Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday that is celebrated by numerous people of various backgrounds and religions. It is also a terrific time for reflecting and being grateful for the blessings we have in our lives. Therefore, you should provide activities in the classroom to help students understand and appreciate this amazing holiday.
Incorporating Thanksgiving activities into high school lesson plans can often prove to be a challenging task, so we are providing you with a list of 15 thought-provoking activities that will keep your high school students engaged and learning.
1. Listen to a Podcast
Spend the day before Thanksgiving by allowing your students to listen to one of two podcasts and complete a follow-up activity. For example, have the students complete an activity on gratitude by creating a gratitude chain. They may also complete research to determine whose Native land they are living on.
Learn more: Building Book Love
2. Thanksgiving Mourning
This activity for middle and high school students provides a different Thanksgiving perspective from Native Americans that will encourage reflection. Students will view Thanksgiving-focused writings and then participate in discussions and writing activities.
Learn more: Learning for Justice
3. You are the Historian Game
This interactive online game allows students of all ages to investigate the first Thanksgiving. It explores the life of the Wampanoag people prior to the European settlement. It also provides great details of the year that led up to the 1621 harvest feast which the modern world refers to as the first Thanksgiving.
Learn more: Plimonth.org
4. Gratitude Writing Activity
This printable Thanksgiving activity is a great writing lesson for high school students to celebrate the holiday and practice their writing skills. This effective activity will help your students develop a gratitude mindset and practice kindness as they write thankful letters to others.
Learn more: Teacher Vision
5. Thanksgiving Activities
This terrific resource provides six classroom activities perfect for high school students. They can explore the history of Thanksgiving, participate in comparison shopping, complete a service-learning project, write a short story, and more.
Learn more: My School Dance
6. Thanksgiving Crossword Puzzle
Crossword puzzles are fun activities! This Thanksgiving puzzle is a wonderful activity for a wide span of grade levels. Many of your high school students will know the puzzle answers. You may wish to provide online access to those who need additional assistance.
Learn more: Real Life at Home
7. Plymouth Gazette
High school kids will enjoy this easy-to-implement writing project as they get to publish their very own Plymouth Gazette. They can work in small groups to complete different sections of the newspaper from the perspective of Pilgrims in 1621. They can then distribute the papers to other students in the “Plymouth Colony.”
Learn more: Education World
8. Corn Husk Doll
Crafts projects are super engaging, and this is a fun fall activity for high school students! Native American and Colonial American families grew corn, and they used the husks to create dolls. Follow the easy instructions that are provided to help students create their very own corn husk dolls. This will become one of your favorite classroom activities!
Learn more: Teachers First
9. Fabric Wall Art
High school students, as well as middle school students, enjoy art projects. This cute Thanksgiving wall art is made from scraps of fabric and is perfect for decorating during the holiday season. Use the free template and gather a few materials, and you will be ready to get crafty!
Learn more: Craftidly
10. Attitude of Gratitude Activity
Gratitude activities are perfect for middle school students and high school students. They often focus on negatives in their lives as opposed to positives. For this activity, students create gratitude journals and use them to maintain a list of all the things in life for which they are grateful. This shifts from a negative mindset to a positive mindset.
Learn more: 7 Mindsets Portal
11. Thanksgiving and the Wampanoag People
This is a great lesson to incorporate into the social studies curriculum during Thanksgiving. Students will learn about the modern-day Wampanoag people and examine their current issues in which their tribes continue the fight for their ancestral homelands.
Learn more: Share My Lesson
12. The Great Thanksgiving Listen
Middle and high school students will interview and record a friend, mentor, or elder to create an oral history project that focuses on the modern-day United States. This is one of the best digital activities in which students and teachers can be included. Add this activity to your lesson plans, and enjoy listening to this collection of stories!
Learn more: Share My Lesson
13. The Geography of Thanksgiving Dinner
This favorite activity will allow the high school student to identify common Thanksgiving foods as well as their farm source. They must determine if these common foods can be locally produced, and they must locate the origins of their Thanksgiving dinner. An educational video is also provided by the History Channel.
Learn more: National Agriculture in the Classroom
14. Corn and Pumpkin Paper Weavings
This fun craft can be completed among a span of grade levels. To complete the paper weavings, you will need a variety of colored construction paper. This is an activity perfect for Thanksgiving!
Learn more: JDaniel4’s Mom
15. Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are lots of fun for kids and adults, and they can be incorporated into any curriculum. Divide the kids into small groups and let them enjoy competing against one another to see which team finds everything first.
Learn more: Confessions of Parenting