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Fun Thanksgiving ELA Activities

Every year, I wait for stupid Spooky Season to be OVER already so we can get to Thanksgiving!

I’m a weirdo who thinks Thanksgiving is the best! (And no, you won’t find my tree up until it’s over, either!)

Even if you’re not a Thanksgiving-loving-weirdo like me, you will love these fun and easy ELA lessons and activities to use with your students this November.

Build a Turkey Review Game

This quirky review game will get students laughing and invested in correctly answering questions to save their team’s turkey!

What you’ll need: 

  • Building materials for 2 complete turkeys, including accessories
  • Approximately 30 review questions (Psst! This huge ELA terms and definitions glossary makes great material for games like this.)

Set up

  • Divide students into 2 teams. They can remain in their seats.
  • Have the turkey materials ready to be easily hung on the whiteboard or other visible area.

Round 1: Build

  • Teams take turns answering questions. The best way I’ve found to do this is to go in order, asking the question to one student at a time. If the student on Team 1 gets the question wrong, the student who’s next on Team 2 can have an opportunity to answer.
  • For each correct answer, students get to add one piece to their team’s turkey.
  • Round 1 ends when you’ve either asked half of your review questions, or one team has a complete turkey, whichever comes first.

Round 2: Attack

  • Ask questions in the same way you did during Round 1.
  • During this round, when a student gets a question correct, he can choose one piece of the opposite team’s turkey to remove.
  • The game ends when you’re out of time or review questions, or when one team’s turkey has been completely destroyed. 
  • Of course, the team with the most pieces of their turkey left standing at the end of the game wins.

Thanksgiving Grammar Escape Room

Your students have never done an escape room quite like this before! 

The table is set, the family has gathered, and it’s almost time to eat… but Mom discovers that the freshly-roasted turkey has vanished! 

To save Thanksgiving, students must complete grammar tasks to collect 5 hidden clues, piecing together the turkey’s whereabouts.

This low-prep escape room includes everything you need and is a creative exciting review of adverbs, subject-verb agreement, verb tense, pronoun usage, and verbals.

Click here to check it out.

Operation Gratitude: Write a Thank You Note

One of my favorite projects of the school year was a simple thank you note writing project.  

a thank you note to teach gratitude in ELA
These festive Thanksgiving cards + lots of other thank you note designs are included in my How to Write a Thank You Note resource.

I highlighted the importance of expressing gratitude and provided examples. In class, we discussed these examples, emphasizing the significance of acknowledging others’ actions or simply appreciating them.

During the next session, students were tasked with writing a thank-you note to a school staff member of their choice, with a suggestion to consider custodial staff and office administration. For those unsure, I supplied a list of school staff.

Recognizing that teens often struggle to articulate gratitude, I offered specific ideas for note content. To facilitate the process, I provided multi-colored blank notecards or suggested students create their own. Prior to class, students drafted their notes, streamlining the in-class task to note tweaking and copying. Upon completion, I delivered the notes to recipients. I loved getting the positive feedback from teachers and staff members who received a couple of unexpected thank you notes. This no-prep resource has everything you need (including the cards) to do this thank-you note writing project with your students. Check it out!

Autumn Grammar Scavenger Hunt

Have fun and reinforce standards with this super low-prep, fall grammar scavenger hunt review game that will have your students up and moving!

What is a grammar scavenger hunt?

Sentences to be analyzed are posted around the classroom and each student is given a checklist of grammatical elements to find in the sentences (e.g.: Find 2 sentences with compound verbs.). Students move around the room, searching for the items on their checklist.

You will simply print out the sentences, post them around the room, hand out the scavenger hunt checklists, and let your students go to town analyzing the grammar in quotes about the beauty of autumn.

There are many variations on how to set up and play, so you can quickly put together a scavenger hunt that works great for your group!

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving in your ELA classroom? Let me know in the comments.

And, hey, don’t forget your free review game!


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