I may not be a total Thanksgiving obsessed person. Don’t get me wrong, I love the entire month of gratitude but it’s the part where we kill millions of turkeys. Not a huge vegetarian but it always makes my heart hurt a little thinking about it. That may be why I try my hardest to have amazing Thanksgiving activities for my students that don’t revolve around Thanksgiving dinner.

Math Pack

Although we are teaching upper elementary students, that doesn’t mean that we can’t celebrate holidays. One of my favorite ways to do this is by adding turkeys to their practice pages. I usually like my students to have some type of math practice as homework, math center, or even morning work.

A Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving No-Prep Pack

These math pages are absolutely perfect for this because they can review past skills like

  • •Order of Operations
  • •Compare Fractions
  • •Fraction Multiplication
  • •Subtracting Like Fractions
  • •Rounding
  • and still be themed around Thanksgiving!

STEM Challenge

You know I love all things science – which was probably evident in the Halloween post. For November, I wanted something fun and engaging but again…based around turkeys! I used the book “How to Catch a Turkey” and give my students a ton of popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners.

If you’re pressed for time, bring in your hot glue gun and have the students tell you where to place the glue. I do not let my students do this part but I double check to make sure it’s what they want!

Not only are you integrating your ELA into your STEM block but it has never been as important then now! Read the adorable book How to Catch a Turkey and then allow the students to work on drafting their trap! Check out the pages that go with it.

This is the cover for the picture book How To Catch a Turkey.
Thanksgiving STEM Project

Choice Boards 

I love choice boards. I wish I found them earlier in my career. They are seriously a game changer in my classroom. You give your students a home page.

This has 9 different Thanksgiving activities for the students to complete. Then they can select what they plan on completing. I usually have the students make “requests” for their choice boards. I will have them circle the 3 challenges that they want to complete and then I print it for them. I love that they can explore different ideas and try activities that they normally wouldn’t do. The Thanksgiving Choice Boards can be found here.

A Thanksgiving choice boards for the upper elementary classroom

Project Based Learning 

Project Based Learning (PBL) can be amazing for your students if you utilize them correctly. I would never tell you to just assign a PBL as busy work. There should be a reason why they are completing this activity.

The Thanksgiving PBL allows students to challenge themself when working with decimals. The PBL that we work in is providing an entire meal for a certain amount of people. The students get to practice adding, subtracting, and multiplying decimals. Usually around Thanksgiving time, they are able to complete these 3 things so it works out really well! 

Thanksgiving Project Based Learning

Social Studies Project 

We know that centers and hands on activities are going to be the best for your students. Let me help with that. This History of Thanksgiving Social Studies Project or Centers are amazing to use in your classroom either in a normal classroom or while working through Distance Learning.

Thanksgiving Activities link for a social studies project

Escape Room

I never really cared for Escape Rooms until I played one with my students. It was so much fun. I love no-prep things and a digital escape room does just that! It allows me to assign an activity to the students without spending HOURS creating it. I used a Google Site to create the Thanksgiving Escape Room and then let my students explore through there.

Using Thanksgiving Activities

I love being able to bring some fun into the classroom. It’s not always perfect but neither am I so that is okay with me. These are some of my favorites to include in my classroom during the month of November.

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