Thanksgiving Vocabulary Words

Design Puzzles, Worksheets, and Activities for Your Students Using This List

A full plate at Thanksgiving dinner symbolizes American abundance, belonging, and identity.
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his comprehensive Thanksgiving vocabulary word list can be used in the classroom in so many ways, including word walls, word searches, puzzles, hangman and bingo games, crafts, worksheets, story starters, creative writing word banks, and a wide variety of elementary lesson plans on almost any subject.

Identifying Thanksgiving Words

Many Thanksgiving words relate to the traditional feast, which can build vocabulary about food, dining, and celebrations.

Some words may be unfamiliar to students and spark discussions about how Americans celebrated the holiday in the past compared to today, and how celebrations might be distinct in different areas of the country and different family units.

Thanksgiving words also relate to the history of interaction between Native Americans and European colonists. Faith-based schools may emphasize the religious overtones of the holiday, while public schools may keep lessons focused on secular traditions.

Happy Thanksgiving! Vocabulary Word List

acorns

America

apple pie

autumn

bake

baste

blessings

bread

canoe

carve

casserole

celebrate

centerpiece

cider

colonists

cook

corn

cornbread

cornucopia

cranberries

delicious

dessert

dinner

dish

drumstick

eat

fall

family

feast

giblets

gobble

grandparents

gratitude

gravy

ham

harvest

holiday

home

Indians

leaves

leftovers

maize

Massachusetts

Mayflower

meal

nap

napkin

native

New World

November

oven

pans

parade

pecan pie

pie

Pilgrims

plantation

planting

plate

platter

Plymouth

pots

prayer

pumpkin

pumpkin pie

Puritans

recipe

religion

roast

rolls

sail

sauce

seasons

serve

settlers

sleep

snow

squash

stir

stuffing

tablecloth

thanks

Thanksgiving

Thursday

tradition

travel

tray

treaty

turkey

vegetables

voyage

winter

wishbone

yams

Creating Word List Activities

Word Walls: A word wall makes a great starting point for a variety of vocabulary lessons. Print the words in large letters or write them with large markers on a whiteboard or chalkboard so all students can see them well throughout the classroom. Familiarize your students with the list, then introduce them to various fun word wall activities.

  • Word Search Puzzles: Create your own word search puzzle or use an online puzzle generator. Several allow you to customize a puzzle as appropriate for your class and school policies. For example, some prepared Thanksgiving word search puzzles may have religious references or references to Native Americans that do not fit your district policy, while faith-based schools may wish to emphasize the Christian origins of Thanksgiving.
  • Sight-Word Flash Cards: Improve vocabulary for early elementary students with flashcards. Using seasonal words can help them with other Thanksgiving reading assignments and activities. It can also be a fun way to learn everyday words in a more festive setting.
  • Hangman: Thanksgiving words can enliven this game as a classroom activity.
  • Poem or Story Written-Word Exercise: In this activity, students select a few words at random from a hat and use them in a poem or story.
  • Impromptu Speech Exercise: Ask each student to draw one to five words to use in a speech to give to the class. You can select a theme for the speech and then draw words or allow students to come up with their topics themselves.