November is the perfect time to reflect, give thanks, and have some turkey-themed fun in the classroom! Here are some simple ways to celebrate Thanksgiving in the classroom all month long!
Add Gratitude to Your Morning Meeting Routine
If a daily morning meeting is part of your classroom routine, November is a great time to add a little gratitude! Simply travel around the circle at the start of the day and allow each student a chance to share something he or she is grateful for. Model and discuss themes that go beyond material items. Examples could include friendship, family, and memorable moments. Your students will catch on quickly! In my classroom, we do this every Thursday during the month of November and call it “Thankful Thursday”. It’s a great way to learn a little more about the students in front of you and encourage an attitude of gratitude all month long.
Put Thankfulness on the Agenda
Do your students fill out a daily homework agenda? Challenge them to write one thing they are grateful for at the bottom of each page this month. If you have time to have a few students share each day, it’s also a great opportunity for students to make new connections with one another.
Build a Turkey to Practice Spelling or Sight Words
Everyone loves a turkey-themed center in November! This Build a Turkey Center is a teacher favorite because it comes with instructions on two levels and the words typed on the feathers are completely editable. It’s easy to change out the direction sheet or set of feathers to meet the needs of different groups of students. You can even type in your weekly spelling list! My students use this all month long and ask to play again and again!
Add a Little Gobble to Your Brain Breaks
If you incorporate brain breaks, have indoor recess time in the classroom, or celebrate good behavior with fun Fridays, there are lots of fun turkey-themed options your students will love! Koo Koo Kanga Roo’s Gobble Gobble Turkey Wobble and The Learning Station’s A Turkey Dance are favorites in my classroom! Each is only about three minutes long, so you can add a little Thanksgiving fun without sacrificing much instructional time.
Add Some New Stuff(ing) to Your Math Review
Students benefit from regular review of previously learned math concepts, but the same old review games can get pretty boring. Why not review with fun November-themed partner games this month? I love that this set is so easy to prep. I just print out the game, slide it into a page protector, and then add some basic manipulatives and a dry erase marker. Standards are printed right on the page, along with the directions. Plus, the fun turkey and Thanksgiving dinner references are sure to make your students smile!
Start a Gratitude Chain
Another simple way to model gratitude in the classroom is to make and hang a class gratitude chain. This simple paper chain activity asks students to reflect on the things they are thankful for, write them down on a paper chain link, and add them to the class chain. I like to set aside a few minutes for each student to make one link on the chain and then offer this as an early finisher activity as the month goes on. Grab a free printable to help you get started here.
Reflect, Write, and Craft
Have students reflect upon what they are grateful for and put it into writing with this cornucopia craft! I love that the directions prompt students to reflect upon reasons for gratitude in different areas of their lives. It comes in three different levels to appropriately challenge and support all of your students. Write a piece a day or set aside a longer block to complete it all at once. Perfect for your November bulletin board or for students to hang on the fridge at home.
I hope these ideas inspire gratitude and fun as you celebrate Thanksgiving in the classroom this month. Thanks for reading!