This collection of Thanksgiving activities will make it easy for you to put together a fun and educational Thanksgiving themed unit. I’ve included all kinds of ideas related to Pilgrims, the First Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving traditions. The resources include videos, printables, books, play, and more.
If learning with themes is new to you, check out my post on How to Create a Unit Study which includes a helpful video I made for people who are starting to use this great way of learning with children. I also created the Learning with Themes Activity Pack in order to make planning easy. The download contains 41 pages of printables and worksheets that can be used with virtually any learning theme (including the many Let’s Learn About themes you can find on my site). All of the single page printables shown here are included. When paired with living books and videos, this is a very easy themed study to pull together.
Planning A Thanksgiving Theme
Theme Planner: This Theme Planner page is included to make it easy for you to organize your Thanksgiving learning plans.
Thanksgiving KWL: A KWL is a great way to start any unit study and document your child’s learning. KWL stands for Know, Want to know, and Learned. Your learner lets you know what she already knows about the topic, what she wants to know, and what she has learned (at the end).
If you would like a colorful Thanksgiving-themed KWL, there are three options in my shop.
Thanksgiving Spelling Words, Vocabulary & Word Search
Choose the spelling words most appropriate for your child’s level.
- Native Americans
You can also use the list of spelling words to create a word search.
There are many great books about the Pilgrims, the first Thanksgiving, Squanto, and more. Here are some to add to your family library.
Pilgrims: Learn about the Pilgrims and the life they built in the New World.
- Pilgrims of Plymouth
- The Pilgrims of Plimoth
- Pilgrim Stories
- The Landing of the Pilgrims (Landmark Books)
- The Story of the Pilgrims
Squanto: Squanto was a special gift from God to the Pilgrims. Learn more about this amazing man with these books.
- Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving
- Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving
- Squanto, Friend Of The Pilgrims
First Thanksgiving: The First Thanksgiving was a special event. Read more about it.
- The Pilgrims’ First Thanksgiving
- Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation (The Time-Traveling Twins)
- The Thanksgiving Story
Thanksgiving: More fun Thanksgiving themed books for your family to enjoy each year.
- Cranberry Thanksgiving
- A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
- Thanksgiving in the Woods
- Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thanks!
- Thanksgiving Is . . .
Thanksgiving Fun Fact Cards
Thanksgiving Fun Fact Cards is one of the most popular products in my shop. So many fun facts your learners will discover about Thanksgiving! Click the cover to see much more about them.
Thanksgiving Copywork, Handwriting & Writing Activities
Thanksgiving Copywork: It’s easy to continue practicing handwriting during Thanksgiving with copywork. These Thanksgiving copywork pages combine the fun of my fun fact cards with handwriting practice. Kids absolutely love them!
Thanksgiving Handwriting & Coloring: This fun pack includes Thanksgiving themed handwriting and coloring pages in both print and cursive. It’s available in my shop to download and go.
Thanksgiving Writing Pages: Thanksgiving Writing Pages provides 48 Thanksgiving themed pages that will add something special to your unit study writing, notebooking, etc.
November Writing Prompts: If your learners love creative writing, check out the November Writing Prompts with dozens of fun topics including:
- First Thanksgiving
Creative Learning Activities
Write a Letter: Write a letter from a Pilgrim to a friend back in England, telling about the journey, the first year, or the first Thanksgiving.
Postage Stamp: Design a postage stamp to commemorate the first Thanksgiving.
Venn Diagram: A Venn diagram is a wonderful way to compare. You can use it to compare Thanksgiving topics such as:
- Pilgrims and Indians
- First Thanksgiving and our Thanksgiving celebrations today
- Being a Pilgrim child and being a child today
- Food at the first Thanksgiving and our Thanksgiving food
Biography: Choose a person from the story of the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving to learn more about. Then write a short biography about him or her.
List It: This is a great activity to either use as an ongoing activity or a culminating activity at the end of the study. Your learners can either keep a list and add to it throughout the unit study or compile a list at the end.
History of the First Thanksgiving Video: This short video points out some important facts often left out or gotten wrong when we discuss the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving. Use this video to compare and contrast what is in this video with the stories we typically hear. You can also discuss with your learners how to find the truth about the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving and why people might tell different stories.
Peanuts and the Mayflower: The Mayflower Voyagers is currently free to stream with a Prime membership. It offers another perspective of life for the Pilgrims.
Pilgrim Life: Learn about life for Pilgrim girls and boys and then use costumes to do role play. If your learners especially enjoy role playing, have them write a brief play about the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving to perform for family and friends.
More Thanksgiving Printables
Thanksgiving I Have, Who Has Game: Another fun way to review Thanksgiving vocabulary is with this popular Thanksgiving I Have, Who Has game available for instant download in my shop.
November Activity Pack: This fun November Activity Pack worksheets and printables is available as well.