9 Superb Thanksgiving Reading Activities for Students

If you’re looking to integrate Thanksgiving and literacy, try these fun Thanksgiving reading activities that elementary kids love.

Not only are these Thanksgiving reading activities engaging, but they reinforce literacy skills, improve comprehension, and encourage collaboration.

Use them as independent work, partner work, and/or literacy centers.

So include one or two of these Thanksgiving reading activities into your reading workshop instruction this week.

Fun Thanksgiving Reading Activities

1. Reading Buddies

Ask a colleague if she would be willing to have her students participate in reading buddies with your students.

Ideally, 2nd/5th, Kinder/3rd, and 1st/4th grade pairings work best.

Provide the older children time to choose a fiction or non-fiction Thanksgiving and/or autumn-themed book that they would like to read to their younger buddies.

After reading aloud the book, the older partner will assist the younger child in creating a drawing or simple craft based on the book.

See this list of Thanksgiving books for kids.

2. Thanksgiving /Autumn Task Cards

Practice inferring and context clues with these fun Thanksgiving task cards. Suggestions for using the Thanksgiving task cards…

1. Have students circle context clues and/or record prior knowledge that helped them to answer the cards.

2. Use the task cards as a literacy center, independent skills review, or homework.

3. If students need support, vocabulary cards are provided. Have learners match each with the correct task card.

Thanksgiving reading activities

3. Anticipation Guides

Choose a favorite, grade-level appropriate nonfiction Thanksgiving book, create an anticipation guide for it (or search online for one already created), and have learners make before reading and after reading predictions.

This Thanksgiving reading activity is simple, and keeps students focused on learning.

To create your own anticipation guide, see these examples. You may also download a free template.

4. Prove It Reading Strategy

The Prove It reading strategy is an excellent method for blending holiday themes such as Thanksgiving with reading.

While reading any text, readers are prompted to refer back to the book they’re reading in order to find evidence that “proves”, or supports their responses to comprehension questions provided by the teacher.

See how to play Prove It, an engaging, high-energy literacy game that even reluctant readers enjoy.

5. Multiple Intelligence Activities

Tap into students’ various learning styles by incorporating a few Thanksgiving-themed multiple intelligence activities.

Favorites include musical and kinesthetic tasks that really get students moving and interacting.

See a full list of fun multiple intelligence activities for the elementary classroom.

6. Literature Circles

Divide students into groups of 4 or 5, and provide each group a grade-level appropriate Thanksgiving-themed text.

Assign each child a literature circle role, and then guide the groups as they participate in book clubs.

7. Rivet Game

This fun “guessing” game focuses on vocabulary acquisition and can be used with any book.

During this activity, children are “riveted” by the anticipation of guessing words letter-by-letter and validating their predictions about the words’ meanings as they come across context clues while reading.

See the full instructions on how to play Rivet.

8. Foldables™ Projects

Have students analyze and synthesize information from a Thanksgiving text using Foldables™.

These multi-dimensional graphic organizers are kinesthetic tools that help learners organize information.

Elementary kids really love creating them, so include them as one of your Thanksgiving reading activities.

9. Reader’s Theaters

Integrate literacy and Thanksgiving using reader’s theater scripts.

Kids love these low-maintenance mini plays that improve fluency and reading comprehension.

Students may want to create simple props to make things more exciting.

After a few practices, learners present the play to another classroom or even invite their parents to see them perform.

Thanksgiving Reading Activities They’ll Love

These fun Thanksgiving reading activities keep reading a focus even during the holiday season.

You may also enjoyThanksgiving writing prompts for students.