Without a doubt the most popular post on this blog is the Thanksgiving lapbook I did with the kids a couple of years ago. I think I titled it well for search engine results, because it gets tons of hits year-round. I hope that folks are finding it useful.

Kindergarten and Elementary Thanksgiving UnitPin
To that end I thought I would post our Thanksgiving unit a couple of weeks in advance in case someone could draw some ideas from it. This unit is more advanced than the last one — more focused on the living books, art, and memorization.

Living Books

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“The First Thanksgiving” chapter from Stories of the Pilgrims
Sarah Morton’s Day
Samuel Eaton’s Day
The Pilgrim’s First Thanksgiving

Read and narrate daily using various forms of narration.


The First Thanksgiving Virtual Field Trip

William Bradford – The First Thanksgiving – Animated Hero Classics

Thanksgiving – If you do not have this service still check back the week of Thanksgiving. I would be willing to bet this will be the free movie of the week that week.

Thanksgiving Unit Study Activities

Art and Handicrafts

We will likely not get to all of these, but I wanted to share them all.

  • Pinch Pot Turkey – Since we do not have a kiln we will make ours with air dry clay, paint with acrylics, and apply a glossy sealer.
  • Hand-stitched Thanksgiving Cards
  • Turkey Scratch Art Drawing – If anything gets scratched (sorry, couldn’t resist) it will likely be this one since I think the kids will like it least. We may try if we have time. I did think it was a cool art project and those are hard to find amidst the hand print and toilet roll turkeys out there.


For each new morning with its light,
           For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,

For everything Thy goodness sends. – Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Each day of the novena each child can add things for which we they thankful followed by the response “We thank you, oh Lord.” We will finish with the Our Father.

Picture Study

The First Thanksgiving by JLG Ferris

Hymn Study

“For the Beauty of the Earth” lyrics and music.

For more great Thanksgiving unit study and book ideas check out:

Click for our November themes and learning activities: