thanksgiving writing activities
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6 engaging thanksgiving writing activities for kids.
If you’ve seen my recent post about Thanksgiving Reading Activities , here is your follow-up for Writing! These Thanksgiving-themed activities will be great add-ons or replacements for your standard writing activities!
Try Story Building with a Cooperative Learning Structure
Firstly, try an All-Write Round Robin! Do you use Kagan Strategies in your classroom? This is one of my favorites! An All-Write Round Robin will allow your students to build upon one another’s writing to create a story! Grab a few different color pens and some paper. The first person will write 2 or 3 sentences for the story prompt, in one color. Then, the story will move to the next person, with them adding 2-3 sentences to the story in a different color. This can be done in a small group or even as partners!
Typically, I like to give time limits so that students have equal opportunities to write, but this is up to you! Another tip is to mark halfway and endpoints. Give students a warning when they should be about halfway through and when time is almost up. This will help them include a beginning, middle, and end of their story!
Lastly, have your students swap and read or share their stories with the class! They will love hearing how everyone’s stories turned out!
Prompts to give your students:
- Turkey Going On Vacation
- Thanksgiving at Grandma’s
- The Pie Eating Contest
- Football in the Backyard
- Scarecrow Comes to Dinner
- Leaf Pile Playground
Practicing Supporting Details and Reasoning with a Whole-Group Craft
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for an informational or response writing activity, try one like this! Draw a turkey on an anchor chart and give students slips of paper to decorate the “wings.” On each slip of paper, students can write something they are thankful for and why. This will help your student practice supporting details and reasons. This activity can be repeated with any sort of written response that requires evidence or reasons. You can even reuse the turkey poster all month, practicing a short response each day or week!
Practice Strong Introductions
Similarly, if you need to work on writing introductions, use a Strong Introductions Matching Activity. Students can match Thanksgiving-themed pictures to two different strong introductions. Then, they can write their own strong introduction for each topic! *For learners that may need more help with this, you can match the cards as a small group, whole group, or even partners! Save the strong introductions that the students wrote to use as examples for future writing, starters for their own writing pieces, or extra matching pieces for the original activity!
Shown is the 1st & 2nd-grade set but you can recreate this activity for 3rd & 4th graders, too!
Link: Thanksgiving 1st and 2nd Grade ELA
Get Into Thanksgiving Themes with a Daily Writing Prompt
Daily writing prompts are a great way to build young writers’ skills. You can add a Thanksgiving-themed daily writing prompt to be completed as a bell ringer or early finisher! Students will be excited to write about topics that are currently relevant and fit the theme you’ve carried across your ELA blocks! Not only will this help them stay on topic, but it will also provide them with creative ideas. If your reading activities, mentor texts, language lessons, etc., are on theme, they will be full of examples and details to improve their Thanksgiving-themed writing!
The writing prompts from the resource in the photo come in both printable and digital formats. So, students can write in their journals or type their responses on their devices. This will make trading, sharing, revising, and editing a breeze!
Link: November Writing Prompts
Practice Editing and Publishing
On the other hand, their writing isn’t the only skill that will benefit from practice. Editing and revising are writing tools that your little learners need constant practice in, too. Add a Thanksgiving-themed editing and revision activity to your plans. Partners can find and edit mistakes in pre-written sentences. They can trade and revise one another’s Thanksgiving-themed writing pieces. *If you use the November Writing prompts, have your students “share” the digital versions or trade their writing notebooks to practice revising and editing!
Link: Thanksgiving ELA 1st & 2nd Grade
Add a Few On-the-Go Pages to Early Finisher Folders or Use as Morning Work
Lastly, add Thanksgiving Writing activities to your morning work or early finisher folders. There are lots of applicable writing pages in the November On-the-Go set. Students will be able to practice writing letters, creating lists, making words, and more. They will love these fun, on-topic activities that allow them to practice a variety of writing skills without them even realizing it!
Link: November On-the-Go
Here are a few Thanksgiving Writing Activities you may find useful:
- Kindergarten Thanksgiving ELA Activities
- 1st & 2nd Thanksgiving ELA Activities
- 3rd & 4th Thanksgiving ELA Activities
- November Writing Prompts
- November On-the-Go Worksheets
Want to read more Thanksgiving-themed blogs?
- Thanksgiving Activities
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FREE THANKSGIVING FEAST PARTY
This free download will be sent to your email! It’s two free party planning sheets, plus a Bingo-style game with a Thanksgiving theme. Get this fun activity sent directly to your inbox.
- Read more about: Common Core Aligned , Fall Season , Thanksgiving , Writing Blog Posts
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Freebie Alert! Thanksgiving Writing Activity for Primary Grades
With the holiday season on its way, and with the wild year that has been 2020 coming to a close, there is no better time than now to practice gratitude. I know we have moved mountains this year by adapting our curriculum and teaching during a pandemic. Many of us feel like we’re in survival mode as we wrap up the first half of the school year. That’s why, as we approach the holidays and some much deserved school breaks, I love doing activities that focus on what is going well and what we are thankful for in our lives.
Mindset is a super important part of building resilience. Gratitude and thankfulness isn’t explicitly addressed in most curriculum standards. BUT it’s such an important element to help little ones, and big people too, develop ways to cope with things that feel out of our control. It’s never too early or too late to start practicing gratitude.
Just in time for November, I have a fun Thanksgiving Freebie for you to use with your students. It will not only help kids think critically about what they are thankful for and WHY, but it gives them a chance to write and apply grade level skills. All while accessing that gratitude mindset that we all need right now.
Let’s break it down: How can primary grades use this fun Thanksgiving freebie?
I’ll share how I used this resource with my primary students so you can picture how it might work for you.
Step 1: Collect ideas
Together, we brainstormed things, people, and places that we are thankful for. I encouraged the kids to really think about WHY they are thankful for that thing. It isn’t very meaningful to say “I’m thankful for my playstation” or “I’m thankful for my mom.”
I pressed them to really focus on the “because” behind those statements. When they started to complete their thoughts with “because,” I could see the light bulbs go off for them! They started digging deep into their gratitude, which was awesome!
A student shared: “I’m thankful for my mom because she takes care of me and plans fun things and cooks yummy food.”
Step 2: Time to draft
This writing template has six spaces, so I broke it down like this:
- Who is a person that you are thankful for?
- Where is one place you are thankful for?
- What is one thing you are thankful for?
- Name an event in your life you are thankful for.
- Share something about yourself that you are thankful for (either your physical appearance or a quality).
- Your choice! Most wanted to choose a second person they were thankful for.
For each section, they had to write the REASON they are thankful for that thing. Example: for the person category, instead of writing “I am thankful for my dad,” they had to write “My dad plays with me at the park.”
Step 3: Edit and revise
In an ideal situation, you would allow time for a round of peer or self-editing and a revision. Don’t worry! If you’re strapped for time, as we all often are, you don’t have to complete the entire writing process. Do what works for you. This freebie is flexible!
Step 4: Turkey Time
Have your students write their final drafts on the PDF and decorate their turkeys. They may not be able to color them in if you’re virtual, but depending on your district’s digital resources, there are lots of ways you could address this. I’d love to hear your ideas!
Step 5: Display student writing
When other people see this on your walls, it might encourage them to take stock of what makes them feel thankful this year.
If you’re teaching virtually and don’t have physical walls to display it on, you still have great options. Consider posting them on a digital newsletter, email, teacher websites, class social media pages, blogs, etc. I know you guys come up with so many innovative ideas. Please share with me what works for you on instagram !
- Read more about: freebies , holidays , Thanksgiving , writing
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Thankful Thanksgiving Writing Activities for 2nd Grade
by Studentreasures | Oct. 25, 2018 | Writing Skill-Building Activity
That’s why I love celebrating Thanksgiving with my students in the classroom before they run off to enjoy the long weekend with their families. It gives us a chance to practice the most important Thanksgiving tradition of all—giving thanks. These Thanksgiving writing activities for 2nd grade students are the perfect way to help them practice gratitude and sharpen their writing skills.
Writing Activity #1: Considering the meaning of gratitude.
It’s easy enough to say “Thank you,” but what does it mean? This writing activity is more than a vocabulary lesson —it’s a chance for your students to think critically about what it means both to feel gratitude and to express it. Ask your students to answer the prompt, “ What does it mean to be thankful? ” using as many details and examples as they can come up with to illustrate their point.
This writing activity also happens to make for a lovely publishing project. Begin with a simple brainstorm worksheet to help your students organize their thoughts before writing their responses. After writing, show them how to proofread and revise their work. Then, once their final drafts are ready to publish, ask them to draw a picture of someone or something they are grateful for. Finally, gather up their writing and art and send it in to be published as a beautiful hardcover classbook!
Writing Activity #2: Practicing thankfulness while building self-confidence.
Sometimes the easiest things to take for granted are our own gifts and capabilities. This unique Thanksgiving writing asks your 2nd graders to consider what abilities of their own they are grateful by filling in the following blanks: “ I am grateful I can ___ because ___. ” Perhaps little Jamie is grateful to be a good singer because she wants to perform on Broadway someday. Perhaps young Eric is thankful he’s tall and athletic because he wants to play for the NBA. But remind your students to consider smaller, everyday gifts too, like being able to run and play with friends on the playground, or being able to read well and enjoy lots of wonderful books. It’s a great way to both encourage gratitude and boost your students’ self-esteem at the same time.
To easily turn this writing activity into a lovely Thanksgiving keepsake book, return to the assignment after a short break (either a few hours or a few days) and ask your students to self-edit their work , keeping an eye out to make sure they’ve supported their claim with multiple reasons or examples. Once they’ve finished editing and revising, ask them to create a self-portrait of themselves using the talent or ability they wrote about. Publish their work in a professionally bound classbook that will delight your students and their families for many Thanksgivings to come.
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Writing activity #3: acknowledging a memorable learning experience..
When giving thanks around the Thanksgiving dinner table, the first things that come to mind tend to be people or objects which we see or interact with on a regular basis, like family members or the home we share with them. But what about the experiences that help shape us? This Thanksgiving writing activity digs a little deeper than your average gratitude exercise by asking students to complete the following sentences: “ An experience I am thankful for is ___. I am thankful because ___. ” Encourage them to think carefully about the experience they choose. It can be a happy one, such as something that excited or amazed them, perhaps even inspired them to try something or pursue some new passion . But it might also be one which taught them something, such as a mistake that taught them something valuable.
For a more in-depth version of this writing activity, ask your students to write two paragraphs instead of two sentences: one paragraph describing the experience, and one explaining all the reasons why they are thankful for it. After writing, have them swap papers and peer-edit each other’s work . Ask them to illustrate the experience they described. Then, wrap it all up by publishing their work in a one-of-a-kind classbook.
The Spirit of Thanksgiving in Your 2nd Grade Classroom
Whether they’re writing about the meaning of being thankful or the abilities and experiences they are thankful for, your students are sure to keep surprising you with their creativity and honesty. There’s nothing like a kid’s point of view to put your own life into perspective and remind you of all the things you have to be grateful for—including, of course, your students. What better way to give thanks than to give them an experience they’ll always remember and cherish—by helping them become published authors ? You could even make it your new classroom tradition , giving both you and your students something to look forward to each and every year.
Image sources: Lead image via Shutterstock; Images 1 , 2 , 3 via Openclipart.org
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Thanksgiving Writing Prompts
Thanksgiving Writing Prompts
This packet contains 15+ different Thanksgiving writing prompts great to be used in kindergarten, first or second grade. As you know, kindergarten students do not really write much during the first weeks of school. Each writing prompts has 4 different pages you can use – one that has a picture with something to write, one they can write a full page prompt, one that you can cut the pag in half and write a half page prompt and then one that the student can just draw. The drawing prompt allows the student to think about what they would write and put their thoughts into pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words! Pre-writing, writing prompts! Here are a few pictures of a few of the Thanksgiving writing prompts. The entire packet is 60+ pages long.
If you would like a free sample of a Thanksgiving writing prompt, enter in your email address into the form below. You will be added to our mailing list where you will find out about other fun things, like freebies. You can unsubscribe yourself, if you wish, from any newsletter that arrives or by following the directions if your freebie. If you have any trouble, please email me at [email protected]
If you like this post, you will also like Kindergarten Writing Prompts
Madreen Karle is a master first grade reading teacher with over 30 years of classroom experience. She taught reading in a special needs and English as a Second Language classroom. After retiring she wrote a reading program to help others learn how to teach reading. She is a trusted educator and author of 5 books to help teach children to read and write. In addition to her books, she is a mentor for 3 websites that give reading teacher tips ( Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading , Mrs. Karle’s Reading Patch , and Mrs. Karle’s Handwriting Patch ). Through her teaching she learned that confidence was the key to learning to read. A child who is not confident at reading does not like to read and struggles to read. Mrs. Karle created “sunshine moments” to help teach children how to grow their confidence and learn to read. Meeghan Karle Mousaw (Madreen’s daughter) has her Master’s in Special Education. She has 8 years experience teaching children to read online. In addition, she developed a curriculum to teach children handwriting called The Handwriting Patch . With the Handwriting Patch learning is fun because children learn to draw and learn handwriting at the same time. In 2019 The Handwriting Patch curriculum became an amazon best seller the first year it was released, helping thousands of kids learn handwriting with a unique, fun method. She is mom to 6 kids, each with differently learning abilities and struggles. The Reading Patch was established by the creators of Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading . Together they have been featured on the NBC media outlets and Parents Magazine online. Over the last 8 years in their online platform, Madreen and Meeghan have worked tirelessly with teachers, homeschoolers and parents looking to help children learn to read to become a trusted authority in teaching children to read and advocating early literacy skills. They often partner with other educational experts to deliver the most current information to the Reading Patch community.
These are so cute…they’re bringing me back to my Kindergarten teaching days! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Share The Wealth Sunday! xoxo Lisa
Thanks! It is fun to be back in kindergarten again 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
These look great! Thanks for linking up with #justanotherlinky xx
These are great! Thanks for sharing them with us at #justanotherlinky
Thanks for stopping by!
I love writing prompts especially when it revolves around holidays! These sheets are so much fun & perfect for young ones. As a mom of 3 loved having prompts around when during the holidays when I needed to create some family time & a little writing practice. Great post & thank you for linking up with our Small Victories Sunday Linkup!
Thank you!…and thanks for stopping by!
I was just looking for something like these for my students, Thank you!
You are so welcome! Enjoy!
Love this prompt! Can’t wait to use it! Thanks
You are welcome!
These are great for getting the kiddos to write!
I have to keep signing up every time, even though I am getting the email because I already signed up?? I am confused.
Yes, you do have to enter your email each time to trigger the automatic email/download. The system is smart enough to know you are already on the list so it doe snot add you more than once….but -to get the freebie, yes, you enter your email each time. (There are actually 2 servers…1 server sends the download, the other sends the newsletter…and so that is how it works. ) Anyway, sorry for any confusion! Enjoy the freebie 🙂
You packets look wonderful. I am currently a first grade teacher and my goal this year is to do a better job with teaching writing, and not using a four square. I would like to try some of your writing prompts. Thank you for your generosity. Linda
You are so welcome…enjoy! :0)
Thank you so much for sharing the Thanksgiving writing prompts. I cannot wait to use them with my kindergarteners.
You are so welcome. 🙂 Enjoy!
Hi thanks for all these great resources. I went to purchase the premium membership and when I clicked add to cart it had a price of $34, but in the cart it shows $49? Can you help me with this?
Hi there, Thanks for your interest in our premium membership. I just sent you the link for the sale of our premium membership 🙂
I really love your materials but each time I want to download something I have to registe myself in order to get something? sorry but I ‘m a little confused.
Maria Joâo César
Hi there, Sorry for your confusion. Yes, you always have to re-enter your email address… it is the only way I can reach the high number of people we reach. The system is smart enough to know that you are already on the list/it does not re-add you. If you have any other questions, feel free to email me at [email protected] (or, you can always leave a comment, I get those too!)
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