Thanksgiving is a great time to have students write for a genuine purpose.
Using this collection of Thanksgiving writing activities, you’ll be equipped with a toolkit of activities that helps students reflect upon memories and share what they are most thankful for… all while improving their writing skills.
What’s more, these Thanksgiving writing activities spark a love for writing, expose students to various writing genres, and stretch their imaginations.
So when you’re planning your Thanksgiving classroom activities, include a few of these fun and delightful Thanksgiving writing activities in your lesson plans.
Your students’ writing will benefit greatly.
Related: Thanksgiving reading activities
Thanksgiving Writing Activities
1. Retell a Family Story.
Students retell a memorable Thanksgiving holiday moment. They share what made the experience so memorable, exciting, and/or worth sharing.
Younger students can draw a picture of a scene from that moment and then label or caption the picture.
2. Create an Invitation to a Thanksgiving Feast.
Students imagine that they are going to host a Thanksgiving feast.
They create an invitation that will be sent out to friends and family.
They must ensure that their invitation includes all the essential information such as…
- where it’s going to be
- who is invited
- what guests should bring
- when the event is going to take place
- for what is the occasion which is the overall theme of the invitation
3. Describe Family Traditions.
For this Thanksgiving activity, students describe any family traditions that they celebrate every year.
4. Complete a Let’s Make a Pilgram Writing Activity.
Have students make a fun pilgrim craft and afterwards respond to the Thanksgiving starter prompt, “I am thankful for…”
5. Compose a Thanksgiving Acrostic Poem.
Thanksgiving is a great time for students to explore poetry.
First, they’ll choose any word related to Thanksgiving. Then they’ll create an acrostic poem based on that word.
6. Put Together an ABC Book.
ABC books prompt critical thinking, and students love putting them together!
To make an ABC book, students take 27 sheets of paper, one page for the cover and one page for each letter of the alphabet.
Now students brainstorm a word related to Thanksgiving for each letter of the alphabet.
For example, A is acorn, B is blessing, C is cornucopia, and so on.
After writing a word for each letter, students sketch on each page a picture that represents that word. Then they write a description of the word.
Finally, they put all the pages together to form the complete ABC book.
7. Create a Thanksgiving Gratitude Lapbook.
This activity causes students to reflect upon those things for which they are most thankful.
Students create a Thanksgiving gratitude lapbook that showcases their gratitude. This Thanksgiving writing activity makes a great family keepsake.
Grab a copy of the gratitude lapbook.
8. Write a Reader’s Theater Script.
Students draft a simple reader’s theater script about Thanksgiving.
An easy way to encourage students to do this with little overwhelm is to have them rewrite a familiar Thanksgiving story in script form.
This activity makes a good whole group writing activity. As an extension, students can present the play to their classmates.
9. Make a Top 10 List.
Students make a top 10 list of all the things for which they are most thankful.
If time permits, they share their lists with the class or with a partner.
10. Draft a Persuasive Letter from Turkey’s Point of View.
This fun writing activity encourages students to practice the skill of point of view.
From a turkey’s point of view, students draft a persuasive letter to a family convincing the family not to cook it for Thanksgiving dinner.
11. Research the History of Thanksgiving.
Students research the history of Thanksgiving, noting interesting facts.
Download a template to record research.
12. Do a Thanksgiving Word Splash.
As a class, students brainstorm all the words they can think of related to Thanksgiving.
The teacher writes all of these words on a piece of chart paper.
Afterwards, students write a poem, story, or a series of sentences using some of the words.
13. Create a Thanksgiving News Story.
This is arguably one of the most popular Thanksgiving writing activities for students.
Provide students with the headline, “Food Fight Breaks Out at Local Diner on Thanksgiving Day!”
Now students create a news story to accompany the headline. They’ll use the 5 W’s + H:
- Who is the story about?
- What happened?
- When did the story take place?
- Where did the story take place?
- Why did it happen?
- How was the issue resolved?
Download a 5Ws News Story template.
14. Compose a Thanksgiving-Themed Poem.
This activity develops students’ creativity and encourages the expression of ideas.
Students create any type of poem they like about Thanksgiving or something connected with Thanksgiving. The poem style can be a limerick, acrostic, free verse, haiku, or sonnet.
15. Make a Metaphorical Recipe.
Students write a metaphorical recipe. You could have students write a metaphorical recipe for how to show kindness or respect.
For example, here’s a recipe for how to show humility:
Recipe for Humility
- 2 cups of respect
- 1 cup of kindness
- ½ cup of tolerance
- ¼ cup of sportsmanship
- 2 tablespoons of obedience
- A dash of fairness
- Mix all ingredients.
- No baking is required.
- Sprinkle with happiness.
- Season with love.
- Serve with kindness.
Do this activity as a whole group, in pairs, or individually.
16. Write a Thank You Letter.
Students write a thank you letter to someone in their life for whom they are thankful. It could be a family member, friend, teacher, or staff member.
17. Respond to Thanksgiving Writing Prompts.
Thanksgiving writing prompts are simple yet effective Thanksgiving writing activities.
Prompts are great for morning work, homework, informal assessments, or any kind of warm-up activity.
Whichever type of writing genre you want students to practice, there’s a writing prompt to serve the purpose.
Final Thoughts: Thanksgiving Writing Activities
You’ll all set to help students strengthen their writing skills and reflect upon the spirit of this holiday using these delightful Thanksgiving writing activities.
So be sure to add these ideas to your collection of Thanksgiving activities.
Related: fall writing prompts