Activities, Lesson Plans, and More
See legend at bottom for explanation of age codes
Library of Congress Thanksgiving Documents
A collection of primary sources from the Library of Congress that include historical proclamations, articles, and art. A teacher's guide is also available.
A Native American Perspective Activity
This activity for older students provides a perspective on Thanksgiving from Native Americans that will challenge them to reflect. The activity provides writings from Native Americans on Thanksgiving and is accompanied by discussion and writing topics.
Culturally Sensitive Lesson Plans for All Ages
These lesson plans from the Native American perspective challenge students to consider the cultural and historical implications of the first Thanksgiving and contain age-appropriate activities for younger, middle, and older students, including crafts, reading, writing, and discussion exercises. From the National Education Association.
The Smithsonian Thanksgiving Collection
A collection of primary sources from the Smithsonian Institute that includes historical art and artifacts. The collection is accompanied by a Thanksgiving playlist.
The Year We Had Two Thanksgivings
Thanksgiving hasn't always been on the fourth Thursday of November. Learn about how Thanksgiving the date came to be from this brief history lesson and collection of primary sources.
A Collection of Artifacts from the Mayflower
What did the English bring with them on their Mayflower voyage? Explore this online collection of artifacts from the Pilgrim Hall Museum.
Books, Writings, and Records from Mayflower Passengers
Get an first-hand look at life on the Mayflower and at Plymouth by reading the writings and records from those who lived there. A collection of primary sources that includes books, letters, records, and documents from MayflowerHistory.com.
Thanksgiving-Themed Activities and Worksheets
These Thanksgiving-themed printable activity pages and worksheets cover an array of subjects and thinking skills. From EnchantedLearning.com.
Plimoth Plantation Online Learning
The Plimoth Plantation offers a multitude of online learning opportunities, including historical and topical information, historical recipes and games, virtual programs and workshops, and a podcast. Visit their events calendar at https://www.plimoth.org/calendar for live programs.
How to Support Indigenous People on Thanksgiving
A list of ways to focus on indigenous people while celebrating Thanksgiving; not geared toward children but includes some ideas that could be implemented with children.
Thanksgiving Entertainment and Activities
Learn about Thanksgiving traditions and potentially start your own with these articles, games, and activities for children and the whole family. From FamilyEducation.com
15 Activities to for the Kids' Table this Thanksgiving
Kids will have a blast (and a friendly competition) with these fun Thanksgiving activities. From Highlights.com
Some of the common traditions associated with "Turkey Day." from National Geographic Kids.com
Ways to Give Thanks
From Kids of Integrity; Tools for growing Godly character. Make a scarecrow, bake "manna" wafers, and hear how God provided for the Israelites when they were "pilgrims" journeying to a new land. You can use this lesson in connection with Thanksgiving, or at any time of year.
Thanksgiving Interactive: You are the Historian
What really happened at the First Thanksgiving? Become a history detective and find out! From Plimouth Plantation
The Truth about The First Thanksgiving by James W. Loewen
Reproduced from Loewen's book "Lies My Teacher Told Me," this excerpt describes the original non-native settlers of what is now the United States and the impact they had on the natives.
Thanksgiving Ideas for the Classroom
Disney Family's array of Thanksgiving recipes, printables, party ideas and crafts for kids.
These printable placemats and activity pages feature puzzles, games, and coloring pages. From Disney Family
DLTK's Custom Dominos
Great tool for any holiday or unit study theme. Pick a theme for your dominoes and then choose color or black and white before printing.
Thanksgiving History Quiz
"Travel back in time and find out what the Pilgrims were really up to at their first Thanksgiving."
Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt
A themed scavenger hunt to get you off the couch on turkay day.
Thanksgiving Activites for Kids and Teachers
Thanksgiving activities, crafts, stories, and more from KiddyHouse.com.
Thanksgiving Day Crossword Puzzle
Test your Thanksgiving trivia knowledge with this crossword from SunnieBunniezz.com
Thanksgiving Fun and Games
Thanksgiving activities, games, puzzles, and more from Apples4theTeacher.com
This brief history lesson from NationalGeographic.com explores the story of the first Thanksgiving, including the facts, the myths, and the modern day version.
Thanksgiving place mats, place cards, and paper centerpieces. From Parents magazine.
Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids
Kid-friendly crafts that cover a variety of Thanksgiving themes from AllKidsNetwork.com.
From Lil' Fingers.com, a computer storybook, game, activity and coloring site.
Mrs. Turner's Pumpkin Pie
A story for Thanksgiving from Judy's Neighborhood:A collection of short stories and poems by Judy Solomon.
Plimoth Plantation offers primary living history exhibits, the 1627 Pilgrim Village, Wampanoag homesite and Mayflower II Exhibits. Visitors can experience what it was like that first Thanksgiving. Website offers a virtual tour.
DLTK's Crafts for Kids
My kids love to decorate and plan activities for Thanksgiving. If yours are the same way, you will appreciate the coloring pages, crafts, games, puzzles, songs, recipes, and other printables from DLTK for the upcoming holiday.
Lincoln's Proclamation Establishing Thanksgiving Day
A primary source dating October 3, 1863 from the collected works of Abraham Lincoln,
An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott, 1881
Return to the perspective of giving thanks from a time before television, telephones, and the internet to keep us connected with the rest of the world
You are the Historian: Investigating the First Thanksgiving
Plimoth Plantation's interactive, online learning center offers students insight into 'The First Thanksgiving.'
George Washington's Thanksgiving Day Proclamation
A primary source dating 3 October 1789
- Y—Young (PreK-3rd)
- M—Middle (4th-6th)
- O—Older (7th-12th)
- T—Teacher Resources
Suggested Reading About Thanksgiving
There are thousands of reasons to be grateful for homeschooling. I was so inspired when I polled my Instagram community and they shared all the reasons they love and appreciate the ability to homeschool. These are my top 8. What are yours?
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Turkey and stuffing might be the staples of Thanksgiving, but for many families the holiday means much more. Homeschoolers often seek to go beyond simply a festive meal to create a culture within the home that encapsulates a sense of belonging, security, and love. One important way families do this is through creating Thanksgiving traditions.
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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. Have no fear, Thanksgiving homeschooling procrastinators, all is not lost.
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This month's calendar is full of autumn- and Thanksgiving-themed writing prompts, including menu planning for Thanksgiving dinner and leftovers. Each month we are offering writing prompts (you will be able to find them all on the main Homeschool Writing Prompts page), and you can access our November-themed starters here.
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Thanksgiving is almost here in the U.S., which means homeschooling may take on a different look in the coming weeks. I've seen a lot of newer homeschooling parents panic as it becomes clear that forward progress through a math workbook comes to a crawl or the curriculum guide gets misplaced under the clutter -- for days. Then, uh, maybe for weeks. Here are my 9 reasons why homeschoolers should worry less about schoolwork during the holidays and embrace the season.
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There’s kind of a holiday about gratitude coming up, in case you haven’t noticed. You know that time when you give thanks for all of your blessings? Well, this whole home education list falls pretty close to the top of my gratitude list. The longer I do it, the more I love it, and the more I realize its value. Let’s be honest -- homeschooling is a luxury very few people in this world can afford. Whether it is an issue of needing two incomes to make ends meet, single parents being the sole breadwinners, political opposition, or something else...home ... Read More »
Thanksgiving doesn't come for me, this year, as a natural flow out of living in a season of abundance. Instead, this time, it must be squeezed, drop by drop, out of a desert of loss. But the desert makes each drop so much more precious and worthwhile. And this year, I am so much more keenly focused on the source of that gratitude -- my God, the giver of all blessings -- rather than on the objects of my thanks. And while I certainly do not give thanks for everything, I am learning how to give thanks in everything.
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I wish I could say I basked in the glow of the warmth I feel from homeschooling my children every day. I wish I could write that I woke up energized and excited each morning to nurture their minds and souls, and that I creatively and enthusiastically gave the best of myself consistently toward the creation of the persons they are to become. But that would be someone else's post. Realistically? Life happens. And when it does, it often takes my best and transforms it into "good enough". Along this journey it is not uncommon for me to get bogged ... Read More »
Thanksgiving can easily become the bump in the road on the way to Christmas, but the holiday deserves special attention and effort in its own right. There are just so many great ways to enjoy this holiday!
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One of the many joys of homeschooling is being able to prepare children for an upcoming holiday, rather than simply being swept away by it. November is the perfect time to take a break from regular studies, or add in some special activities by making Thanksgiving the central focus. With its focus on the character quality of gratitude, rich history, and wonderful family traditions, Thanksgiving lends itself perfectly to being a homeschool theme. Spend some time this month and help children fully understand the history, meaning, and traditions of this holiday, and they will gain valuable information about the beginnings ... Read More »
Visiting with family and friends is the highlight of the holidays for many homeschoolers. Unfortunately, before the festivities and merry-making can begin comes a part of the holidays that most families dread - the process of "getting there"! These ideas for filling hours in the car will have your whole family enjoying your travel time.
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Family, food, homes, health, friends - without a doubt these blessings are the core of many people's reasons to be thankful during this Thanksgiving season. However, homeschoolers have some unique motivations for gratitude that are easy to overlook. Take some time this season to reflect on the things you appreciate about homeschooling, and the blessings that homeschooling brings to yourself, your children, and your family.
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