Thanksgiving classroom activities make classroom management during the holidays so much easier for teachers! It is so much easier to keep kids focused when you have holiday themed classroom activities in your wheelhouse. Your students minds are already on the holidays and time off, so use that to your advantage by giving them Thanksgiving themed classroom activities so they don't have to drastically shift their focus!
Thanksgiving classroom activities:
Writing Assignment: What are you thankful for?
Get your students in the Thanksgiving mood by having them write a short paper or paragraph about what they are thankful for. This could be an assignment for fun or an assignment for a grade. Give them some quiet time before they begin writing to reflect on the things they are grateful for and encourage them to be open, honest, and serious. If you want to make this activity a bit less serious activity, grab a large poster and turn it in to a group activity. Ask each student to raise their hand to tell you something they're grateful for, or go around the classroom so they can each answer individually. Write everything down on the poster and hang it up in the classroom to remind them that Thanksgiving is on the way!
Thanksgiving coloring sheets:
Coloring sheets are every kid's favorite classroom activity. If you're looking for a way to fill the end of the day before Thanksgiving break or you just want to help them get excited for the holidays, hand out some Thanksgiving themed coloring sheets & let them take some time to color them in. You can print off line drawings of Turkey's, cornucopias, or even fall leaves.
Writing assignment: What's your favorite thing about Thanksgiving?
Give your students some time to reflect with this writing assignment. It can be used as a substitution for the "What are you thankful for" writing assignment or it can be used supplementally. Does Thanksgiving mean that they get to spend quality time with family? Does it mean that they get to go out of town? Does it mean that they get to help their mom or grandmother cook? What makes Thanksgiving special for them? This can be a graded or for fun activity & can be as long or short as you'd like for it to be.
Thanksgiving Classroom Crafts:
Everybody knows about hand turkeys—they're a classic Thanksgiving classroom activity. All you'll need is some paint, paper, pens or markers, and paper towels. Give your students a brief tutorial on how to make their very own hand turkey and let them make them on their own. Or if they're a bit younger, let them come up to the front of the classroom to stamp their painted hand and then while they're drying, you can have them all wash their hands & read a Thanksgiving story or complete a Thanksgiving activity. Once they're dry, you can hand them back out and let your students decorate their hand turkeys however they'd like to with crayons, markers, or pencils! For a cleaner option altogether, you can have them trace their hands & add details with markers and crayons. This doesn't have to be a high maintenance or messy activity!
Print off some thanksgiving photos or bring in some fall themed magazines for your students & let them make some Thanksgiving collages! This activity is great for older kids that can be trusted with scissors and glue. You could even add to the pot of collage materials by asking them to bring in old magazines from home!
Construction Paper Turkeys
Give your kids some colorful construction paper and have them craft their own Turkey's! To make this a bit easier, print guides on to the construction paper so that they know what shapes to cut out. You can even work together and lead them step by step at the front of the classroom so they are more engaged and stay on task.
Thanksgiving Classroom Decorations:
Thanksgiving Window Stickers
Thanksgiving window stickers are great for Thanksgiving Classroom decorations. They come off super easily and don't take much time to put up. You can typically find window stickers pretty easily at the Dollar Store, Michael's, or even on Amazon. Grab some leaves, pilgrim hats, turkeys, and other fall themed stickers to keep your kids excited for the holidays.
Turkey Bulletin Board Decoration
If you have an empty bulletin board that you typically use for Holidays or seasonal decorations, put up a construction paper turkey or find one online and print it out to pin it up. You can have your students write what they're thankful for on individual turkey feathers and have a "Happy Thanksgiving" banner above it as well!
Jeweled Corn, Gourds, and Pumpkins
Want to bring some color to your classroom while staying true to the Thanksgiving theme? There's nothing more Thanksgiving than gourds, pumpkins, and corn. Grab some jeweled corn husks, miniature gourds, and small pumpkins to scatter about your classroom. Your kids will be absolutely mesmerized by how gorgeous nature can be. Not only that, but you can also repurpose these decorations as activities once the Thanksgiving season draws to a close. Have a day where you paint the miniature pumpkins & gourds and use the jeweled corn kernels as collaging material.
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