Thanksgiving Lessons and Teacher Resources
Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving day, “presently celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, has been an annual tradition in the United States since 1863. It did not become a federal holiday until 1941. Thanksgiving was historically a religious observation to give thanks to God, but it is now considered a secular holiday as well. Most people celebrate by gathering at home with family or friends for a holiday feast. Though the holiday’s origins can be traced to harvest festivals which have been celebrated in many cultures since ancient times, the American holiday is tied to the deliverance of the English settlers by Native Americans after the harsh winter at Plymouth, Massachusetts and that event has become the pre-eminent foundation story for English North America. ” Wikipedia
- This is the traditional Thanksgiving turkey hand cutout idea (P)
- Here’s an idea for making a Turkey hand puppet from a plastic glove (P-K)
- This is a Thanksgiving plan for creating “Leaf Turkeys” (K)
- This Thanksgiving bulletin board idea uses “Turkey Handprints” (K-2)
- Here is a Thanksgiving craft idea called “Turkey Pins”(K-3)
- Thanksgiving collages are made from magazines here (K-5)
- Here’s a fun idea for an autumn centerpiece (K-5)
- “Coffee Filter Turkeys” are created in this lesson (K-5)
- “Colorful Turkeys” are the object of this Thanksgiving idea (1-3)
- Here is a great Thanksgiving art lesson on texture called “Textured Turkeys” (1-5)
- Here is another turkey art project (2)
- Coconut turkeys are the “centerpiece” of this Thanksgiving idea (3-5)
Computers & Internet:
- This Thanksgiving acrostic idea lets students practice their writing and MS Word skills year-round (5-7)
- In this Thanksgiving reading lesson, an emergent reader is made into a predictable chart (P-1)
- Here’s a brief Thanksgiving Poem good for ending a Thanksgiving Presentation(K-2)
- Writing Thanksgiving cinquain poems is a fun activity for all ages (1-3)
- Students find out how to say “Thank you” in other languages in this internet search idea (4-8)
- These Native American “leather” stories make a great Thanksgiving hallway display (4-8)
- This bulletin board idea results in a cornucopia of produce-related similes and metaphors (Multiple/Other)
- Use this turkey hunt idea to provide number practice (P-1)
- Graphing favorite Thanksgiving foods is the central activity of this lesson plan (K-1)
- There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a (Thanksgiving) Pie introduces this measurement lesson (K-2)
- This yummy fall math idea uses candy corn to illustrate inequalities (1-2)
- This is an interesting idea for buying groceries for a Thanksgiving dinner (3)
- This art expressionism lesson is part of a Thanksgiving project-based multidisciplinary learning plan (3)
- Here are Thanksgiving ideas about what students are thankful for (1-2)
- This is a fun art and music lesson plan called “Musical Turkeys” (P-K)
- This is an Ode to Thanksgiving poem song which can be expanded as a writing activity (Music)
- This Thanksgiving lesson compares the cultures and feelings of Native Americans and Pilgrims (K)
- Students study the hardships of pilgrim life in this lesson and make a “thankful for” quilt (1)
- In this Thanksgiving lesson, students write a list and visually present what they are thankful for by creating a placemat (2-4)
- This research lesson teaches students to be thankful for the contributions of Native American culture (3)
- This idea is called “Holidaymakers” teaches planning (4-7)
- Students use the Internet here to research the history of the Thanksgiving holiday (6)
- In this holiday idea, students present a family report and collage to their family (10)
- Students make a bulletin board picture quilt of “thankful for” things here after creating a graphic organizer and hearing Thanksgiving poems (2-3)
- This is a nice Thanksgiving lesson plan encouraging us to be thankful for what we have (7-12)
- This is a clever Thanksgiving idea gets high schoolers to make an “I am Thankful” chart (9-12)
- This is a high school lesson plan for students in child development/care classes – creating fun Holiday ideas for children (9-12)
- Start your Thanksgiving celebration off right — listen to Governor William Bradford’s brief 1623 Thanksgiving Proclamation here.
- You are the historian! – this visual and audio rich on-line learning experience takes you through the “real” story of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people
- Take a voyage on the Mayflower, view interviews with Plimoth Plantation colonists and then take a slideshow field trip to this outstanding scholastic site
- You can view a complete history of the holiday plus related multimedia at History.com
- Here are fun Thanksgiving craft videos
- “Did you ever see a turkey” is a video song activity for preschoolers with links to other pre-school Thanksgiving fun
- Learn a Thanksgiving song in sign language here
- This is a video read aloud of “Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving” by Dav Pilkey who wrote “Captain Underpants” for ages 3-9
- Take this Thanksgiving Webquest Quiz and learn new facts along the way
- Search for more Thanksgiving activities, videos, audio files, and lesson plan resources at HotChalk.com !
- Find interactive and printable Thanksgiving word puzzles, math worksheets and coloring pages at EdHelper.com, Vocabulary.com, and Crayola.com.
- Did you know that half of the 53 Pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving were under the age of 19? Read the only primary sources of the first Thanksgiving, learn about African Americans in Plymouth Colony and find other fascinating facts at the Pilgrim Hall Museum site.
- Learn how the Pilgrim Story, based on 17th century facts, has grown and evolved over time. Then go beyond to read pilgrim biographies, articles, inventories and wills.
- The “Plymouth Thanksgiving Story” is a very informative collection of fact-based information from a Native American viewpoint provided by the Fourth World Documentation Project.
- This site tackles the topic of Thanksgiving for ESL and EFL learners
- This is a Thanksgiving timeline activity for 6-12 from the Learning Page of the Library of Congress.
Please add your Christmas lesson plans now! Then we’ll have a big collection ready to share for the holidays! Kwanzaa, Hannukah, and New Years lessons would be great too!