Can you believe that Thanksgiving will be here in almost two weeks?
When I think about all that is going on in the next few weeks, Thanksgiving break seems so close, yet so far away! I’m so excited to spend time with my family and eat all of the yummy holiday food! What are your Thanksgiving holiday plans?
In order to keep my sweet kiddos from getting too antsy so close to a holiday break, I have prepared several interactive digital and printable Thanksgiving activities!
While Thanksgiving isn’t technically in our third grade curriculum, I still can’t let this holiday slip by without teaching about the REAL first Thanksgiving. Most students believe that the first Thanksgiving was about the Pilgrims and Native Americans being thankful, eating turkey, and enjoying pumpkin pie together. Can we all collectively say, “YIKES!”?
In reality, the Pilgrims and Native Americans never even ate turkey or pumpkin pie! Historical research indicates that the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Tribe celebrated with a three-day feast. They ate things like venison , squash, and onions. Since potatoes weren’t even brought over from Ireland yet, the Pilgrims and Indians couldn’t even enjoy mashed potatoes and gravy!
To keep my students well-informed about the first historical Thanksgiving, I created this Interactive Whiteboard Lesson with a companion non-fiction booklet.
Even if you don’t grab this no prep Thanksgiving digital and printable resource, you should still check out the Scholastic website here.
It has AMAZING interactive features that take students on the journey of the Pilgrims from the tumultuous voyage on the Mayflower, all the way to the first Thanksgiving. Scholastic has done such a fantastic job with this site!
Another fun, engaging Thanksgiving activity that I love to do with my 2nd, 3rd, or 4th graders is the Thanksgiving Persuasive Writing activity. During writing time, we read ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey. This is such an engaging book that takes a group of students to the farm of Farmer Mack Nuggett. The group meets a group of turkeys who are going to be cooked for Thanksgiving. In order to save the turkeys, the students end up sneaking the turkeys onto the school bus and taking them home!
For their no prep writing activity, I have my students pretend they are a turkey that Farmer Mack Nugget has found and he wants to eat (EEK!). My elementary students have to write him a letter persuading Farmer Mack Nugget to not eat them.
Included in this interactive Thanksgiving writing activity is teaching ideas, tips, anchor charts, differentiated rubrics, and a graphic organizer for students. There is even a fun, colorful turkey craftivity! Students can even earn a reward for those who do not get “eaten.” My kiddos LOVE this Thanksgiving writing activity! You can grab this resource here.
Finally, we can’t celebrate Thanksgiving with some fun, hands-on Thanksgiving games! On the last day before Thanksgiving, I usually allot about a little more than an hour and we do center rotations.
I divide my students into six different groups and place the six Thanksgiving Math and Literacy Centers around the room. I give students about 10 minutes for each center and then we rotate to the next station. Kiddos are having a blast playing “games” and don’t even realize they are still learning! The engaging stations even have answer keys! You can take the centers as grades or you can have your students check their work as they go! You can grab these Thanksgiving Math and Literacy Centers here.
Since you stuck around til the very end, I have to share just how GRATEFUL I am for YOU! Without your support, That Teaching Spark would not be possible! As a Thanksgiving treat for you, I created these 12 “I Am Thankful” differentiated writing templates just for you!
I hope you and your elementary students have a blast with these Thanksgiving activities and games! I also hope that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving full of gratitude, love, and yummy food!
Now tell me, what are your Thanksgiving plans?