I’ve been slowly working through the homeschool holidays to get everything organized so I can know what we like to do, and then I hit Thanksgiving.
I discovered I don’t have any posts on a homeschool Thanksgiving, and that’s because I spent most of the kids early years trying to decide how I wanted to teach this holiday. It’s a tricky one because it’s easy to get into stereotypes, and I’ve already got enough people complaining at me with the Sunday School posts I don’t need it on my holiday posts also.
But, here’s where Pinterest comes to the rescue. I have over 75 ideas stowed on my Homeschool Thanksgiving pinterest board. I spent a few minutes and cut out the pins that were dead, or the ones that didn’t go to where they claimed and now it’s all awesome!
Homeschool Thanksgiving update 2022
Since I wrote this post I have written the definitive and not at all sarcastic first Thanksgiving LEGO history lesson.
This is one area I have a fair amount of, and my kids were eagerly looking forward to my bringing our Thanksgiving books down.
- Thanksgiving Mice!– This is my go-to book for preschoolers for Thanksgiving, it has a nice concise story of the first Thanksgiving
- Who Will Carve the Turkey This Thanksgiving?– My kids laugh every time at the idea of a tiger carving the Thanksgiving turkey
- Turkey Trouble– Tom Turkey is imagining what terrible things will happen to him (this is going to be a writing assignment)
- 10 Fat Turkeys– It’s just silly
- I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie– Grandma eats too much Thanksgiving dinner, just like “I Know an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly,” only now there’s an entire holiday series of these
- If You Were At The First Thanksgiving– This is the Thanksgiving story told for 3rd graders
- Sarah Morton’s Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl (Scholastic Bookshelf)– These next 3 books are all amazing historical fiction of a child’s eye view of this time, and I LOVE them
- Samuel Eaton’s Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy
- Tapenum’s Day: A Wampanoag Indian Boy In Pilgrim Times
- . . . If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620– Some concept as 1st Thanksgiving, only telling the voyage over
Thanksgiving Chapter Books
I knew I forgot something, I forgot the chapter books I’ve got, it’s only a few, but there are some.
- Dear America: A Journey to the New World– I ADORE this book, and it’s great if you’ve got a 3-5 grader and they love diary books. Actually, I adore this entire series, and my kids will be reading all of these as part of their reading/history studies
- Calendar Mysteries #11: November Night– Superman swears these books are the best ever and plans to keep them for any theoretical children he has. Future Ticia 2022, Superman has finally admitted he doesn’t read these anymore and has graciously allowed us to pack them into boxes.
- Thanksgiving re-enactment videos– These are from Scholastic, and I haven’t watched all of them, but the ones I have watched are good quality. They cover different areas of the Thanksgiving story.
- Peanuts Holiday Collection– It’s not a holiday if I don’t watch the Peanuts movies, I especially appreciate the inclusion of the Peanuts Thanksgiving special with the Thanksgiving story. It does a great job of telling the whole thing.
- Dear America: A Journey to the New World–
This is available for streaming on NetflixThese may be on Amazon Prime, but you can buy the entire first season for $7, these are a great addition to history lessons. Sadly these videos are not available on DVD or I’d buy them immediately. I have this particular episode on VHS, but I no longer own a VHS player, so when they are no longer available for streaming I will cry. Real tears. Future Ticia 2022 owns both seasons, no crying necessary.
Since I don’t have a lot of ideas, I’m gonna give you a lot of other people’s great homeschool Thanksgiving ideas.
Thanksgiving story crafts
- Thumbprint turkey– My kids have found a new appreciation for thumbprint crafts after I bought the boys Klutz Star Wars Thumb Doodles Book Kit*, so I’m gonna give this a try this year.
- Thankfulness tree– I love the 3-D aspect of this one.
- Thanksgiving turkey– I find it amusing this is constructed using a paddle board.
- Thanksgiving cornucopia– A food craft, I don’t share lots of these (because I’m bad at them), but this one I might be able to pull off. MIGHT.
Thanksgiving story math and science
I’m going to organize these Thanksgiving lessons in increasing “difficulty” of activity starting with pre-k activities up to some great older elementary or middle school activities.
- Thanksgiving activity pack– My kids never got into these printable packs, probably just as well for my ink budget, but I always liked them.
- I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie– A fun place value activity, most activities you’ll find for this book are picture items to stuff into a puppet you make of her, so this was sufficiently different to catch my eye.
- Thanksgiving meal shopping– This activity is designed for 1st grade with appropriate level math. I could see making this into an upper elementary activity by actually going to the grocery store and pricing out Thanksgiving meal with the grocery list.
- Thanksgiving Science– Links to get you thinking about your meal more scientifically. Lots of inspiration for your middle school student’s science lessons.
- Turkey Unit Study– If we study pumpkins at Halloween, then why not turkeys at Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving story crafts (history)
I’ll be honest, most of this is covered in the crafts as people create crafts to recreate the first Thanksgiving, so I broke out the crafts specific to the Thanksgiving story from the generic cute Thanksgiving crafts.
- Pilgrim toy crafts– I love this craft because it doubles as both a craft and a historical lesson.
- Peg doll Thanksgiving story– I adore this set, and how it’s made, I don’t care that it’s not the least bit historically accurate for the Native American tribe I found a more historically accurate set, and it’s still too cute.
- Wampum belts– I appreciated the extra historical research put into the craft to make it more accurate
- Thanksgiving Story bracelets– I love easy crafts that give you reminders of a story (like my Christmas Story bracelets)