I can’t believe it’s already time to start thinking about turkeys and Pilgrims! This year, I’ve got some fun Thanksgiving activities up my sleeve. My kids are going to watch several videos and then have a specific task to complete after watching each one. Here are some Thanksgiving videos that I’ve come across while planning, along with some ideas for activities to use with them.
Thanksgiving Facts and Information
Plymouth Rock tells the story of the first Thanksgiving in this animated video. Great for grades K-2!
A Pilgrim girl narrates the story of the Pilgrims’ journey and first Thanksgiving. This video gives lots of detail into the Pilgrims’ lives and hardships. Best for grades K-3.
Kids will love this History Channel video where kids explain and act out the Thanksgiving story. Even older students will enjoy hearing about Thanksgiving from young students’ perspectives. They’re so adorable!
This almost five minute video is perfect for upper elementary. It does a fantastic job of walking through the Thanksgiving story and provides interesting pictures and information.
The History Channel details the history of the Thanksgiving holiday. Students in grades 3-6 might enjoy learning about how Thanksgiving came to be an official holiday.
Scholastic.com also has many wonderful videos as part of their Thanksgiving resources. The videos provide an in-depth look at the Pilgrims, Native Americans, the Mayflower, and Thanksgiving feast.
After watching any or all of these informational Thanksgiving videos, here are several extension projects for kids:
- How to draw the Mayflower– Have students write facts about the Pilgrims or their voyage on the sails.
- Make a Mayflower Ship
- Pack a Pilgrim’s Suitcase- Fold a piece of black or brown construction paper in half. Glue or tape the sides together, leaving the top open. Cut out small handles and glue on the top to make a suitcase. Students draw and cut out pictures of items that Pilgrims took on their journey to America. Place the pictures inside the suitcase. (Here is a free printable for K-1)
- Create a Thanksgiving Menu (for upper grades)
- Create a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting the first Thanksgiving with our holiday today.
- Thanksgiving Tweets- Older students might enjoy creating tweets that the Pilgrims or Native Americans might have sent out. They could even create a series of tweets that one Pilgrim made through the voyage all the way to the Thanksgiving feast.
Thanksgiving Books Read Aloud
Such a fun Thanksgiving story! After watching and hearing the story, have students write their own night before Thanksgiving story. You might also read The Night Before Christmas and compare and contrast the two stories.
This is a perfect companion to use with the book Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano. Henry the turkey disguises himself so he won’t be eaten on Thanksgiving. After watching the video, students create their own turkey in disguise. Here are links to several free printables for this activity:
- 15 Outrageous and Clever Ways to Disguise a Turkey
- Turkey in Disguise School Project Ideas
- Turkey in Disguise Freebie
- Disguise a Turkey Project Freebie
The little girl in this sweet story thanks the little things that bring her happiness throughout her day. Have students think of the little things in life that bring them joy. They could draw a picture of themselves with one particular thing that makes them happy and write “Thank you, _____.” to follow the text in the book.
Who doesn’t need to just sometimes sing, dance, and get their sillies out?! These cute Thanksgiving songs are great to use at the beginning or end of the day, or as brain breaks.
We are huge StoryBots fan and their “Thank you for Thanksgiving” song doesn’t disappoint.
I’m going to go ahead and bet that your kids are going to want to do this turkey dance more than once! It’s such a cute song and a great way to get them up and moving.
“Ten Little Turkeys” is another fun song from The Learning Station for your littles learning to count.
This song walks kids through the story of the first Thanksgiving. It’s a great song to help young students remember important facts about Thanksgiving. Students will also learn how to spell the word “Mayflower” by singing this song.
This is another song from Harry Kindergarten Music. It contains a lot of factual information about turkeys like what turkeys eat, what the male and female turkeys are called, and the sounds each one makes. A fun activity to do after watching this video is to have students draw a picture of a turkey and write a fact they learned from the song on each feather.
Here’s one more just for fun:
All of these videos, plus 20 more, can be found on my Thanksgiving Videos for Kids YouTube playlist. I’ve watched all of these videos and tried to pick ones that are great quality and add meaning or fun to a study of Thanksgiving. I’ve grouped the videos together like I’ve done above: informational videos, books read aloud, and songs.
Need more Thanksgiving Ideas? Don’t miss out on these posts: