Thanksgiving activities that don’t require worksheets


I was always bad about holidays in the classroom. This is terrible, I know, but I would often forget until the last minute that there even was a holiday. Usually by the time I remembered, I was too late to put in my copy request, so here are some fun things to do in honor of Thanksgiving that don’t require worksheets.

Thanksgiving Fruit Salad

Ask each student to bring in a piece of fruit or a can of fruit. If you are lucky to have parent volunteers, recruit a few to cut the fruit. Throw it in a bowl, and voila! Thanksgiving Fruit Salad. On the Friday before break, we would eat lunch in the classroom, always a big treat for students. We would put all our desks together to make one large banquet table, share the fruit salad, and students who want to can share what they are thankful for. (Bonus: make it a science lesson about mixtures.)

Talk Like a Pilgrim

Make a poster of words and phrases that pilgrims used. For the day before Thanksgiving Break, use as many as possible in your everyday language, and encourage students to do the same. Click here for a great website with a list of Pilgrim words and phrases. 

Pilgrim Games

Go outside and play some of these games that pilgrim children may have played. Or turn it into a research assignment, and have each student teach the class a pilgrim game. Click the links for games pilgrims played:

Wampanoag and Pilgrim Fun and Games

Daily Life: Games

Three Outdoor Pilgrim Games

Five of the Best Thanksgiving Games

Games Pilgrims Play

First Thanksgiving Menu

Kids and adults alike are often surprised to learn that turkey may not have been on the menu at the first Thanksgiving. In fact, it is likely that the meal was heavy on the shellfish. Make a class list of common Thanksgiving menu items today, and compare it to the food that was served at the first Thanksgiving. Have students design a restaurant-style menu for the first Thanksgiving.

First Thanksgiving

The First Thanksgiving Foods

Daily Life: Food

Who Brought the Turkey

Reader’s Theater

Always fun, and always a good way to practice fluency. Here are some Thanksgiving scripts I found on the Internet.

A Turkey Takes a Stand

ABC’s of the First Thanksgiving

Have fun!

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