The following is a post from contributing writer, Tanya, of Finding the Teachable Moments.
Thanksgiving holds so many opportunities for fun and learning. Here are some ideas and resources for a variety of Thanksgiving themed topics.
The Mayflower Voyage
We checked this book out from the library last year and my boys absolutely loved it! It’s a funny depiction of two real-life brothers who traveled to America on the Mayflower and got into all kinds of mischief along the way.
This is another book we borrowed from the library last year. It’s non-fiction and packed full of information, but written in language easy for children to follow.
School Time Snippets shared a really cool activity for learning Mayflower facts. See how they used it as both a puzzle and a lift-the-flap project. Very clever!
I chose this as our chapter book read-aloud last year. It tells the lesser known part of the Thanksgiving story, Squanto’s life and role in helping the Pilgrims. A very interesting read (but kind of sad).
Another option is Squanto’s Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving, a picture book version of Squanto’s story.
His Mercy is New made this snack to illustrate how Squanto helped the Pilgrims learn to plant and fertilize corn.
The First Thanksgiving
This book is full of history and includes illustrations of Thanksgiving food eaten back then compared to the traditional Thanksgiving feasts we enjoy today.
Scholastic offers a free printable activity to get kids thinking about Thanksgiving then and Thanksgiving now. It would be a great compliment to the book. Scholastic also has a wonderful site full of resources dedicated to learning about The First Thanksgiving. It includes a virtual field trip and lesson plan ideas for all grade levels.
How Thanksgiving became a holiday
This is the story of the woman who dedicated her life to making Thanksgiving a national holiday. A lovely addition to any Thanksgiving book basket!
Turkey Themed Learning
Criss Cross Applesauce shares some more color by number Turkeys for younger learners. She includes printable turkey math for numbers 1-5 , simple addition, and teen numbers for preschoolers and kindergarteners.
Thanksgiving Themed Printables
I love using printable packs. They are an easy way to incorporate themed learning into our school time. I think many activities in the packs can be used with early elementary aged children along with preschoolers.
I love the way Deb Chitwood presents a selection of Thanksgiving printable activities. In the photo above, she prepared an activity for clapping syllables using a themed printable. See her post on Pre-K and K Sharing for more Thanksgiving printable ideas!
Here are a few Thanksgiving printable packs that can be used with children ranging in age from toddler to early elementary:
T is for Thanksgiving by Oopsey Daisy
Thanksgiving Printable Pack from Homeschool Creations
Thanksgiving Pack from 3 Dinosaurs
A good book to get kids thinking about what they are thankful for!
I love this creative idea from Fantastic Fun and Learning. Read Shaunna’s post and see how to take advantage of the season to emphasize gratitude, and end up with a sweet centerpiece for your thanksgiving table!
Tanya is a homeschooling mom of three who is passionate about hands-on learning. She blogs at Finding the Teachable Moments about unit studies, learning through play, and activities for preschoolers and elementary aged kiddos. Follow along with her on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. These don’t change the price you pay, but they do help this writer. Thanks!
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