Here are some ideas to spice up your homeschool at Thanksgiving time.
Craft a creative turkey with linked legs to help you count down the days until Thanksgiving. Begin with a link for each day between now and Thanksgiving. Tear off a link each day until they are gone and the big day is here!
Thanksgiving Trivia Game
Play a trivia game of pilgrim facts. Read the questions out and see who can get the answers. You can play individually or divide into teams. Make it extra fun for little ones by placing the questions on the back of Thanksgiving pictures they get to choose from. Here is a printable version of the questions.
Pilgrim People Craft
- For each figure, wrap a cardboard tissue tube with construction paper clothing and glue the paper in place.
- Draw the face on using a fine-tipped marker. We used Sharpies.
- For the hair, cut fringe along one side of a small paper rectangle. Roll the hair around a pen to make it curl up a bit, then trim it, and glue it into place.
- Cut and decorate headbands and feathers for the Native Americans and collars and an apron for the Pilgrims. For the Pilgrim girl’s bonnet, just cut a band with a triangle at the front. In the back, the ends can overlap. For the Pilgrim boy’s hat, cut out a black circle 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Roll and glue a black piece around another segment of toilet paper tube, then attach it to a circular brim. Add a 1/2-inch band and square buckle and glue the hat to the boy’s head.
- The turkey head is the shape of a deflated balloon, with a triangular beak and small red wattle attached. You can give the turkey a cute pilgrim’s hat if you’d like. Also, don’t forget to add colorful turkey feathers.
For little ones, it’s easier if you have the pieces measured and cut out ahead of time, and then you can leave the coloring and gluing to their capable little hands! Bigger kids will be able to do the whole thing themselves. . . just show them the picture and let their creativity take over. Make one for each person who’ll sit at your Thanksgiving table and turn them into place cards by gluing a little name sign on to the front of each one.
It’s Tough To Be A Turkey Poetry Gratitude Activity
Read the poem, “It’s Tough To Be A Turkey,” then make your own Tom turkey craft.
It’s tough to be a turkey
Who’s plain old boring brown.
Please count your many blessings
And turn my life around.
A feather for each blessing
Will make a brighter me.
And every color will reveal
How grateful you can be.
To make Tom, you’ll need to grab the printable Tom Turkey. You’ll also need a variety of colors of paint chips, crayons, scissors, brads, and a hole punch. Cut out Tom Turkey and color him. Next, put his paint chip tail on by punching holes in the bottom of the paint chips and also in the bottom center of Tom Turkey. If you’d like you can learn the rainbow colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) or learn about patterns as you do this. Or you can just put up whatever colors you fancy that day. Then stick a brad through and fan his tail feathers out. As you fan each feather out, tell a blessing you have that you are thankful for.
Pilgrims & Wampanoag Coloring Sheet
Here’s a Pilgrims and Wampanoag Coloring sheet for kids. Let them color while you talk more about the First Thanksgiving . . . or while you make dinner.
Make a little acorn necklace with an acorn, a piece of yarn, white-out, and a black permanent marker. Wiggle the acorn to remove the top. Add a bit of hot glue to the top, lace yarn over the spot of glue, and then replace the cap, gluing it in place. Use white-out and black permanent markers to add a face to your little acorn necklace.
Memorization Station: Turkey Poem for Little Ones
The Turkey Is A Funny Bird
The turkey is a funny bird,
Its head goes BOBBLE, BOBBLE
And all he knows is just one word,
And that is GOBBLE, GOBBLE!
Fun Facts About Turkeys
- Eating turkey really can make you tired. Turkey (and all other meats) contain tryptophan, an amino acid that triggers the production of serotonin. Your Thanksgiving yawns probably also come just from a big day full of too much food. You would feel just as tired if you ate all the same stuff with roast beef instead of turkey.
- Turkeys have excellent vision. Because their eyes are on the sides of their heads they have a huge peripheral range of sight.
- That weird flap of skin that hangs over a turkey’s beak is called a snood. Use it in Scrabble and amaze your friends.
- Turkeys actually blush! When they are angry, frightened, or emotional, the skin on their head can change colors.
- Turkeys swallow small stones that they keep in their stomachs to help them break down food since they don’t have teeth.
Pilgrims Versus Indians Football Game
This is a printable Pilgrims vs Indians Football Game for kids to play to test their knowledge about the first Thanksgiving, but mostly it’s just for fun. To play, first, print out the Pilgrims vs Indians Football Game.
Cut out the football and the question cards. Mix the cards up randomly and place them face down in a single pile. Divide into two teams. Assemble and place the football on the 50-yard line. Draw a card. If it has the Indian bow and arrow “mascot” then the Indians answer the question, but if it has the Pilgrim hat “mascot” then the pilgrims answer. The team that answers correctly moves ten yards toward their goal. If they answer incorrectly, no move is made. When you move the football into your end zone, you win. If there is no winner when all the cards have been used, re-shuffle the cards and keep going.
First Thanksgiving Video
Thanksgiving Writing Prompts
Here are some writing prompts for November. For a fun twist, craft a simple construction paper and tissue box turkey. Put the writing prompt ideas on slips of paper and pull one out each day to inspire your writing.
- Do a gratitude quick write. Set a timer for 5 minutes and write about things you are thankful for. Whatever you do, don’t let your pencil stop until the timer sounds!
- Compare and contrast Thanksgiving with another holiday. Make two lists – a compare list that tells how the two holidays are the same and a contrast list that tells how they are different.
- Write an autumn story that begins with this line: The red and orange leaves fell silently from the trees, covering the quaint homes and peaceful yards like a blanket. Almost out of nowhere the silence was pierced with a siren that shook the street.
- You were just hired to write an advertisement to sell live turkeys from a local turkey farm. Write an ad with all of your best selling points.
- Think back on your best Thanksgiving memories. Write a descriptive paragraph about Thanksgiving that includes who, what, where, when, why, and how details.
- Challenge: Write a paragraph about November that includes as many words that begin with the letter T as you possibly can. Can you use 10? 20? 30? More?
- Write a newspaper article to accompany this headline: Mass Turkey Breakout Just Days Before Thanksgiving!
- Write your favorite recipe that is traditionally on your Thanksgiving table. Next to the recipe, write a memory about that recipe.
- Make a list of things you hope to do before the last autumn leaf falls from the trees.
- Write a simulated journal entry about what it would have been like to be a guest at the first Thanksgiving feast. You can choose to take on the point of view of anyone who would have been there.
- Compose a 5 senses Thanksgiving poem. Thanksgiving is seeing… Thanksgiving is hearing… Thanksgiving is touching… Thanksgiving is smelling… Thanksgiving is tasting…
- They say that when you are thankful, what you have begins to be enough. What do you think this means?
- Write a letter to someone from another country explaining what Thanksgiving is all about.
- Would you rather… Eat Turkey or mashed potatoes? Jump in leaves or go to the beach? Play football or watch football? Be in the Thanksgiving Day parade or be wrapped up in a quilt watching it from home? Cook a feast or eat at a restaurant? Answer the questions and write about why you feel that way.
Throughout November, add leaves to a family Thankful Tree. On each leaf, write things you are thankful for. Share them out loud with your family as you add the leaves to the tree. Do your best to create unique items on each leaf instead of duplicating.
More Thanksgiving Activities on Pinterest
Visit our Thanksgiving Pinterest Board for some more of our favorites. You’ll find learning opportunities, crafts, treats, and more.
Learning The Rest of the Year
To learn with your family all throughout the rest of the year, we invite you to check out the hands-on family school approach we take to homeschooling. Your whole family will be learning together, exploring together, and growing together. The first unit is free, so give it a try. Just click below to get your free unit.