Thanksgiving is a great time for students to learn about the history of the holiday and the meaning behind it. There are many fun and educational activities that can be done in the classroom or at home to help students understand the holiday and its traditions. There are lots of great Thanksgiving ideas for students and we are here to help!
In this blog post we will go over some of our favorite thanksgiving activities
Here is the scoop on the best Thanksgiving ideas for students, from games and activities to crafts and thanksgiving dinner ideas.
1. Have a Thanksgiving Feast in the Classroom
This is a great way to get students involved in the holiday and to teach them about thanksgiving traditions. Ask students to bring in food from home, or make it a potluck feast.
You can also arrange the desks in the shape of a dinner table, which will be an easy way for everyone to sit together.
2. Make Turkey Crafts
There are many fun and easy turkey crafts that students can make. Paper plate turkeys, hand turkeys, and thanksgiving feathers are just a few ideas.
Grab some brown construction paper and have your upper elementary students get to work! They can color some white paper with fall colors to make turkey feathers.
3. Do a Thanksgiving Themed Lesson
There are many great Thanksgiving lesson plans and activities available online or in teacher resource books. This is a great way to teach students about the history of the holiday and its traditions.
4. Have a Thanksgiving Dinner
This is a great way to involve students in the holiday and to teach them about thanksgiving traditions. Ask students to bring food from home, or make it a potluck feast.
5. Watch a Thanksgiving Parade
The Macy’s thanksgiving day parade is a great way to get students involved in the holiday. This is a great opportunity to teach them about the history of the parade and its traditions.
Everyone will love this fun fall activity.
6. Have a Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt
Hide Thanksgiving themed objects around the classroom or school and have students find them. It is a fun way to get in the mood for the holiday season.
7. Do a Thanksgiving Themed Activity
There are many great Thanksgiving themed activities available online or in teacher resource books. You can search online for a free resource.
8. Make a Thankful Tree
Make a large tree out of craft paper, and have your students write everything they are thankful for. This will bring a real attitude of gratitude to your classroom.
9. Play Thanksgiving Bingo
Bingo is a simple game that can be easily adapted to a Thanksgiving theme. For high school students, you can ask them questions about the history of Thanksgiving.
10. Do a Thanksgiving Themed Project
There are many great Thanksgiving-themed projects available online or in teacher resource books. You can also connect with your fellow teachers for a brainstorming session and some critical thinking.
11. Thanksgiving Movie
Watching an educational video about Thanksgiving is always so much fun. If you are a fan of digital activities it is one of the easiest options that your students are sure to love.
12. Thanksgiving Vocabulary
Make vocabulary cards to quiz your students on some social studies vocabulary about the first Thanksgiving. You can have your students break up into small groups and quiz each other.
13. DIY Pumpkin Patch
Bring some pumpkins into your class and place them around the room to make your own pumpkin patch. This is one of our favorite classroom activities.
14. Thanksgiving Turkey Visit
Dress as a thanksgiving turkey and come visit your class. If you have a close teacher friend, they can dress up instead in a teachers pay teachers favor.
It is a wonderful way to get your students excited for this time of year. They will love turkey time.
15. Thanksgiving Word Search
Design a Thanksgiving word search with related words like native Americans, pumpkin pie, and fall season. You can also have answer keys for your students to check.
You can also find lots of similar printable activities online for your class!
16. Gratitude Journals
Give each of your students a blank notebook and have them make gratitude journals, writing down different things that they are thankful for.
A good idea is to find a digital version of a journal you like and print it yourself.
17. Break Bulletin
Cover bulletin boards in blank paper and have your kids write down what they are looking forward to about Thanksgiving break.
18. Coloring Pages
If you like to give your kids simple morning work before school starts, a coloring page is always a great idea. You can find lots of free download coloring pages for an easy way to start the day.
Look for a cure Thanksgiving coloring page you like and find a printable version!
19. Family Tree
The month of November is all about the Thanksgiving season, and people celebrate this holiday with family members in many different ways. A great turkey activity is using things like graphic organizers to have your students map out their family tree.
20. Thanksgiving Short Story
If you have older students, give them a Thanksgiving writing prompt and instruct them to come up with a short story. From a teacher’s perspective, this is one of the more easy Thanksgiving activities, and the main idea it for it to be a fun activity.
Encourage your students to write in the style of an author they admire, like Dav Pilkey.
Your students can also take turns reading their stories and showing off their creative way of telling stories. Read alouds are another great thing for students to do to ensure they have a good time and learn fresh ideas from one another.
21. Sensory Bin
A Thanksgiving sensory bin is another fun learning activity. Fill a bucket with sand and throw in some small Thanksgiving shapes like plastic food (turkey leg, corn, etc). You can also add in an extra game piece or fidget toy.
This perfect Thanksgiving activity will help stimulate your students and help them refine their motor skills.
22. Making Cards
Another great choice of fun ideas and thanksgiving crafts is having the students make cards for their families.
They will be able to wish their family a happy Thanksgiving.
Another super fun activity it to have your students work together to make a scrapbook! Working on a Thanksgiving book together is a great way to reflect on the important things in life.
24. Duck, Duck, Turkey!
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to play some themed games. Duck, Duck, Turkey is a Thanksgiving twist on the classic Duck, Duck, Goose game.
Playing this game is a good opportunity to let your kids get out any extra energy. Sometimes quest games are just not reasonable for real life, especially when you have students who are excited for the holiday.
25. Thanksgiving Mad Libs
Mad Libs are another great place to start when you are coming up with Thanksgiving lesson ideas for your kids.
You can even write your own using interesting facts about the Thanksgiving holiday.
26. Thanksgiving Charades
There are so many great ideas for classroom parties, but Thanksgiving charades is
27. Vacation Book Board
Make a bulletin board and have your students write book titles on paper balloons. Each book balloons will be a book that they want to read while on Thanksgiving vacation.
This is another choice of great activities to entertain your students for Thanksgiving.
28. Design a Plate
This Thanksgiving, have your students design their own paper plate. They can be as creative as they want and add in all the thanksgiving food they love. This is a great way to let your kids use their imaginations.
29. Handprint Turkey
A handprint turkey is one of the most common Thanksgiving crafts, but it is still a lot of fun.
30. Turkey Trot
A turkey trot is a great way to have some Thanksgiving-themed physical activity. You can make it a race or just a fun way to walk around the block.
31. Thanksgiving Basketball
Another Thanksgiving-themed physical activity is thanksgiving basketball. You can set up a mini basketball hoop and have a thanksgiving shooting competition.
32. Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is always a fun way to spend some time, and you can make it thanksgiving themed by hiding things like turkeys or leaves around the house or classroom.
33. Pin the Feather on the Turkey
Pin the feather on the turkey is a Thanksgiving twist on the classic game of pin the tail on the donkey
34. Thanksgiving I Spy
I Spy is a great game for kids of all ages, and you can make it thanksgiving themed by hiding things like turkeys or leaves around the house or classroom.
35. Thanksgiving Crossword Puzzle
A thanksgiving crossword puzzle is another great way to work on spelling and vocabulary. You can make your own or find one online.
36. Thanksgiving Word Scramble
A Thanksgiving word scramble is a great way to work on spelling and vocabulary. You can make your own or find one online.
37. Thanksgiving Word Search
A Thanksgiving word search is a great way to work on spelling and vocabulary. You can make your own or find one online.
38. Thanksgiving Hangman
Hangman is a classic game that can be played with any topic, and thanksgiving is no exception. You can make up your own words or phrases, or find a list online.
39. Thanksgiving Tic Tac Toe
Tic tac toe is another classic game that can be played with any topic, and thanksgiving is no exception. You can make up your own words or phrases, or find a list online.
40. Stone Soup
Stone soup is a classic folktale that has been adapted to many different cultures. It is a great story to read during Thanksgiving, and can be used as a teaching tool for the holiday.
41. The First Thanksgiving
The first Thanksgiving is a great story to read during thanksgiving. It is a good way to teach kids about the history of the holiday.
42. Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest
A pumpkin pie eating contest is another classic way to have fun. You can make it a race or just a fun way to eat some pie.
43. Thanksgiving Piñata
A Thanksgiving piñata is a great way to have some thanksgiving-themed fun. You can fill it with thanksgiving-themed candy or prizes.
44. Thanksgiving Balloon Pop
Everyone will love a Thanksgiving balloon pop. You can fill the balloons with thanksgiving confetti and have fun!
45. Make Pinecone Turkeys
Grab some pine cones and paint it to look like turkey feathers, then glue googly eyes and a mouth onto the bottom! Then your students can take home their new turkey friend!
These Thanksgiving ideas for students are sure to keep your students entertained and engaged during the Thanksgiving season. So get out there and have some fun! And don’t forget to give thanks for all the blessing in your life.
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