Thanksgiving can be such a fun time in the classroom. You can still teach so much content through themed activities. You can actually do MORE rigorous activities because kids are so engaged with themed content. Today, I am going to discuss some easy ideas you can use to add Thanksgiving themed activities into your normal classroom content.
Writing Thank Yous
I truly believe that when teaching Thanksgiving themes, the focus should be on gratefulness. It is a great time for students to focus on thanking others. There are three ways I love doing thank yous this time of year.
- Thank you letters to their parents- this is a great way to have them tell their parents what they are thankful for, what they are doing at school, etc. It is perfect to give to parents at conferences too!
- Thank you letters to community members- We write to nurses, bus drivers, garbage truck drivers, etc. Put a group of kids with a type of community member and have them each write a letter. Or write a letter to a new set of community members each day for a week.
- Letters to other people in your school community- principal, other teachers, custodian, etc.
Thank you letters can be full of packed content. Teaching students how to write letters, have them address envelopes to teach them commas, etc.
I also love to teach paragraph writing with letters! It is easy and engaging to teach them all the parts of a paragraph when they are writing to someone they enjoy!
Teaching editing is also great with letter writing because they want perfect letters to send to others.
Digital Thankful Centers
If you are focusing on gratitude all week long, then students will really get into that theme. It ups engagement! So, why not add some rigorous reading centers to the mix?!
Have them work on shades of meaning with words about gratitude. They can use context clues to figure out the definition of tough words related to gratitude.
Then, they can have fun listening to videos, playing reading games, and more!
You can put some digital activities as I mentioned above together by throwing the videos and activities into a Google Slide!
Thanksgiving Feast Challenge
Having a feast can be SO.MUCH.FUN. Especially if you have parents donate everything! 😉
But why not make that feast rigorous?!
I like to have a challenge where kids earn their food for the feast. So, they will read highly rigorous passages and focus on reading skills. When they get answers correct, they earn a food item for their table. The goal is to earn all the food items and be able to attend the feast.
This is a great time for me to work with lower kiddos and assess where students are at so far.
I also make sure that each student gets the challenge, but it helps me to really see where they are at.
Ya’ll I love a good thankful turkey! You have to make at least one over the holiday time. Here are some of my favorites that I have done over the years.
Read Great Books
To no one’s surprise, there are some great books out there for this! Click the link below to head to a blog post with all my favorite November read alouds and easy activities to do with them!