November is a great time of year for learning about turkeys, family traditions, and focusing on being thankful. This post is full of fun, engaging Thanksgiving books for kindergarten and different ideas and activities to include, as well. I hope your kindergarteners love these November read alouds as much as I do!
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Without further ado, here are some of my favorite Thanksgiving books for Kindergarten.
Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano
This is a fun, fiction story about a turkey who comes up with a plan to disguise himself so he won't become Thanksgiving dinner. It has a really fun ending that your students likely won't see coming.
This book is great for practicing making predictions. Your students can predict what the turkey will disguise himself as next. You could extend this to a writing activity and have students draw and write to tell what the turkey's next disguise will be. You can also practice sequencing the order of the story.
Every year we did a Disguise a Turkey Project where students disguised a paper turkey to hide from the farmer. Our students and families always looked forward to this project each year. You can read more about how we did that project here (including a digital option).
The Great Turkey Race by Steve Metzger
Kindergarteners can easily identify with the silly turkey characters in this fun book. This story is about 3 turkeys who are competing to be chosen as the Thanksgiving turkey. Clearly, the turkeys don't understand that the Thanksgiving turkey gets eaten. The turkeys spend the entire story competing in silly track and field events to see who is the best turkey. Towards the end of the story, the turkeys realize that the Thanksgiving turkey will be cooked. Then they come up with a way to escape.
This is a fun book with engaging characters. There are 2 sequels (The Amazing Turkey Rescue and The Amazing Turkey Party) so you can follow up with the characters in this book in other stories as well.
After reading this story, we made connections about activities we would be the best at. Also in our writing journals, we wrote about what we would have for Thanksgiving dinner if turkey wasn't available.
**These books seem to be out of print currently, but you may be able to find them in a thrift book store (or from a veteran teacher who has them from old Scholastic book orders like I do).
Turkeys by Wendy Strobel Dieker
This nonfiction book is a great way to teach students about real turkeys. Kids love learning about animals, and what better animal to learn about in November? This book is great for teaching nonfiction text structure, too. It is simple with only a sentence or 2 per page.
After reading, I printed a large poster-size photo of a turkey and labeled the parts of a turkey. We made handprint turkeys and labeled the parts on the handprints, too. I was always surprised by how many of my students had never traced their hands to create a turkey before. You can click here to download a free worksheet to label the turkey.
I have a Free Thanksgiving Turkey Craft that would pair nicely with this story. You can find it here.
This is the Turkey by Abby Levine
This story is a book with a good rhythm and lots of rhyming. It's about a family getting ready for a big Thanksgiving dinner. Everything is going well until there's a complication with the turkey.
It's a great way to open discussion about Thanksgiving traditions and the different foods we traditionally eat on Thanksgiving.
After reading we drew our favorite Thanksgiving foods on a plate. You could also design a placemat for the Thanksgiving table. We did that on a large piece of construction paper.
Bear Gives Thanks by Karama Wilson
Bear stories are terrific short stories with great messages. This story bout Bear and his friends ties in perfectly with Thanksgiving in kindergarten. In this story, Bear's friends all bring him different foods and treats. But Bear ends up feeling sad because he doesn't have anything to share with them.
Bear's friends remind him that he has special things to share, too. It's a great lesson that we all have different gifts and talents to share.
After reading, we would discuss our different gifts and even have students share things they like about their classmates. Then we wrote an “I am Thankful” page for each student in the class. (You can check out my thankful book resource here.) Afterward, everyone got to take home a book full of reasons their classmates are thankful for them. It's a great activity to remember that each of us is unique and valued in the classroom community.
More Thanksgiving Books for Kindergarten
The Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey
How to Catch a Turkey by Adam Wallace & Andy Elkerton
Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks by Margaret Sutherland