Thanksgiving is the perfect time for some a fun turkey-themed classroom activity, but the holiday lends itself to tons of creative educational activities. A fun activity centered around thankfulness, a holiday feast, or celebratory parades is the perfect way to get kids in the thanksgiving spirit. All of these can also be adapted for students from 1st Grade to 5th Grade by changing up the difficulty level or adding a few delightful writing activities as extensions. Here is a look at 15 fun thanksgiving activities for elementary schools.
1. Thankful Turkey
Turkeys are quirky and charming Thanksgiving icons that will pop up multiple times throughout your holiday-themed lessons. This Turkey craft lets students write down what they are thankful for in their own lives, a good reminder of what the holiday is all about.
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2. Thanksgiving Money Activity
Print out this activity sheet for students to buy all the delicious Thanksgiving foods their hearts desire. This easy money activity is perfect for 1st Grade or 2nd Grade students learning about finances ahead of the holiday.
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3. Floating Mayflower
Don't get stuck in a rut with watered-down Thanksgiving activities like hand-traced turkeys. Get creative with a Turkey-day STEM activity centered around the Mayflower as colonial history also makes up a big part of these holiday lessons.
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4. Pumpkin Puzzle
Turn any dreary math project on its head by turning it into a fun pumpkin shape. Kids get to work on their fine motor skills by cutting carefully on the lines and rearranging the pieces for the equations to be correct.
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5. Turkey Clock
Get 1st-grade students excited about telling the time with this fun turkey clock. All you need is a paper plate, some yellow colored paper, and paint to create a cool clock that is both fun and educational.
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6. Thanksgiving Crossword
Every fourth- and fifth-grade teacher can tell you, kids love crossword puzzles. This puzzle has an extra surprise too, a riddle that runs vertically once all the clues have been completed successfully. Kids will race to see who can be the first to complete the riddle and win a special Thanksgiving surprise.
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7. Design a New Parade Balloon
Kids adore the magic of Thanksgiving Day Parades, whether they get to witness them in person or are glued to their TV screens. Let them get creative and design their own unique float balloons and explain why they chose their design on this free printable.
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8. Turkey Recipe Writing
Kids don't need to be master chefs to understand the sequence of events that are followed when cooking. Do you eat the turkey before you cook it? Certainly not! Let them write down in which order they think a turkey is cooked in this fun writing activity.
Learn more: Tickled Pink Primary
9. Turkey SuDoKu
Regular SuDoKu with a 9x9 configuration might be a bit difficult for young elementary students but this themed alternative is perfect for a lower grade level. The 4x4 grid is filled with images related to the holiday season, creating an easy task that kids can complete on their own.
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10. No-Bake Pumpkin Pie
No Thanksgiving table is complete without a yummy pumpkin pie but baking in class might be a little tricky. This delicious pumpkin pie recipe does not require any baking and can be made in class with just a few ingredients.
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11. Parade Route
Elementary schools students love reading the classic "Balloons Over Broadway" book and it allows for plenty of fun extension activities. Let kids plan the parade route and read the route allowed with instructions of where floats will turn and what they will pass on the way.
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12. Turkey Races
Physics activity ideas can be given a fun Thanksgiving twist with a few well-placed feathers and googly eyes. These turkey balloons can be used to demonstrate a few physics principles and students can note their findings. What happens if the balloon is made heavier? How about if you pull the turkey's tail down while pushing it forward?
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13. Playdough Pie
Fractions can be a daunting concept to learn, but turning fractions into bite-sized lessons with a pie theme is the perfect way to introduce elementary school students to this area of maths. Use orange clay and different playdough mats to express fractions and help them cut the pie.
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14. Shake Your Tail Feathers
Kids can play dress up as turkeys and try and shake feathers out of a tissue box tied around their waist. The game is tons of fun but can double as a counting activity as they must calculate how many feathers are left in the box after each turn.
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15. Turkey Dice Game
Any game that involves competition and snacks is a winner with elementary school students. This fun dice game lets them roll dice to try and complete the turkey's tail with candy. It's fun and easy with chocolate as a reward, an all-around winning game!
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