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Thanksgiving Fun Activities and Games For Kids

Looking for Thanksgiving fun activities and learning games this Thanksgiving? Other than learning about the history and tradition of Thanksgiving, students can engage in many more activities.

So, what are some fun Thanksgiving activities?

Here are a few that your students can do:

  • go on a scavenger hunt for fun Thanksgiving facts
  • play a game of Thanksgiving scoot and build number sense skills
  • read and reflect on a Thanksgiving Recount
  • write a Turkey Book Report
  • craft a Thanksgiving facts flipbook
  • and even review for the ELA standardized tests.

Thanksgiving Fun Activities #1: A Scavenger Hunt

What better way to get school kids up and moving this Thanksgiving – but with a scavenger hunt that’s not just fun, but informative too. Students learn all about the history and tradition of Thanksgiving by going on a hunt around the classroom for 32 fact cards.

Thanksgiving History & Tradition Activity
Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt

For added excitement, be sure to hide the cards in the most difficult-to-find places in your classroom. Armed with the recording sheet attached to a clipboard and a writing tool, students will hunt for each fact card. They will read the information and then respond to the question.

This involves applying key reading strategies. This is a vital skill that all students need to possess in order to ace any English Language Arts standardized test.

Thanksgiving Reading History & Tradition Activity
Thanksgiving History Sheets

After the Hunt, students will reflect on their learning by writing about the facts they found the most interesting on Thanksgiving. This, no doubt, is a combination of Thanksgiving fun activities and a game.

Thanksgiving Reading Comprehension Activity
Thanksgiving Reflection

This Thanksgiving activity is also perfect for kids who find reading overwhelming. This is because information on each card is presented in manageable chunks.

Kids who are kinesthetic learners benefit too, as the Hunt involves movement. Students get to walk around the class trying to find the task cards in order to answer the questions on their recording sheets.

My kids love this Thanksgiving activity, and it’s interesting to watch them, clipboard and pencil in hand, enthusiastically trying to find the hunt cards.

To further reinforce learning, a digital version of the Scavenger Hunt for Thanksgiving facts can be assigned to students at Boom Learning.

Thanksgiving Digital Reading Comprehension Activities
Thanksgiving History Boom Digital

Students have the additional support of an audio reading of the information on each card. The multiple-choice option is also self-grading making it convenient for both teacher and students.

Thanksgiving Fun Activities #2: A QR Code Hunt

What about Thanksgiving fun activities that are digital? Kids are more enthusiastic to learn if the activity involves the use of technology and this Thanksgiving activity is a digital QR Code version of the Scavenger Hunt.

Each fact card has a QR code, which when scanned reveals the answer to a question on a fun Thanksgiving fact. 

Thanksgiving QR Code Hunt History & Tradition Activity
Thanksgiving QR Code Hunt

To make it more challenging, students need to make an educated guess prior to scanning the code for the response. Interestingly, they are still learning as they think, read, and write their responses on the recording sheets.

Thanksgiving Fun Activities #3: ELA Digital Review

Have you ever assigned your students Thanksgiving fun activities that prepare them for the ELA standardized tests? In this activity, students will read each fact card in a Google Form and respond to the grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, or spelling question by selecting the correct option.

That’s subtle learning in practice.

Students receive instant feedback after the submission of the form with this fun Thanksgiving-themed ELA Test Prep activity. An instant score is provided in addition to written feedback for specific incorrect responses.

Thanksgiving Reading Comprehension ELA Test Prep Activities
Thanksgiving Grammar Activity

The teacher can analyze each student’s response to further dictate teaching and learning.

Thanksgiving Fun Activities #4: Thanksgiving Flipbook

Part of the process of celebrating Thanksgiving is to also research its history and origin. The editable Thanksgiving Flipbook can help scaffold and document the report writing process.

Writing in a flipbook would also motivate students who are writing challenged, as each section of the flipbook scaffolds the writing process.

Besides the flipbook also serves the purpose of

  • collating information
  • writing a draft
  • self-editing and peer editing prior to publishing
  • making an impressive bulletin board display.
History of Thanksgiving Research Flipbook
Thanksgiving Research Flipbook

Moreover, the end result would be a hall-stopping display of students’ research flipbooks on a bulletin board. Now wouldn’t that be the highlight of whole-school thanksgiving fun activities!

And if students prefer to use a digital flipbook to document research, this makes the whole process of presenting content information easier. Students simply type onto the digital template and have the option to share the completed flipbook with the class.

History of Thanksgiving Digital Flipbook
Thanksgiving Digital Flipbook

No cutting, pasting and assembly is needed. Less mess overall.

Thanksgiving Fun Activities #5: Reading & Writing

Yet another way by which students can connect with the history of Thanksgiving is by writing a personal recount from the perspective of a character aboard the Mayflower.

In this Thanksgiving Recount Writing activity, Mary (fictional character) connects to the reader with her gripping narration of the events that unfolded. This was the time when the Separatists left their small town in Nottinghamshire, England in the year 1620 to the time when they reached their final destination.

Thanksgiving Reading Comprehension and Writing Activities
Thanksgiving Writing My Story

The Constructive questions also target factual information, thus enabling students to practice key comprehension skills. By the end of the activity, students have a sound knowledge of the events that led up to the establishment of the Plymouth Plantation and consequently the celebration of the First Thanksgiving.

This will be another perfect addition to the bulletin board display.

Thanksgiving Fun Activities #6: Number Sense Scoot

Number sense activities, like the game of Scoot with a Thanksgiving theme, can make learning all the more fun.

Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division skills can all be reviewed in the context of the Thanksgiving celebration month.

Thanksgiving Math Number Sense Activities
Thanksgiving Number Sense Scoot

Thanksgiving Addition Scoot

In the Addition Scoot Cards pack, students practice the below number sense skills:

  • relating addition to multiplication
  • working with arrays
  • identifying the missing addends in addition facts.
  • working out the sum of two given numbers
  • writing an addition sentence for a given illustration
  • problem-solving using illustrations
Thanksgiving Math Addition Strategies Activities
Thanksgiving Addition Scoot

Thanksgiving Subtraction Scoot

The Subtraction Scoot Cards review the following skills:

  • subtraction facts and number bonds
  • working with arrays
  • identifying the minuend, subtrahend and difference in a subtraction sentence
  • solving subtraction problems
  • writing a subtraction sentence for a given illustration
  • problem-solving using illustrations
Thanksgiving Math Subtraction Activities
Thanksgiving Subtraction Scoot

Thanksgiving Multiplication Scoot

With the Multiplication Scoot Cards, students will:

  • multiplication facts and addition number sentences
  • arrays
  •  missing factors
  •  the product of two given numbers
  • multiplication sentences for given illustrations (group, collection)
  • filling in the blanks with numbers next in sequence
  • relating multiplication and addition
  • completing the multiplication facts for illustrations
  • problem-solving using illustrations
Thanksgiving Math Multiplication Strategies Activities
Thanksgiving Multiplication Scoot

Thanksgiving Division Scoot

And finally, the Division Scoot Cards facilitate students to:

  • relate division facts for multiplication sentences
  • write a division fact for a given array
  • identify the missing number in a division fact
  • find the quotient of two given numbers
  • know the dividend and divisor in a division sentence
  • express a division fact for a given illustration
  • problem-solve using illustrations
Thanksgiving Math Division Activities
Thanksgiving Division Scoot

How to Prepare For a Game of Scoot

To play the Thanksgiving Scoot Games, choose to practice one number operation at a time.

Display the 32 scoot cards in the classroom. I personally like to attach them to the walls using some blu-tack rather than leaving them on students’ desks. This prevents cards from flying off in all the fun and getting lost. 

Students can then start at any card, read the problem, and write their answers on the recording sheet.

Before students go off on their hunt armed with their clipboard and writing tool, it would be best to familiarize them with the types of questions on the cards. Hence quickly going over all the different problem types prior to commencement would contribute to the activity’s success.

To reinforce skills, a digital version of the Multiplication Scoot Game can also be assigned to students.

Thanksgiving Math Time Tables to 12 Boom Cards
Thanksgiving Digital Time Tables

An Alternative to Scoot

The Place Value Scavenger Hunt is one of many thanksgiving fun activities and is similar to the Scoot game. There is an added element of fun as students need to find the answer to a question on their card on another card.

Thanksgiving Math Place Value Activities
Thanksgiving Place Value Hunt

It’s kind of a looping activity and brings the student back to the first card they started with. Feedback is instant and this activity is self-grading, which makes it all the more endearing.

Thanksgiving Fun Activities #7: Reading Word Wheels

Teaching students to read is fundamental in a phonics program. Integrate it with a festive theme like Thanksgiving – and it becomes fun.

In these reading wheels, students will turn the wheel to read 179 Dolch Sight Words.

Thanksgiving Craft Reading Activities
Thanksgiving Reading Dolch Words

Thanksgiving Fun Activities #8: At Boom Learning

Boom Learning is a digital platform for kids of all ages. Think of it as a medium where students work on digital task cards that are interactive and have the fun components of a game.

The cards in a deck advance if students get a response correct, alternatively, students are given prompts and clues to try again for incorrect responses.

The range of activities can be varied too. The Thanksgiving Letter Sound Recognition Activity requires students to listen to the sound of a letter and then drag and drop the correct pumpkin letter from a choice of three.

This could be added to your collection of phonics thanksgiving fun activities.

Thanksgiving Letter Sound Recognition Activities
Thanksgiving letter Sound Recognition

Banner to Celebrate Thanksgiving Activities in Your Classroom

What better way to introduce all the Thanksgiving fun activities, games, and crafts in your classroom than with an eye-catching decorative banner!

Access the free Thanksgiving-themed banner for your classroom. Remember to display students’ work below and I would be thrilled if you tag me on the Gram @teachtotell

Thanksgiving Craft Banner Display
Free Thanksgiving Banner

Here’s to your students having memorable Thanksgiving fun activities in your classroom!

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Looking to ban the boring and teach your students to have a passion for writing? This post on ‘Ban the Boring! How to Teach Writing That’s Interesting’ informs you on the process.

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