksgiving activities to work on, try a digital webquest!
If you are looking for a digital Thanksgiving activity that keeps students engaged in learning, check out this Thanksgiving WebQuest! With this WebQuest, students will utilize a Google Slides activity that helps them practice researching information.
Students read articles on the internet and watch short videos that are found on each slide. Students get to learn more about turkeys, Thanksgiving celebrations, the history of Thanksgiving, and more!
Your students will most likely be getting pretty antsy the closer you get to Thanksgiving Break. Using digital Thanksgiving activities will keep them motivated to continue working! Even when they’re tired, they won’t quit because the work is fun!
4. Have Students Complete a Thanksgiving Project
Nothing keeps students on task better than an activity that incorporates their favorite person or interests! Here’s a fun, “big kid” twist on the traditional disguise a turkey project. What better Thanksgiving activity is there than having your students turn a turkey into their favorite historical person or celebrity?!
How do you do this? It’s actually easier than you think with this My Famous Turkey Writing Project! I have everything you need in one place to help your students put together the coolest famous turkey project ever!
Simply ask your students to name their favorite famous person. This can include people from history, television, music, sports, etc… Their famous person does not have to be currently living.
Now ask your students to pretend that person is a turkey. What would they look like as a turkey? How would they dress as a turkey? What important events have happened in their life?
Not only does this project get your students thinking seasonally, but they are also learning about biographies, facts and opinions, and important text features such as timelines of events, captions, diagrams, and indexes.
Your students will have so much fun (especially when they design and color an outfit for their turkey!)! They won’t even realize that they’ve been learning the whole time!
So what are you waiting for? Add some fun Thanksgiving themed activities to your November lesson plans and watch the learning continue!
Pin These Thanksgiving Activities!
I hope you have found fun new resources and ideas to make Thanksgiving in your classroom special this year! Pin this post on your favorite Teacher Board to remember them when the holiday chaos begins! Enjoy your classroom holidays!