Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays to incorporate into math centers and reading activities. I have compiled my favorite Thanksgiving activities for upper elementary grades in this post.
Thanksgiving Science Activities
I am loving these super engaging and fun science activities that are Thanksgiving themed with a focus on cranberries, a popular Thanksgiving staple. One science activity involves fresh cranberries and whether or not they will float. The other activity has students experimenting with dried cranberries and sprite to watch the cranberries “dance”. Click here to read a detailed blog post about these activities and grab a mini booklet to use as a recording sheet.
Another science activity that can is perfect for Thanksgiving is the “Bending Bones” demonstration. Read more and grab the freebies to complete this activity by clicking here.
Thanksgiving Reading Activities
There are a ton of Thanksgiving themed books to read during the month of November. These are two of my favorite books to read to my fifth graders.
I love In November by Cynthia Rylant because of the beautiful language. This is a great mentor text to teach students about writer’s craft. Thank You, Sarah is a book about the woman who persisted and after several attempts finally got Thanksgiving approved as a federal holiday. This book is great for teaching theme and characterization.
Looking for some fun, fantasy Thanksgiving read alouds with a turkey theme? Click here to read about two of my favorite Thanksgiving turkey read alouds AND grab free printables to use with those read alouds.
I also love using my Thanksgiving themed reading passages during independent reading and as a break from our normal reading homework routine. Click here to read more about our normal reading homework.
These reading passages are great to use because they are common core aligned and engaging for the students. This set includes a poem, informational text, and a fiction text so students can have practice reading a variety of genres. Each passage includes text dependent questions, as well as printable graphic organizers. Click here to see the Thanksgiving Just Print Reading pack.
These free bookmarks are also a nice “treat” to give to students. My students always love getting new themed bookmarks. These can be printed on colored card stock or on white card stock for the students to color. They could even be laminated for continued use and durability. Click here to download these bookmarks for free.
Figurative language is one of my favorite skills to teach. However, my students seem to always struggle with identifying the different types and determining the meaning. To provide more practice, I started creating these seasonal figurative language centers. This was one of the first ones I created. Students sort the feathers to the correct turkey by matching the type of figurative language. See it in my TeachersPayTeachers store here.
Thanksgiving Writing Activities
I love these free writing prompts for getting students into the spirit of giving thanks and showing gratitude. One has the students writing a descriptive paragraph or essay about all the things in they are thankful for in their lives. The other prompt is an acrostic poem using the phrase, “Give Thanks”.
We also had a blast with a pie eating writing activity. This Thanksgiving themed writing activity works well with persuasive and informational writing. Click here to read more and grab the free printables for the pie testing writing activity.
Thanksgiving Math Activities
Finally, it would not be a normal holiday if I didn’t include themed math centers in my math instruction. The first set of math centers shown are included in my Fall and Thanksgiving Math Centers pack. These centers review a variety of skills from word problems and decimals to basic fractions and whole number skills.
This next math center is a favorite of my students. They use a Thanksgiving Dinner Menu to solve a variety of different tasks. They also use the menu to take each other’s orders and calculate the total cost. That is by far their favorite part of this activity. Click here to purchase this center from my store.
Themed holiday math worksheets are also a must for morning work and homework. These Fall and Thanksgiving Differentiated Math Tasks and Just Print Math Printables are perfect for mixing up things and easily integrating themed practice into the classroom with no additional prep on the part of the teacher.
And finally, a Thanksgiving math FREEBIE! These Thanksgiving logic puzzles are so fun for students. Click here to read more about them and get them for free!
Those are my favorite go-to activities for Thanksgiving. Check out my favorite fall themed activities here. What are your favorite Thanksgiving activities to do in your classroom? Let us know in the comments.