Thanksgiving Printables

Corucopia filled with pumpkins, gourds, corn, and grapes

Liliboas / Getty Images

Thanksgiving is, as the name suggests, a holiday for giving thanks. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November each year in the United States. Other countries, such as Germany, Canada, Liberia, and the Netherlands, celebrate their own Thanksgiving days throughout the year.

Thanksgiving is generally accepted to have initially commemorated the survival of the Pilgrims after a brutal winter in the New World in 1621.

Nearly half of the Pilgrims who arrived in the area of Massachusetts in 1620 died before the first spring. The survivors were fortunate to meet Tisquantum, better known as Squanto, a member of the Paxutet band of the Wampanoag Confederation who spoke English. Squanto had been captured and forced into enslavement in England, and later self-liberated and returned to the New World.

Squanto helped the Pilgrims by showing them how to grow crops, such as corn, and how to fish. He also helped them establish an alliance with the Wampanoag Confederation living in the area.

When the Pilgrims harvested their first successful crop, they held a three-day festival of thanksgiving with the Wampanoag people. This is traditionally held to be the first Thanksgiving.

It wasn't until the early 1800s that states began adopting their own official Thanksgiving holidays, with New York being one of the earliest in 1817. President Abraham Lincoln officially proclaimed the last Thursday in November 1863 to be a national day of thanksgiving.

In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill officially designating the fourth Thursday in November to be Thanksgiving Day, a national holiday.

Thanksgiving meals and traditions vary from family to family, but many Americans mark the day by enjoying a family meal together. Traditional Thanksgiving foods include turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, corn, and pies such as pumpkin and pecan.

For many Indigenous peoples in the U.S., however, Thanksgiving is considered a national day of mourning and is not observed in the same positive light. They take this time to mourn the extreme violence committed by White colonizers against Indigenous populations.

Use the following free printables to help your children understand more about the Thanksgiving holiday. The printable games could also make a fun activity for children on Thanksgiving Day as they wait for family to arrive.

of 10

Thanksgiving Vocabulary

Print the pdf: Thanksgiving Vocabulary Sheet

Begin to familiarize your students with the terms associated with Thanksgiving using this Thanksgiving vocabulary sheet. Use a dictionary or the internet to look up each word or phrase in the word bank. Then write each on the blank line next to its correct definition.

of 10

Thanksgiving Wordsearch

Print the pdf: Thanksgiving Word Search

Let your students see how well they remember the words and phrases associated with Thanksgiving using this fun word search. Each term from the word bank can be found among the jumbled letters in the puzzle.

of 10

Thanksgiving Crossword Puzzle

Print the pdf: Thanksgiving Crossword Puzzle

Your students can continue to review Thanksgiving-themed terminology as they complete this crossword puzzle. Each clue describes a word or phrase associated with Thanksgiving. If children have trouble remembering some of the words, they can refer to their completed vocabulary sheet for help.

of 10

Thanksgiving Challenge

Print the pdf: Thanksgiving Challenge 

Challenge your students to see how much they remember about Thanksgiving. For each description, students should choose the correct word from the four multiple choice options.

of 10

Thanksgiving Alphabet Activity

Print the pdf: Thanksgiving Alphabet Activity

Students can practice their ordering, critical thinking, and alphabetizing skills while they review Thanksgiving terminology with this alphabet activity. Children should write each Thanksgiving-themed word from the word bank in correct alphabetical order on the blank lines provided.

of 10

Thanksgiving Door Hangers

Print the pdf: Thanksgiving Door Hangers Page.

Add some Thanksgiving festivity to your home with these printables. Cut the door hangers out along the solid line. Then, cut on the dotted line and cut out the small, center circle. Hang the completed door hangers on door knobs around your home.

For best results, print on card stock.

of 10

Thanksgiving Draw and Write

Print the pdf: Thanksgiving Draw and Write Page

Students can use this activity to practice their composition and handwriting skills. They should draw a Thanksgiving-related picture and write about their drawing.

of 10

Thanksgiving Coloring Page - Thanksgiving Turkey

Print the pdf: Thanksgiving Turkey Coloring Page

Turkey is a traditional Thanksgiving meal for many families. Print out this coloring page as a quiet activity during read-aloud time - or for children to color as they wait for Thanksgiving dinner.

of 10

Thanksgiving Coloring Page - Cornucopia

Print the pdf: Cornucopia Coloring Page 

The Horn of Plenty, or cornucopia, is a symbol of a plentiful harvest and, as such, is frequently associated with Thanksgiving.

of 10

Thanksgiving Theme Paper - I am thankful for...

Print the pdf: Thanksgiving Theme Paper

Students can use this Thanksgiving-themed paper to make a list of the things for which they're thankful.

Updated by Kris Bales

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Hernandez, Beverly. "Thanksgiving Printables." ThoughtCo, Nov. 19, 2020, Hernandez, Beverly. (2020, November 19). Thanksgiving Printables. Retrieved from Hernandez, Beverly. "Thanksgiving Printables." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 7, 2023).