Laura Candler Thankful Writing Assignments

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. In the classroom, I tended to be a little last minute on things. Especially holiday things. It’s not that I didn’t want to do the activities. It’s just that with the timelines and everything else, holidays activities got bumped from my priority list. So I was not the teacher who had the elaborate integrated Thanksgiving unit planned weeks in advance. I was more of the teacher who was scrambling on Thursday to think of something to do by Friday because I forgot that next week was the break. #who’swithme

Of course this was before TpT was so huge! Last minute planning would be so much easier now 😉 One of the reasons I create resources is so that when I do go back, I will have everything I want already created and ready to go. Maybe I will be a little more of an advanced planner then. Hmmm. We’ll see.

Anyway, I figured I can’t be the only last minute teacher out there, so I figured I would compile a list of last minute Thanksgiving resources that I’ve come across on TpT, blogs, and Pinterest. I’ve scoured the web for you to find resources that are high quality, creative, quick, and also free. These are all activities I would absolutely use in my classroom!

Last-minute Thanksgiving Activities for the Classroom

Here we go:

If you’re looking for expository writing, check out Laura Candler’s Thankful Writing Craftivity–This has everything you need (graphic organizers, template, essay checklist, and detailed teacher instructions) to have your students write an expository essay about what they are thankful for. There is even an option to make a folder to present to parents. You might also like Team Thanksgiving Cards–So simple and fun! Students pass a card around their team and write compliments for each other.

You might also like Thanksgiving Analogies from Rachel Lynette–It’s never too early to start preparing for the SAT. Just kidding, but that’s what I think of when I think of analogies. They are great for getting kids to think outside of the box, and they also build language and reasoning skills. Such a fun freebie! She also shares Thanksgiving Would You Rather–Fun and simple “Would You Rather” questions about Thanksgiving. You can always count on Rachel to make students think!

If you are looking for a simple research activity, my Thanksgiving Research Scavenger Hunt is popular. I also have a fun matching game where students match the names of games that pilgrims played with the modern version: Games Pilgrims Play. For instance, Jack Straws is an early version of Pick-Up Sticks. This makes a fun and simple research activity, or you could just use it as a fun trivia or guessing game.

Z is For Zebra has super fun Thanksgiving Tangrams. The thing about tangrams is you always think they are going to be easy, but that is not always the case. Lots of Thanksgiving themed patterns to make. Great for visual learners!

I love Third Grade Rock Star’s Don’t Eat Me: Thanksgiving Persuasive Letter Writing–Students write a letter from the pov of a turkey. A graphic organizer is included to help students think of reasons. They will love persuasive writing like this!

If you’re looking for a collection of higher level thinking activities, check out  The Great Thanksgiving Fun Activity Pack from Keep it Simply Science. Activities include making the mac n cheese recipe for more people, reading about cranberries, and matching harvest festivals around the world.

Rockin Resources has an excellent new activity: Thanksgiving Notice Think Wonder. Students examine an old painting of Thanksgiving and tell what they notice, think, and wonder about it. The picture is included in the printable. So great for examining illustrations and using primary sources.

If you are looking creative thinking task cards for a center or early finishers, Teaching Treks has a great collection of Thanksgiving Thinking Treks. These are 24 task cards all about Thanksgiving with options like design a float for the Macy’s parade.

Finally, these caught my eye the minute I saw them on Pinterest. Second Story Window has a set of 12 Thanksgiving Brain Breaks. You might need them this week!



I hope that you’ve found some great printables that you can use this week 🙂


Happy Teaching!



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Seasonal Teaching Resources
from Laura Candler


In my Seasonal File Cabinet, you'll find free printables and teacher resources with active engagement teaching strategies to keep kids on task and learning during special times of the year. If you followed a Pinterest link to this page, you might not find the item here unless it's the same season of the year. In that case, you can probably find it on Laura's Best Freebies, a page of exclusive freebies for my newsletter subscribers. Sign up for Candler's Classroom Connections to gain access to that page.

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March Freebies

Some of the activities below are also included in the March Activities Mini Pack along with the directions and answer keys. Most of the freebies below do not include directions or answers.


March Activities Mini Pack

Over 2 dozen pages of lessons, activities and printables for special days in March, including St. Patrick's Day, Pi Day, and Spring Click to preview



Activities Included in the March Activities Pack

Here's what you'll find in the March Activities Pack.

  • Pi Day: Circle Explorations (Pi Day - March 14 or 3/14)
  • Pi Day: Sir Cumference and the First Round Table Graphic Organizer
  • St. Patrick's Day Read and Roll (PDF)
  • St. Patrick's Day Word Challenge
  • Reading Celebration Marathon
    (March 2nd - Read Across America Day)
  • Spring Dictionary Word Sort
  • Spring Primary Puzzlers (Level A)
  • Spring Daily Math Puzzlers
  • Spring Daily Math Puzzlers (Level B-C Metric Measurement)
  • Springtime Word Game
  • Story Hat Map Graphic Organizer and Blank Hat Template


FREE FebruaryActivities Pack

February fun for upper elementary students! This 27-page freebie includes lessons and activities for Valentine's Day, International Friendship Month, Black History Month and Presidents' Day, and more!

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Free February Activities and Printables

Penguin Fractions Make Fractions Fun!

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Icy Road Investigation Hands-on Science Activity

Head over to Corkboard Connections to learn more about this fun, hands-on, winter science lesson, or click here to find the Icy Road Investigation in my TpT Store.



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Grades 3 - 6

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