12 Best Thanksgiving Projects For Middle School To Try Today

Looking forward to Thanksgiving? Want to get your students excited about the holiday too? Why not try implementing some Thanksgiving projects into the school curriculum.

It’s a great way to involve the children with your teaching, have them try some new activities, and learn all about Thanksgiving simultaneously.

12 Best Thanksgiving Projects For Middle School To Try Today

If you’re unsure of what class projects you can try in the run up to Thanksgiving, we have you covered with lots of turkey, pumpkin, and pilgrim themed activities.

Why It Is Important To Have Thanksgiving Projects

Thanksgiving is an important holiday. It is a day to teach your students how to be thankful, and grateful for people’s services, talents, and help. 

Teaching your students about Thanksgiving can also help them understand a bit more about American history, while also teaching native American students and all other students about their shared cultural heritage.

You can also teach students about Thanksgiving thoughtfully, by sharing a historically accurate version of Thanksgiving. It’s not just about being grateful, you can discuss the American Indian perspective on Thanksgiving. 

12 Best Thanksgiving Projects For Middle Schoolers

If you are looking for some fun projects for your middle schoolers to complete, while also teaching them all about Thanksgiving and its importance, then we have you covered with 12 great activities for the classroom, or as home projects! 

1. Thanksgiving Crossword & Codebreakers

A crossword or codebreaker is a great way to engage the students’ minds, and get them thinking.

It’s also a problem solving activity, while teaching them important things about Thanksgiving by following the clues and finding the correct answers within the crossword. 

There are many examples online of free, printable crosswords that you can use for your students, depending on age range and difficulty level.

You could also give your middle schoolers a word search to try. This one is Thanksgiving themed, with lots of phrases and words to find that relate to this holiday.

2. Be Thankful Activity

This video supplies you with 5 gratitude activities to try in the class. But you can try your own ‘Be Thankful Activity’. This activity is really simple, and doesn’t require purchasing lots of crafts or items.

All you will have to do is give each of your students some paper. You can cut it up into small pieces, big enough for a few sentences.

Give each student three pieces of paper, and encourage them to be thankful.

On each piece of paper, the students will need to provide kind words of thanks and gratitude, and they can pass them around to other students. 

Not only does this encourage them to be grateful and thankful for those they care about, but it also boosts their confidence, as other students will get kind words written for them. 

You can also have your students do a home project and assignment, by creating a thankful poster for show-and-tell.

They can create their own beautifully decorated posters and talk about who they are thankful for in their lives. 

3. Thanksgiving Bookmarks

Here we have a great project that your middle schooler can work on! You’ll only need a few supplies, and it doesn’t take too long. But, the results are great.

These turkey corner bookmarks are so cute, your students will love them! You can download the template, fold and cut the paper.

All you’ll need is the template, white paper, scissors, and some glue. There is also a video tutorial you can make use of here. 

Once you have the template, you’ll have to cut out the square, and fold the paper into a triangle, showing both eyes of the turkey on the same side.

Then, flip over the triangle, and fold the corners in from right to left and vice versa. Unfold those corners, and fold the top layer of the triangle down.

Then, tuck in the flaps until you have a turkey face. Then cut out the feathers, and glue them to the top of your bookmark. 

That’s it! Your cute turkeys can be used as bookmarks when you go over reading and comprehension activities for the Thanksgiving period. 

4. Origami Turkey

Another fun Thanksgiving project is to create an origami turkey. This can work as a problem solving task, and can help your students become more creative and independent.

All you will need to provide is a square piece of brown paper, and some glue! Then, follow the tutorial and instruct your students how to make the turkey as you do it step by step together. 

5. Thanksgiving Comprehension Activity

If you want the class to be a bit more educational, along with some fun activities, then you can try this reading and comprehension activity.

This one is all about Native People of the US, and whether they celebrate Thanksgiving too. 

6. Thanksgiving Coloring Activity

In the run up to Thanksgiving, some students can find it hard to concentrate, and are just too excited. On those days, you can try a Thanksgiving coloring activity, by using printable outlines and coloring pens and pencils. 

7. Thanksgiving Greetings Cards

You can also download free printable coloring in Thanksgiving cards.

This can give your students something fun to do, they can make them their own, and it gives them the opportunity to create cards to give thanks to those they care about. 

8. 3D Lego Pumpkin

A great way to keep the students occupied and enjoying themselves while learning about the Thanksgiving holiday is to have them build a 3D lego pumpkin.

This is also a STEM activity, as they can learn to build things themselves.

For this activity, you will need lots of orange bricks, in a range of sizes, and a few green bricks too.

You can follow the instructions below, or print them out to give out to the students as instructions. Alternatively, you can use the guide provided here.

9. Beaded Corn Activity

You can also have your class create their own beaded corn. This is a great craft that can be a classroom activity, or a home project. You will need to use pipe cleaners, to slide the beads onto in a V shape.

You’ll have to make four of these, before twisting them all together and overlapping them to keep them in place. 

Then pull the ends together with some twine, before painting the beads some nice fall inspired colors. Grab some raffia, and hot glue it to the end to make it look like the stems of the corn.

You can also add bows to make them more attractive. 

10. Paper Pumpkins Activity

Another option is to make paper pumpkins. For this activity, you will need orange paper, green paper, scissors, some glue, and a few green pipe cleaners.

You have to cut the orange paper into thin strips, create a cross out of them, gluing them together, and then add two more strips to create a star shape. Then, start gluing the ends together to create a spherical shape. 

Add the green stem and the pipe cleaners for decoration, and that’s it.

After your class has created their own pumpkins, you can start a discussion around why we associate pumpkins with Thanksgiving, and talk about the first harvest. 

11. Fall Slime

Kids love making slime! This fall inspired slime can be a fun activity for all of the students to enjoy. Slime is actually really easy to make, too.

It is also a STEM activity, as the kids can learn to experiment with the ingredients and learn how they bond together to make slime. 

All you will need is orange food coloring, glitter, fabric leaves, clear glue, and liquid laundry starch. Start with the glue, and add the coloring and starch.

You will need to stretch and play with the slime to make it more pliable. The kids can play with the slime, mixing in the glitter and leaves to make a fall-inspired concoction. 

12. Harvest Ceremony Discussion

This study guide can help teach students about the myths behind Thanksgiving, the harvest, and the First People.

There is a lot of reading and information you can cover, with in depth discussion topics at the end to go over with your students.

This can help them comprehend the deeper and more historical meaning behind Thanksgiving. 

Final Thoughts

To summarize, Thanksgiving is a time that many students look forward to throughout the year.

This can be the opportunity to teach students about being thankful, along with providing fun activities that can tie in with a history lesson on American culture. 

It is also important to provide thoughtful perspectives on Thanksgiving, along with the fun activities.

We recommend this American Indian Perspectives on Thanksgiving for Middle Schoolers to examine the deeper meanings behind this holiday.

Helena Waters

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