Last weekend I started thinking about my Thanksgiving lesson plans, and I discovered a Thanksgiving product I had made in 2011. I remembered that I wasn’t crazy about the product to begin with, so I deactivated it from my TpT store. Unfortunately, rather than updating the file, I completely forgot about it. It has sitting untouched in a folder for about three years. As I looked through the product, I realized that content was good, but the overall design and look was severely lacking. Needless to say, I spent the next several days revising and updating the file to transform it into something that would be teacher and student friendly. I’m happy to say that I was able to reactivate the file, and I now have all of my Thanksgiving plans ready!
All of the activities are based around a Thanksgiving Choice Board. I’m still not 100% sure if I’ll use the choice board or if I’ll just have students complete a few activities a day. If I do choose the choice board, I’ll have students complete one activity from each row. This will allow students to complete one writing, one reading, and one math activity.
In previous years, I used the Thanksgiving haiku activity to lead into a fun art project where students write a haiku and create a crayon resist to illustrate their poem. In the crayon resist, students color an autumn picture with a crayon (no markers or colored pencils). Then, they use water color paint to paint the background. I glue their picture onto black construction paper and have students rewrite their haiku at the bottom of the page. Of course, if you’re not up to painting, you can just use the included file!
The Pilgrim’s journal has students write three journal entries from the perspective of a pilgrim at the time of the first Thanksgiving. This is a great way to incorporate a point of view lesson into your Thanksgiving plans.
I absolutely love the ABC Book of Gratitude. In this activity, students write something they are thankful for that starts with every letter of the alphabet. I had my students write in complete sentences, but you could have students brainstorm ideas of things they are thankful for every letter.
There is also a fact and opinion activity where there are statements given about Thanksgiving, and students have to determine if the statement is a fact or an opinion.
My favorite activity is the measurement scarecrow. In this activity, students cut out a variety of rectangles to create a scarecrow. Students measure the length of each shape to the nearest one-fourth inch. For an extension, students can find the area and perimeter of each figure.
In a different activity, that’s an oldie but goody, students find how many words they can find within the word THANKSGIVING. Students can only use each letter once per word, except for the G, I, and N since there are two of each in Thanksgiving.
The Thanksgiving feast is a great problem solving activity for math! Students have to plan a Thanksgiving meal on a budget, which always presents quite a challenge. Students have $53 to spend on the meal, and have have to find three different combinations of food items they can afford to purchase for the meal.
There is also a fun little Fall Fraction activity, where students color a turkey’s feathers different colors. This also includes equivalent fractions, as students may be asked to color one-third of the feathers yellow, but there are six total feathers.
The final activity is a compare and contrast activity where students compare and contrast the traditions of early Thanksgiving and their family’s Thanksgiving.
There are several more fun activities in the file, so it’s sure to keep your students busy and engaged during a crazy time of year! You can check out the file in my TpT Store here.