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Thanksgiving-Themed Literacy Activities

By Bailee Formon
 | Nov 20, 2018

Turkey Reading BookHolidays are a great opportunity to facilitate fun projects that offer a springboard for critical reflection and meaningful discussion, and the upcoming Thanksgiving  celebration in the United States is no exception. By using this as a theme for reading and writing activities in the classroom, students will exercise important literacy skills while learning about the history, traditions, and values associated with Thanksgiving. Following are some Thanksgiving-related activities that will keep students engaged and learning during those last few hours before break.

  • Use this free Thanksgiving writing packet from Teachers Pay Teachers to engage students in coloring and labeling activities that foster vocabulary and spelling skills.
  • ReadWriteThink’s “Myth and Truth: The ‘First Thanksgiving’” lesson plan prompts students to think critically about commonly believed myths surrounding the Wampanoag, the pilgrims, and the "first Thanksgiving." 
  • This blogger’s Feed the Turkey activity gives students an opportunity to read aloud and learn new words while enjoying the process of “feeding” those words to the turkey.
  • Using a site such as Puzzlemaker, create a Thanksgiving-themed word search or  crossword puzzle with appropriate grade-level vocabulary.
  • Scholastic’s Thanksgiving-themed teacher's activity guide includes a Readers Theatre, “Letters from the New World,” and a vocabulary guide and quiz.
  • Thanksgiving Literacy Centers provides worksheets and printable activities, geared toward kindergartners and first graders, that use Thanksgiving pictures and themes to engage phonics, decoding, and creative writing skills. These fun worksheets will help keep younger students focused and enthusiastic during the lesson.
  • The National Education Alliance’s list of Thanksgiving ideas for elementary, middle and high school classrooms includes Thanksgiving memoirs for reading aloud, fill-in-the-blank worksheets, crossword puzzles, writing activities, and more.

Bailee Formon is an intern at the International Literacy Association.  

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