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Classroom Lessons for Thanksgiving (with resource links!)

I love prepping lessons for Thanksgiving for two reasons. Firstly, my students always enjoy the turkey-themed material, and secondly, it means we are that much closer to Christmas!

With the holidays quickly approaching, there’s a lot of student excitement buzzing around the room, so it’s essential to have activities that will engage students and keep them focused. 

The Thanksgiving lessons in my classroom are incredibly hands-on and cover tons of academic skills! 


All About Thanksgiving Adapted Book and The First Thanksgiving Adapted Book: These include printable books with level-appropriate comprehension questions and Velcro answer pieces. You will also find we’ve added the digital adapted book for Google Drive/Google Slides so your students can do this activity on iPads or Smart Boards! 

classroom lessons for Thanksgiving

For even more adapted literacy fun this month, grab our November Mini Adapted Books Bundle that includes eight books that are both printable and digital.

This bundle includes topics other than Thanksgiving, such as:

  •  All Saint’s Day
  • STEM Day / STEAM Day
  • How Pickles are Made
  • All About Diabetes
  • Invention of the Toilet
  • National Adoption Day
  • How to Make French Toast
  • National Hiking Day
classroom lessons for Thanksgiving

My students also really enjoy the Thanksgiving Sorting Mats. Talk about excellent math practice (sorting) while also learning history! After discussing Pilgrims and Native Americans, they got to work sorting 16 objects by color and/or character trait.

Tip: Once this low-prep activity is printed and laminated, you can put it out for center time or free choice. Then reuse year after year.

Every year, my students get a rise when we read Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano. They love the costumes Turkey wears to disguise himself so he can avoid becoming Thanksgiving dinner! We love using the Turkey Trouble Book Companion to practice those sequencing and comprehension skills. 

This bundle includes cross-curricular activities and a craft that include: 

  • Turkey Trouble Adapted Piece Book Set
  • Graphic organizers for sorting and sequencing story events
  • A fun turkey sequencing craft
  • Disguise a turkey drawing and writing activity
  • A Velcro sequencing page
  • Tracing
  • Word Search (print and go and create your own)
  • Vocabulary trace
  • Turkey Colors
  • Write a Story
  • Counting Turkeys to 40
  • Coins less than $1
  • Sequencing numbers to 20

This bundle includes a lot and is an ideal November lesson that doubles as emergency plans that your sub will love you for. 

classroom lessons for Thanksgiving

My students enjoy cooking in the classroom, and we try to do it as often as possible! We like to use visual recipes to foster following directives and student independence. We’ve used visual recipes with both clipart photos and real photos, and my class definitely prefers the real ones, which is why I’ve created the November No-Bake Visual Recipes with REAL photos!

This 72-page bundle is loaded with five themed no bake recipes that promote those important life skills, while also working on IEP goals and objectives. 

Plus… check out how cute the Turk-peppers are! These would make a great addition to your classroom Thanksgiving feast. Click here for more ideas on how to plan yours!

classroom lessons for Thanksgiving

We work on hand and finger strengthening a lot, and some of my students tend to gravitate towards our fine motor centers. The Thanksgiving Fine Motor Skills and Activities are perfect for setting your students up for success and can be used across multiple centers. 

These cut and paste shapes, cut and trace practice, differentiated puzzles, dotter mystery pictures, and more focus on tracing and cutting skills and touch on vocabulary spelling and problem-solving. 

We love task boxes and have two Thanksgiving-themed favorites! 

The Thanksgiving Missing Pieces Task Boxes help students practice hand-eye coordination and visual-spatial perception by matching missing pieces with Thanksgiving-themed pictures. With 19 task cards to choose from, these can be used as fun Thanksgiving-themed file-folder games at center time. These are also perfect for homeschoolers, tutors, and beyond! 

Students get a giggle with the Turkey Disguise Task Boxes, and there are three differentiated cards for every learning level, from identical matching to word-photo matching! 

Just print, laminate, and add Velcro to this matching game that features dressed-up turkeys and focuses on community helpers and occupations. 

classroom lessons for Thanksgiving

If you’re a Google Slides fan, these digital activities are for you! When the pandemic hit, these digital activities were created with distance learning in mind but have quickly become a class favorite even as we’re back in person.

Access to Google Slides is required, and these Thanksgiving resources cover skills across: 

  • Counting
  • Spelling and snorting sounds
  • Creative writing
  • Fill-in-the-blanks and sentence completion
  • Sequencing events and reading comprehension

Check out these November Digital Activities: 

If you’re short on time for planning, grab The November Lesson Plan Pack. This lesson plan pack filled with ELA, math, and science activities for November will save you time and money! It includes Adapted Books, craft ideas, experiments, writing prompts, and more. For the full details, check it out here


November in our classroom is going to be “stuffed” with fun and learning! What activities are you planning to try? Let us know in the comments! 

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I'm a special education teacher, presenter, curriculum writer, and educational blogger behind Mrs. D's Corner.
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