Thanksgiving Activities for the Classroom

Grateful. Thankful. Blessed! We made it to my favorite time of the year. Fall is in full swing, the weather has cooled down, football season has amped up, and the shift to Christmas is on the horizon. What a lovely time of the year to slow down before the hustle and bustle of Christmas and remember how thankful we are for the people around us. Whether you are planning for a classroom of children or for individual therapy, thematic units and plans can increase interaction and excitement in children. I have learned that making therapy fun can lead to gains in therapy as the child buys in. Participation rises and poor behaviors decrease as the child engages.

I love to introduce units through reading age-appropriate picture books and then plan my activities based on the specific book. Below I have compiled a list of my favorite Thanksgiving books and activities. You can modify the activity depending on the age of the child/children that you are working with and their respective goals.

  1. A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman: This cute rhyming book is about a town called Squawk Valley that is getting ready for Thanksgiving. The town was devastated because there were no turkeys to eat. This book is about how the townspeople lure a turkey named Pete to town. The townspeople thought they were being clever, but in the end, Pete outsmarts them!

  1. There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Turkey by Lucille Colandro: This book is a holiday classic! Kids love this rhyming pattern and silly story about a lady who swallowed a turkey. Sequencing activities go perfectly with this book.

  1. Pete the Cat Falling for Autumn by James Dean: This book is perfect for Thanksgiving. Pete the Cat experiences all sorts of things that he enjoys about autumn and is thankful for!

  1. Pinecone Turkey: A quick and easy craft. Go on a walk with the kids outside and find some pinecones. The first step is to get feathers and cut them in half. Next, glue feathers onto back of the pinecone. Additionally, add googly eyes and a felt nose.

  1. Paper Bag Turkey Craft: Start by cutting feathers out of construction paper. Next cut out an orange triangle for the nose and a squiggly shape for the gobbler. Glue feathers behind paper bag and add googly eyes, nose, and gobbler to the front of bag. You can have the children write things they are thankful for on the feathers.         

  1. Pumpkin Pie Craft: First, cut a paper plate into the shape of a triangle. Cut orange tissue paper into squares. Glue orange tissue paper to paper plate. While that is drying, cut out brown construction paper in squares. Staple squares onto plate to act as the crust. Glue two cotton balls on top to act as whipped cream.

  1. Quirky Leaf Friends: Take your kids outside to go on a scavenger hunt for the prettiest leaves. Then take them inside and turn the leaves into animals or into people they are thankful for. Have the children describe their leaf friend using vocabulary words and descriptive adjectives.

  1. I am Thankful Placemat: You can print out templates or have your children draw things they are thankful for on cardstock. Laminate the picture to act as a placemat.


I hope you enjoy celebrating Thanksgiving with all of your students!


Author: Caroline Ousley, M.S., CF-SLP



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Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as professional advice. The content is based on the author's personal experiences, research, and opinions. It is always recommended to consult with a qualified professional or expert before making any decisions or taking action based on the information provided in this blog.

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