3 Fun and Educational Thanksgiving Lessons

November 12, 2017
Thanksgiving lessons for the ELA classroom that are fun and educational!  This list of Thanksgiving activities move beyond Thanksgiving crafts and ELA skills to students' learning.

I love infusing holiday-themed lessons into ELA instruction. Since students are naturally excited about holidays like Thanksgiving, it's easy to capitalize on their enthusiasm while still teaching critical skills.  That's the key part, right?  I love lessons that keep students learning while adding a Thanksgiving-twist to the lessons.  

Here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving lessons that are not only fun, but super educational, too!


This FREE lesson combines listening comprehension and art!  It's a collaboration between Art with Jenny K. and I.  During the Thanksgiving lesson, students will practice the critical skill of listening comprehension while they learn about the origin of Thanksgiving as a national holiday.  After a mini-lesson on listening and note-taking, students will listen to a passage about Sarah Josepha Hale two times.  They'll take notes during both readings.  Then, they'll answer comprehension questions based on the passage.

Help students develop their listening comprehension skills and learn about Thanksgiving with this art-infused lesson!

Finally, students will create a festive piece of turkey pop art with designs and shapes based on their answers.  This activity is the perfect way to celebrate Thanksgiving in the classroom while helping students develop critical ELA skills!  Check it out here.  (Oh, and there's two versions included.  One for grades 4-5 and one for grades 6-8.)




These Thanksgiving-themed reading comprehension centers are not only designed to give students meaningful opportunities to practice reading, they're also incredibly fun and engaging!  The resource includes EVERYTHING you'll need to easily bring the Thanksgiving reading comprehension centers into your classroom.  

There are five different centers.  Students will practice distinguishing between fact and opinion, identifying the main idea, making inferences, finding the sequence, and comparing and contrasting nonfiction passages.

Thanksgiving reading comprehension centers to help students practice their reading skills and learn about Thanksgiving.

The stations are super versatile.  They can be taught during a single class period or spread out over consecutive days.  You'll find table labels, teacher resources, student pages, all the center materials, a grade tracking sheet, and answer keys in the resource!  The learning stations are super hands-on, too!

Fun and engaging reading centers all about Thanksgiving!

And...there are even two different versions.  One for grades 4-5 and one for grades 6-8.




This activity is all about the primary sentiment of Thanksgiving:  gratitude.  Rather than just teaching about the Thanksgiving holiday, this activity is meant to help students show some gratitude and thankfulness.  The activity is from my Classroom Community resource, but I'm providing it as an exclusive freebie here.

It includes a stack-able poster.  The poster contains a quote about gratitude (one of my favorites).  After a discussion about the quote, students will participate in a gratitude activity.

Classroom kindness poster

During the activity they'll reflect on a person that they are grateful for.  Then, they'll turn their reflection into a personalized note to that person.  The note is on a postcard that students can cut out, design, and mail/give to their own "charming gardener."






I hope you've found a few fun and educational ways to teach Thanksgiving in your classroom!  Here are some of the links from this post:


Thanks so much for stopping by!

Mary Beth















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