Free Thanksgiving Unit Study Ideas for November

Every year I gather up books and resources for the month of November, and set aside some time to focus on the story of the pilgrims, the Mayflower journey, gratitude, and thanksgiving. Here’s my plan for this year.
We have quite a few Thanksgiving-related books on our shelves, and I’m just planning to use what we already have available. We look forward to reading them since we only use them during one month out of the whole year! I’m planning to use the hymnal for singing Thanksgiving songs.
I love these books about what life might have looked like for the pilgrims.
This year I also created a new resource for us to use. I made a booklet for each child containing copywork pages about thankfulness, coloring pages, and blank pages for their own drawings. I plan to let them each decorate the cardstock covers of their books with markers and stickers.
At the front of each booklet is this printable thankful tree and leaves, so they can have their own mini thankful tree:
Next I have this coloring page which includes another spot to list things they are thankful for:
Next are the copywork pages, which include poems, quotes, and verses on thankfulness.
I also printed off some free Thanksgiving coloring pages for each child to color. These are great to use during read-aloud times.
We also have this Draw Write Now book that has a few pages of drawing lessons about the pilgrims and Native Americans…I plan to have them draw these on the blank pages of their books during read-aloud time.
We’ve made a thankful tree before (you can see it here), and I’m considering making another one this year. Out of all the thankful trees I found online, I loved this one from Pottery Barn the best:
I’m planning to use this free download for the leaf shapes (for the thankful tree). Or, these leaf printable pages could also be used for a template.
Almost every Thanksgiving for several years now, we’ve watched Desperate Crossing: The Untold Story of The Mayflower. You can watch some additional videos here. We also usually watch this animated version of the story, which the younger children enjoy.
For my younger ones, we’re planning to do this Mayflower craft, use these November Roll and Color activities for math, and also play with our pumpkin pie playdough. Playdough is great for keeping their hands busy while I’m reading aloud!
We love Thanksgiving, so we’re looking forward to adding these resources to our school day for a few weeks!
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  1. Fantastic post, Joy!! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I love taking time each year to read books and learn about the Pilgrims with my children. Thank you so much for the links and book suggestions, these are so helpful! You've inspired me to create my own Thanksgiving book for my kiddos!


    1. Thank you, Angela! We started our unit study today, and we had such a nice time together—even my older children were happy with the Thanksgiving books I put together for them! 🙂

  2. I am not a blogger myself, but I find yours so uplifting and encouraging, it is my favorite 🙂 I love the free printables for Thanksgiving! Thanks!

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