I have a mini confession that may put me into the cone of shame…..
I love the holidays. Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Fourth of July…etc. However, I never fully got into Thanksgiving as much as I did the other holidays. All politics/history aside, I think Thanksgiving never really struck my fancy because I struggled with all the elements involved in it.
As a kid, I was the one who had a hard time tracing their own hand to make a turkey. Even when I stopped using the tracing my hand technique, my turkey still looked a little…wonky.
My past has been filled with big Thanksgiving dinners and those are always nice, yet as I got older the question “When are you hosting Thanksgiving” started to arise. No thank you! If I host Thanksgiving everyone will get microwaved bacon, toast, and maybe some non-burnt cookies…if they are lucky! Needless to say, I can’t cook. Trust me, I try. Another thing that ruffles my turkey feathers about Thanksgiving is the thankful posts that flood social media over the course of the month. I personally think you should be thankful…year round!
Nowadays teachers should be aware of how they want to address holidays such as Thanksgiving. I recall my kindergarten class dressing up like pilgrims and Native Americans. Times have changed immensely and I think that unless you are going to educate students on the REAL Thanksgiving, then stick with alternatives…such as turkeys!
Turkey’s are pretty much the symbol of Thanksgiving and turkey crafts are bound to be made in younger grades. As seen in the previous picture, I was never good at tracing my hand to make a turkey so I created something that will have kids making a turkey with ease! My Turkey Writing craft comes with everything you need to make a turkey, as well as writing prompts and an acrostic writing page.
The month of November can be pretty crazy in all honesty! It’s smack dab in the middle of Halloween and Christmas, the two holidays kids usually lose their smackers for! Keep it simple during November for yourself! If you are looking for a way to incorporate Thanksgiving into the classroom with little prep, then check out my Thanksgiving Mini Unit. All the printables included are also in my Second Grade Fall No Prep Unit. All you have to do is print! You can also easily make Thanksgiving educational with fun centers.
One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is the pie! I don’t have a particular favorite ( I like them all), but pies are also a great way to involve learning. One day, prior to Thanksgiving, I was craving pie. Rather than give in to my cravings, I created several pie themed centers! Years later, I also made a pie writing craft, and Pie Unit! Bonus, all of these can also be used for Pi Day!
Thanksgiving Themed Books
If you are looking for even more Thanksgiving ideas, books are a great way to incorporate any holiday into the classroom! Thanksgiving books are actually a little hard to find, but here are some good ones!
Disclosure: Links to the books mentioned in any posts are Amazon affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase on Amazon after clicking on a link/photo, I get a reimbursement.
Arthur books are a beloved favorite for kids of all ages, and adults! In this book, Arthur is picked to direct the class Thanksgiving play. The only problem is, all his friends want to be the star and no one wants to be the turkey.
Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving by James Dean and Kimberly Dean
As a self-proclaimed cat lady, anything involving cats is top in my book! Join everyone’s favorite cat in a story also involving a Thanksgiving play! This is a flap book and is a super cute way to also teach about the pilgrims!
10 Fat Turkey’s by Tony Johnston and Rich Deas
All irony aside, this funny book is a great way to get in Thanksgiving mode AND have young kids practice counting backward from ten.
Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dave Pilkey
In the spirit of Twas The Night Before Christmas, this is a fun spin on the classic tale. In it, a class goes on a special field trip before Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving on Thursday by Mary Pope Osborne
Magic Treehouse came about several years ago and took the world by storm! Each book immerses the reader into true events told through the eyes of two kids who travel there with their magic treehouse. Thanksgiving on Thursday is one of the most well-known Magic TreeHouse Books. In this book, Jack and Annie travel back in time for the first Thanksgiving! This is a GREAT read-aloud for Thanksgiving. It could also be read in small groups.
If you are looking for the ULTIMATE Thanksgiving Bundle, check out my Thanksgiving NO PREP Worksheets and Digital Centers and Crafts Bundle which contains 20 no prep ELA and math pages, digital options, 5 centers, and a turkey writing craft!
The Pie Themed Bundle is sold separately and includes a pie themed no prep unit, 2 centers, and an author’s purpose writing craft!