Ready or not, November is here and the busy holiday season is upon us. With so much to be done in preparation for Thanksgiving both at school and at home, it’s important to keep your Thanksgiving lessons fun and easy to implement. Check out some of my favorite Thanksgiving activities for kindergarten, plus read aloud ideas, an emergent reader freebie, and more to help make lesson planning easier during this busy month!
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Thanksgiving Read Alouds
There's just something about Thanksgiving read alouds that gets everyone in the spirit of celebration and gratitude.
Using Thanksgiving read alouds in your classroom is a great way to help students learn about the history of Thanksgiving while sharing what they're thankful for.
Here are some of my all-time favorite Thanksgiving read alouds that are spot on for kindergarten.
- One is a Feast for Mouse
- The Great Turkey Race
- The Best Thanksgiving Ever
- The Littlest Pilgrim
- T is for Turkey
- Who Will Carve the Turkey This Thanksgiving?
- This is the Turkey
- Thanksgiving Rules
- Thanks for Thanksgiving
- The Amazing Turkey Rescue
- Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving
- Balloons Over Broadway
- Bear Says Thanks
November Writing Centers
With all of the exciting Thanksgiving topics to write about, November is a fun time to practice enhancing your kindergarten students’ beginning writing skills.
One way that you can do this is by using November-themed vocabulary words and hands-on writing activities within your writing centers. This helps students learn more about the Thanksgiving holiday, use new words in context, and have fun as they strengthen their writing skills.
Consider allowing your students to share their personal favorites and opinions as they write about what they are thankful for, their favorite Thanksgiving foods to eat, and whether they prefer apple pie or pumpkin pie. You can find all of these writing activities and more within these November Writing Center activities.
With a variety of activities included in the resource, your students gain writing practice by completing different tasks such as labeling, building sentences, and more.
The November writing centers contain exciting activities that ask students to tell a story about a family having Thanksgiving dinner, create and illustrate a silly Thanksgiving sentence, and write a Thanksgiving postcard to someone.
To practice thankfulness this month, consider having students write their Thanksgiving postcard to someone in the school that they are thankful for. This is a great way to show appreciation for cafeteria workers, custodians, front office staff, etc.
DIY Thankfulness Chain
This DIY Thankfulness Chain is one of my favorite Thanksgiving activities for kindergarten and is a great addition to your centers. It's easy to prep and implement and sparks great conversations with your students.
To prep, cut 2″ X 6″ strips of different colored construction paper. Give students 3 strips each and have them write something they're thankful for on each strip. This activity can be made easier by giving students only 1 or 2 strips each. This is a great time to help students practice sounding out words.
Stand in a circle and have students read their strips and tell what they're thankful for. Make a loop and connect it to the next person's strip with either tape or a stapler to form a long chain.
Once everyone has read what they're thankful for and connected their strips, you'll have a class Thankfulness Chain. You can hang this in your classroom as part of your Thanksgiving decor.
You can also do this same activity as a way of creating a Friendship Chain. To do this, students write something kind about a friend on their strips instead.
November Roll & Spin Activities
With kindergarteners, predictability helps build confidence. These November Roll & Spin games all use the same basic directions, so once your students know how to play one game, they know how to play them all!
Having predictable math and literacy activities in place during a busy month like November not only helps your students, but also saves you a ton of time during a month when you’re already stretched thin.
Covering standards like number order to 10, one more and one less, simple sentences, and short e words, these Thanksgiving activities for kindergarten provide extra practice with the skills you’re already teaching in your classroom.
These games are a fun, low-key way to have students gain extra practice during the last few minutes of the day, during centers, or after recess.
For added excitement, send a Roll & Spin game home for students to play during Thanksgiving break with their families. Not only will it keep the content you’ve been working on fresh in your students’ minds, but it’ll also inspire families to spend a little extra time together during this family-centered holiday.
Thanksgiving Placemat Freebie
Want to add an easy holiday craft to your Thanksgiving centers? This Thanksgiving placemat freebie is quick prep and easy to use with your students. Just print, have your students color the placemat pieces, and then draw and label a picture of something that they are thankful for. It's as easy as that. For added fun, consider laminating them and using them for your class' Thanksgiving feast!
November Morning Tub Activities
Mornings during the holidays often feel a little chaotic. Between schedule changes, school events, fun activities, and more, trying to find morning work that your students enjoy but that is also easy to prep can feel exhausting.
One of the best ways to keep your students on track in the mornings is with hands-on activities that give a soft start. These turkey-themed morning tub activities are perfect to use all November long with your little learners.
Your students will gain independence as they work on important math, literacy, and fine motor skills with a variety of fun activities that are perfect for the season. Activities include matching numbers with feathers, identifying beginning sounds of pictures, and more fun.
Want more info on how morning tubs work? Check out this post.
November Math and Literacy Centers
Another way to incorporate turkey-themed activities into your lesson plans is with November themed math and literacy centers.
With themes like turkeys in disguise, football, and Thanksgiving food, your students will love these hands-on, themed center activities.
With 13 literacy and 13 math centers included, you’ll have all of the center activities you need for the whole month!
A follow-up worksheet is included for each center to help reinforce the skills being taught. Plus, it holds students accountable for their learning which is important even for kindergarteners.
You’ll love using these Thanksgiving activities for kindergarten as early finisher work, informal assessments, homework, or small group instruction.
Thanksgiving Emergent Readers Freebie
Want to add holiday fun to your small groups? These FREE Thanksgiving mini books will be a hit with your students.
Teach your students how to fold the books on their own and then allow them to color the black and white images as they read through all four emergent readers.
Three little stars are included on the front cover to help students track how many times they’ve read the book. As students finish reading, they color in a star. They continue until they’ve read and colored in all three stars.
With simple, predictable text, these readers are perfect for your kindergarten students to read at school or at home.
Get the free Thanksgiving readers sent right to your e-mail!
I hope these read alouds and Thanksgiving activities for kindergarten make planning just a little bit easier for you this November. For even more Thanksgiving games and center ideas to add to your lesson plans, check out this blog post.