Well, it’s already into the first week of November, and I’m realizing that I am supposed to be doing something Thanksgiving-y with my kids. I mean, I even write for TheHomeSchoolMom on creative ways to celebrate the holiday with the family, fun Thanksgiving activities, and ways to express gratitude. You’d kind of think that I would have this whole Thanksgiving-focus-during-the-month-of-November thing down. But, here I am, already into November, and realizing I’m not prepared, so I turn to ready-to-use Thanksgiving unit studies.
Can I get an “Oh yeah!”?
No? Well, then you’re probably the kind of homeschool mom who doesn’t use cranberry sauce out of a can, either.
I work hard to be prepared. Really, I do. I try to plan ahead and have all of my materials ready in advance and get exciting, interesting lesson plans for the holidays all laid out and ready to go…
And then, often, I find myself here. Not…prepared.
Discovering that the holiday or event I’m trying to plan for sneaked up on me, somehow, necessitating last minute scurrying so my kids aren’t the only ones on the planet who make it through a holiday without doing anything interesting to celebrate it.
Eeek. How does life go by so dang fast?!
In the past, when I’ve found myself here, I’ve started to panic. I don’t have time to search out a billion activities on the internet, or to order some great book that’s going to take 10 days to arrive. I need something fast, complete, all-in-one. Something that requires little to no effort on my part. Something I can download and, within an hour or less, be ready to actually do with my kids, using most of the stuff I’ve already got on hand in my house.
Have no fear, Thanksgiving homeschooling procrastinators, all is not lost.
That’s right – apparently there are a lot of other “How-did-time-go-by-so-quickly” homeschool moms out there like me, because I have found options. There are tons of downloadable, print-it-out-and-go unit studies and lapbook materials that cover everything I want to address during the month of November. No trolling Pinterest for insanely involved craft ideas. No figure-it-out-yourself Thanksgiving game searches. No expensive holiday recipe books. Not even any trips to the library required. Just you, your computer and printer, and some craft supplies.
A homeschool Thanksgiving isn’t lost, yet.
So stop panicking and check out these wonderful, downloadable options for November, to prepare your family for the Thanksgiving holiday, learn a little history, and have some fun at the same time with this ready-to-go Thanksgiving unit studies.
Ready-to-Use Thanksgiving Unit Studies
Amanda Bennett’s Thanksgiving study – Amanda Bennett’s wonderful unit studies can be used for multiple ages, with each day’s lesson including both a lower level for elementary grades and an upper level for junior and senior high grades. This interactive, electronic study permits students to click on links in each lesson to further their learning, and includes a companion lapbook as well as notebooking pages. This comprehensive study includes family project ideas, history, vocabulary, scripture, geography, and lapbook activities to reinforce learning. Learning objectives are clearly stated for each week, and plenty of additional resources are listed for further study. A wonderful resource for the month of November.
Thanksgiving Lapbook from Hands of a Child – This excellent 79-page unit study and lapbook includes the history of Thanksgiving, symbols, hands-on activities, a research guide, recipes, and more. The study is more activity-oriented than focused on giving many specifics and details about Thanksgiving history, but it provides a good overview of the holiday in a format kids will love. Can be used with multiple ages (lapbook activities include different instructions and print-outs for younger children and for older children).
Pilgrims Lapbook from Hands of a Child – Kids explore what it was like to be a pilgrim in this 54-page project pack. Similar to the Thanksgiving Lapbook by the same publisher, it includes a research guide and hands-on activities to teach children the history and life of the Pilgrims.
Thanksgiving Lapbook by Knowledge Box Central – Designed for K-8 (although it can be adapted for older grades as well) this lapbook provides templates for a variety of mini-booklets, as well as a guide for putting the books together to make the completed lapbook. Booklets include the Pilgrims, Mayflower supplies, Mayflower Compact, and more. Accompanying history overviews are provided.
Give Thanks! Thanksgiving Readings for the Family – This is a collection of 28 readings that starts 4 Sundays before Thanksgiving. Includes hymns, stories, scripture, poems, illustrations, and first person accounts. Other Thanksgiving items, such as recipes, puzzles, and children’s activities, are also included. A great way to focus on the spiritual aspects of the season, while also incorporating some of its history.
The First Thanksgiving in Focus from Enrichment4You – This 25-page enrichment guide gives an overview of the first Thanksgiving, vocabulary, writing exercises, and instructions on how to make two historical games.
The Mayflower in Focus from Enrichment4You – Easily printable in color, kids learn about the Mayflower in this 24-page enrichment guide, which incorporates learning activities in history, language arts and art.
The Puritans in Focus from Enrichment4You – This 27-page enrichment guide includes an overview of the Puritans, character development statements, vocabulary lists, instructions for making a Puritan styled gravestone, and more.
Thanksgiving Lapbook with Study Guide from A Journey Through Learning – This Thanksgiving study includes a lapbook and all the information needed for filling out each mini-book within it. Includes a 14-page study guide and 22 mini-books that address everything from Thanksgiving history to symbols to God’s blessings. For grades 2-7.
Thanksgiving Craft and Fun Activities Unit by Highlights With Homeschooling – This Thanksgiving-themed study has 29 activities for the month of November, including making Indian corn, secret codes and creating a Thanksgiving wreath. Activity-based rather than history-based.
Give Thanks, A Thanksgiving Learn N’ Folder from Live and Learn Press – This lapbook project teaches children the history and experience of Thanksgiving, including such topics as the Wampanoag, the Pilgrims, The Mayflower Compact, and what the early settlements were like. Also includes writing topics and notebooking pages.
Countdown to Thanksgiving Minibooks from Notebooking Nook – Features mini-books on Thanksgiving poems, bible verses, recipes, Thanksgiving foods, things the child is thankful for, and vocabulary.