Thanksgiving Activities for Middle School ELA

Harness your students’ excitement for the holidays with these Thanksgiving Activities for Middle School ELA!

Whether you are looking to keep students engaged for the few days prior to Thanksgiving Break or you want to bring the spirit of Thanksgiving into the entire month of November, you’ll find something that will meet your students’ needs! Check out my favorite Thanksgiving ELA activities below!

Thanksgiving Activities for Middle School ELA

1. The History of Thanksgiving – Informational Article

The History of Thanksgiving

Learning about history is so important! I love this article that outlines the history of the the American holiday in a fact-based way. Based on primary sources, this article will teach your students about Thanksgiving in a balanced way! Multiple student activities are included!

2. Writing Procedural Texts – Thanksgiving Style

Thanksgiving Writing Assignment

Learning to read and write instructions or procedural texts is an important skill! Whether in order to follow an instruction manual or give directions, this is an important life skill for human beings to master! This activity is a FUN way to teach students how to read and write procedural texts!

Starting with a non-example, students will try to fold an origami turkey with incomplete instructions! This Thanksgiving activity demonstrates to students how important clear instructions! Better instructions are provided as well to allow students to complete the Thanksgiving fun if desired.

Fun and engaging slides teaching how to write a well-written procedural texts as well as a bonus FUN Thanksgiving treat instructions included!

3. How to Write a Thank You Letter

Thanksgiving Activities for Middle School ELA

In the world of text message and emails, receiving a Thank You note is a rare occurrence, but it doesn’t have to be! Revive the lost art by teaching your students how and why they might enjoy writing thank you notes! Ask them to write a thank you letter to a different teacher and makes your colleagues’ day!

4. Gratitude Personal Essay

Thanksgiving Activities for Middle School ELA

Reflective writing is always a beneficial exercise for students! This Thanksgiving ELA writing assignment will give your middle school students the opportunity to consider the good things in their lives–and regardless of their situations, there IS something worthy feeling grateful for!

Why should students take the time to be grateful? Check our the FREE RESOURCE linked below!

5. The Power of Gratitude Informational Text – FREEBIE!

Thanksgiving Activities for Middle School ELA

Do you know the mental and physical benefits of regularly practicing gratitude? Check out this free Thanksgiving Resource and share the information with you students! Gratitude is life-changing!

Grab the Entire Bundle and Save 20%!

That’s it, friends! I hope you have a great November! Use these resources to make it fun and engaging for your ELA students!

P.S. Stay tuned for more Engaging Holiday Activities!

My Favorite Thanksgiving Activities for Middle School

Happy November!

I cannot believe that it is already November 2021! Thanksgiving (and the end of the year) will be here before we know it!

If you’ve been around here for a while, you know I love all the things about the autumn season and November is no exception! Even in the classroom, there are so many seasonal lessons and activities that coincide with this month! I’ve linked up a few of my favorite resources that are great ways to engage middle school students in learning ELA curriculum while connecting with what’s happening in the outside world!

The Witch of Blackbird Pond – Complete Novel Study Unit

Elizabeth George Speare’s classic tale, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, is a great story to read with middle school students. Although the story takes place in the 1600s, many of the conflicts and themes are still relevant today! My students have always loved delving into the world of Puritan New England and experiencing it through the eyes of the protagonist, Kit Tyler, who was born and raised on the island of Barbados. My complete unit includes resources for building students’ background knowledge, supplemental readings, creative activities, and more!


The History of Thanksgiving – Informational Article

This History of Thanksgiving PDF is the perfect reading to help your Language Arts students understand the facts of the complicated history of the Thanksgiving Holiday. The best part? There is NO-PREP required for teachers! Included in this resource is a four-page informational article, “A Brief History of Thanksgiving,” that is based on facts from primary sources. Students will learn the full picture of historical events surrounding the famous feast of 1621. This resource also includes multiple student assignments with answer keys! Comprehension questions as well as a crossword puzzle that can be completed with details from the article.


Thanksgiving Writing Assignment: Gratitude Personal Essay

I love finding authentic writing assignments for my students to complete, and this one is definitely among my favorites! This resource asks students to write an essay that discusses one person in their life for whom they are grateful. As you can imagine, these are really fun to read! I love hearing from my students about an individual who has impacted their lives. They are often very sweet and touching essays! Student instructions, a pre-writing graphic organizer, writing paper, an example/model essay, and a grading rubric are all included!


Procedural Writing – Thanksgiving Style!

In some of the states where I have taught, procedural texts or instructional texts have been a significant part of the state learning standards for ELA. It makes sense–it’s helpful to know how to read step-by-step instructions when you’re learning how to do something new! This festive take on procedural texts is both informative and fun! This mini unit begins with a fun (for you) hook activity where students are asked to fold an origami turkey. The catch? The first set of instructions are terribly written! I love using this activity to show students the importance of writing clear and detailed instructions when teaching someone how to do something. This resource includes an Instructional Slides Presentation, multiple fun student activities, student writing assignment, grading rubrics and more–all with a Thanksgiving theme!


How to Write a Thank You Note

Around Thanksgiving is the perfect time to revive the lost art of writing thank-you notes with your students! This resource includes an informational article on how to write a thank you note and some templates for students to write their own notes! Bonus points for them if they actually deliver them! This is a great activity for those awkward two-day school weeks!


Bundle and Save 20%

Can’t decide? I never can either! That’s why I’ve bundled all the Thanksgiving-themed resources together and set them at a discount. Get all four Thanksgiving Units at 20% off!


Whether you like to include Thanksgiving-related activities in your lesson planning or not, I hope you have a lovely November with your students! It can be such a fun time of year!

All the Best!

Brenna (Mrs. Nelson)