Thanksgiving is celebrated in the United States each year on the fourth Thursday of November. During the month of November, students can build reading skills using Thanksgiving themed activities for the early grades. Here are ten ideas for fun holiday themed lessons.
1. Picture Sorting
Beginning readers can practice phonemic awareness skills using Thanksgiving pictures. Collect Thanksgiving pictures, and ask students to sort by beginning or ending sound. Google Images is a place where you can find thousands of images by typing Thanksgiving into the search bar. Always be careful to check for copyright issues before printing and using.
2. Make a Grocery List
Talk with your students about typical and unusual Thanksgiving foods. Follow up by making a group grocery list. As you write each item, ask students to help you spell the word. Discuss related topics such as recipes, health, food groups, and celebrations.
3. Thank You Cards
Students can celebrate Thanksgiving blessings by writing and sending cards to people they are thankful for. Cards can be written as a whole class to adults who help them, or individually to special adults in their lives.
4. Alphabetical Order
Practice the skill of alphabetizing using Thanksgiving words:
5. Fill in Blank Cloze Story
Read a Thanksgiving story to children, then write a summary of the story together. Rewrite the summary, leaving out important words. Draw a blank line where the words would go, creating a cloze story for the students to read and fill in.
6. Thanksgiving is ______________
Beginning writers and readers can practice writing complete sentences using the starting phrase Thanksgiving is…. Discuss capitals and end marks with the children as you write.
7. Thanksgiving Riddles
Students can create their own Thanksgiving riddles. Use the Thanksgiving pictures from activity #1. Ask children to write a description of the picture, using riddle language: What is _______________, and ________________, and __________________? Children glue the picture matching the riddle onto the back of the paper. Alternatively, children can make a pop-up riddle card. Have students fold a piece of paper in half to make a riddle card. On the cover, write the riddle. Open the card up to reveal the picture, which is the answer to the riddle.
8. Word Syllable Counts
Use the Thanksgiving word list from activity #4 to read and count syllables. Students can sort the words based on the syllable count.
9. Vowels and Consonants
Thanksgiving words from the Thanksgiving word list in activity #4 can be used to practice letter identification skills. Students can sort the words by beginning or ending letters, or by vowels.
Reading and making Thanksgiving food recipes is a great way to practice skills. Cooking with kids is not only fun, but also a great way to build math and reading skills. Wonderfully delicious recipes are available for free online and at your local library. Books like the cookbook below are available for sale at Amazon.com. Click on the image below for more information:
Fine Cooking Thanksgiving Cookbook: Recipes for Turkey and All the Trimmings, by Fine Cooking Magazine.
Thanksgiving poems can be read aloud, or written on charts to be read as a group.
Thanksgiving Day at Our House: Thanksgiving Poems for the Very Young, by Nancy White Carlstrom (Aladdin, October 1, 2002). Click on the book below for more information at Amazon.com: