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Thanksgiving In The Classroom

Thanksgiving Lessons, Activities, and Projects For The Class

As we enter November and leave the month of October behind, we can begin to see how quickly the holiday season is approaching. We can probably remember learning about the first Thanksgiving, the pilgrims, and of course, giving thanks, during our school years. It’s great when a teacher can incorporate holiday-themed activities into lesson plans and have students engaged and interacting. With Thanksgiving around the corner, we have found some Thanksgiving themed activities, projects, and lesson plans, that teachers can use in their classroom! We’ve even provided the best ideas for different grade levels!

Activities For Elementary School Students

Daily life: A First Thanksgiving Activity

With this activity, students can compare and contrast the lives of the Pilgrims and Wampanoag in this First Thanksgiving activity.

Students will be able to:

  • Understand and identify the cultural and social changes from colonial times to the present.
  • Participate in a variety of writing activities.
  • Develop an understanding of the Pilgrims’ experiences and hardships while traveling to and establishing a settlement in the New World.

The Thanksgiving Feast: A First Thanksgiving Celebration Activity


Students will view a slideshow and read a text to learn details about the First Thanksgiving celebration.

While participating in this activity students can:

  • Use technology to access, explore, and synthesize information on the Pilgrims, Plimoth colony, Wampanoags, and the first Thanksgiving.
  • Develop an understanding of the colonial and Wampanoag cultures of the early 1600s.

Activities For Middle School Students

Native American Technology and Art

Students can learn the history of corn and find instructions for making different kinds of cornhusk projects like masks, bottles, and dolls!

doll made out of corn husks for thanksgiving classroom activity

Thanksgiving Worksheets

A Moveable Fast

Students will have the option of filling in the blanks with this worksheet to create and finish, “A Moveable Fast” story. They may use their own words or choose from a scrambled list of words that were removed from the worksheet.

Pilgrim Crossword

Students can participate in this Pilgrim crossword activity. The answers can be found here.

Activities For High School Students

Hosting A Thanksgiving Dinner

This activity is perfect for high school math students! Teachers will provide students with copies of grocery store pamphlets with information such as pricing and advertisements. Students will study the pamphlet and prepare a shopping list for a Thanksgiving dinner that they’ll be hosting. Students must decide how many guests they plan to invite, estimate how much of each item they’ll need to provide for each guest, and then determine how many packages of each item they’ll have to purchase. When students have completed their lists, teachers can ask them to figure out the total cost of the dinner. Teachers have the option of asking additional questions, such as:

  • If the turkey is priced at $.99 a pound and the cost is $15.68, how much does the turkey weigh?
  • How much would vegetables cost if they were on sale at 1/3 off the regular price?
  • How many people would you have to remove from the guest list to reduce the cost of the dinner by 20%?

Thanksgiving Classroom Door Project For All Grade Levels

Last but not least, this door activity is great for all grade levels. Students can help their teachers decorate their classroom door for Thanksgiving! Materials such as construction paper, paint, and other art materials can be used to decorate. Teachers and other nearby classrooms can even have a contest to see who has the best Thanksgiving-themed door for the holiday.

We hope you have a great Thanksgiving season with your friends, family, fellow teachers, and students!

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