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Four ELA Thanksgiving Activities: Fun and Academic

Fun and challenging Thanksgiving English Language Arts Reading and Writing Activities to use in your middle school ELA classroom!

And then all of a sudden, it was November ... We cannot believe how quickly this year has flown by! To think that it's already our favorite month of the year :) At this point, our students are used to the routines in our classroom and things are starting to run smoothly (well, for the most part). There's the anticipation of the holidays and all of the utter madness that December brings, and the weather has finally cooled off, making it nice and cozy in our little classroom!


In the spirit of gratitude that Thanksgiving brings, we've rounded up some of our favorite English Language Arts activity we do with our own kiddos to promote a grateful attitude and sense of appreciation for all that we have.

1. "I'm Thankful For" Banner. We love to make our classroom festive and bright as Thanksgiving approaches, and what better way to do that than with handmade student decoration? We distribute our "I'm Thankful For" Banner (CLICK HERE to download for FREE) to each student, and they complete each section of the banner. Students not only write a thank you note to their family, but they also reflect on things they love about fall and family. It's a really neat way to have students take some time to reflect and be thankful. (It doesn't hurt that these banners create some pretty darn cute bulletin board and classroom decor!) P.S. The cute clipart at the top of the bulletin board is from Krista Wallden's TpT store. 

Fun and challenging Thanksgiving English Language Arts Reading and Writing Activities to use in your middle school ELA classroom!

2. Thanksgiving "Thank You Notes." Thanksgiving is all about thanks, so what better writing activity to do than having students write thank you letters to those they love. We don't know about you, but we think thank you letters are starting to become a thing of the past, so teaching students how to write a thank you note seems like the perfect Thanksgiving ELA activity to us :) We have a great free resource in our Teachers Pay Teachers store that will help you implement this activity in your classroom - CLICK HERE to download.

Fun and challenging Thanksgiving English Language Arts Reading and Writing Activities to use in your middle school ELA classroom!

3. Thanksgiving Acrostic Poems. Why not add that little extra ELA challenge and have your kiddos complete this "I'M THANKFUL" Acrostic Poem using figurative language. If you teach at a religious school, you could gear this more toward your religion curriculum. We had our students choose words that represented what they were thankful for from God. A great way to integrate your religion and ELA curriculum! Download for free by clicking here.

Fun and challenging Thanksgiving English Language Arts Reading and Writing Activities to use in your middle school ELA classroom!

4. To up your teaching game a notch right around Thanksgiving, use this Thanksgiving Reading + Writing Resource we created for our students. Students analyze an iconic Thanksgiving painting by Norman Rockwell, do a close read of O. Henry's "Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen," answer critical thinking questions, and even write their own narrative ending to the story. We love this resource because it's fun, it's in keeping with Thanksgiving, but it's also a super-packed ELA unit perfect to challenge your students. Click here to grab your copy!

Thanksgiving reading and writing activities for your middle school and high school students!

Looking for more ELA inspiration? Find us on Instagram and Facebook for even more ideas!


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Thanksgiving reading and writing activities for your middle school and high school students!

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