November ushers in the season of gratitude, and it’s the perfect time to begin instilling this attitude in your students. In the weeks leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday, you will want to include some valuable lessons about being thankful as well as add in a few fun activities to your lesson plans. Here are a few ideas for Thanksgiving activities for kids to get you started.
1. Build a play dough turkey.
Give your students a ball of homemade brown play dough and different resources that they can use to design a turkey. You could provide feathers, sticks, pine cones, candy corn and more. Let them manipulate the dough and design their own turkey to bring home for Thanksgiving.
2. Create pine cone turkey centerpieces.
Parents and family members love to have special homemade mementos to display on Thanksgiving. Let your students create a turkey out of a pine cone. They can paint the pine cone any color they choose and use feathers as well as googly eyes to complete their turkey.
3. Play a round of Thanksgiving bingo in the classroom.
Use Thanksgiving bingo cards that include common holiday items, such as turkey, pilgrims, Native Americans, pumpkin pie, and more. Let the kids play a round or two of bingo on the day before Thanksgiving to get them in the holiday spirit! This is a fun activity for a classroom party.
4. Design placemats for the Thanksgiving table.
You can do this activity one of two ways. One idea that you can use is to provide students with two different colors of construction paper and ask them to weave a placemat. Or, you could allow students to create Thanksgiving art on a blank piece of paper to display at their own table.
5. Paint or draw a Thanksgiving memory.
Students can express their creativity through this activity. Let their imaginations run wild as you ask them to paint a picture of their own favorite Thanksgiving memory.
6. Write your own Thanksgiving recipe.
This is a fun way for students to practice their writing skills. Ask them to create and write out their own recipe for Thanksgiving. You can even challenge them to try it out at home for the holiday!
7. Make a hand print wreath for the classroom.
For this activity, you will want to provide each student with a different colored piece of paper. It might be wise to choose seasonal colors, like brown, yellow, orange and red. Ask each student to trace their hand print and cut it out. Then, they should write or draw something that they are thankful for on their hand print. Finally, you can piece them together to make a thankful wreath to display in the classroom.
Thanksgiving Writing Prompts for Kids
Of course, you won’t want to forget about journal entries during the month of November. The following Thanksgiving writing prompts will help your students focus on the upcoming holiday and remain thankful throughout the holiday season.
- Write about the first Thanksgiving that you can remember. Who was there? How old were you? What did you eat? What do you remember the most?
- Pretend that you are designing a float for the Thanksgiving Day parade. What would your float look like? Why did you choose this float?
- If you could change one part of the Thanksgiving meal, what would it be? Why?
- Write about a moment during the last month where you felt grateful. What made you feel this way? How can you focus on being more grateful in the future?
- Pretend that you were attending the first Thanksgiving meal between the pilgrims and the Native Americans. What do you think it would have been like?
- If you could invite one person from history to your Thanksgiving meal, who would you choose and why?
- Pretend that you are a turkey and someone wants you for their Thanksgiving dinner. What would you do to escape?
- Imagine that you were taking a journey on the Mayflower. What do you think it would have been like? How would you have felt going to a brand new land?
- Describe a special Thanksgiving tradition that you have in your family. When did this tradition start? What do you like the most about it?
- Write a journal entry from the perspective of a turkey. You need to convince people to choose a different dish instead of turkey for Thanksgiving Day.
This Thanksgiving, your students will be grateful that you took the time to make sure they understood what this holiday is all about. Keep saying thank you, and keep on writing!
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