I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

Mega List of Thanksgiving Unit Study Ideas

Mega List of Thanksgiving Unit Study Ideas #homeschool #unitstudy #thanksgiving

Every year on Thanksgiving, I place five kernels of corn on each plate. They are to represent the meager beginnings of our nation's history--a time when seven times as many graves were dug as houses were built. The kernels remind us of one particularly harsh season when each impoverished Pilgrim of Plimoth (or Plymouth as we spell it today) was said to have lived off of a ration of five bits of corn a day.

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After placing the kernels on each plate, I invite each guest to share five specific things that he is thankful for and to eat the corn set before him. This simple tradition helps to ensure we “forget not all his benefits.” (Psalm 103:2) It puts our daily struggles into perspective and prompts our gratitude. For truly, no matter how bleak our circumstances, we can always find something to praise God for.

Our feast may begin with five kernels of corn each year, but our understanding and gratitude for the Providential, yet somewhat troubling, start of our nation always begins with an in-depth look at the history of Thanksgiving.

Over the years, we've used the following resources.

Mega List of Thanksgiving Unit Study Ideas #homeschool #unitstudy #thanksgiving

Historic Picture Books

and these 12 Thanksgiving picture books which are my most favorite

Modern Picture Books

A Lion to Guard Us (a novel about kids traveling to the New World)
Magic Tree House Fact Tracker: Pilgrims (illustrated chapter book)
Meet the Pilgrim Fathers (an out-of-print easy chapter book)
Pilgrim Thanksgiving (a simple historical "novel") 
The Landing of the Pilgrims (a chapter book)


This is a short tour of Plimoth Plantation

This is a longer virtual tour of a Plimoth home and an in-depth interview of a few of its people. My kids are always fascinated by the accents of both the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag brave.


Copywork and notebooking have always been a gentle way for my children to recall what they have learned and to practice proper sentence structure and grammar skills. Here are some free and almost-free copywork/notebooking printables.

Bible Copywork Pages from Heart of Wisdom

Free Thanksgiving Notebooking, Copywork, and Activity Pages from The Notebooking Nook

Free Thanksgiving Notebooking Pages from Notebooking Pages.com

Pilgrim Notebooking Pages from Cynce's Place


Here is a list of gratitude-themed Scripture verses (using the ESV) we like to incorporate into memory work or copy work for the month of November.

1 Thessalonians 5:18
"give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

Psalm 9:1
"I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
    I will recount all of your wonderful deeds." 

Psalm 95:2
"Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
    let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!"

Psalm 100:4
"Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him; bless his name!" 

Psalm 107:8-9
"Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!
For he satisfies the longing soul,
    and the hungry soul he fills with good things." 

Psalm 136:26
"Give thanks to the God of heaven,
    for his steadfast love endures forever."

Revelation 11:17
"Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
    let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!"


Contemporary Doxology- This is my most favorite version of the Doxology, but it's difficult to sing along to. I like to use this as our Call To Worship during our Morning Time.

Thanksgiving Hymns Youtube Playlist- 6 other traditional and/or slightly contemporary versions of Thanksgiving-themed hymns.

Here is a list of free sheet music downloads for the hymns included in the Youtube playlist:

Historically Accurate Recipes

While I would not recommend making an entirely historically accurate Thanksgiving meal as it would be drastically different from what is normally served at a typical American feast, it's always fun to have at least one traditional Pilgrim dish represented at the holiday table. Here is a short list of 17th century New World recipes (or receipts, as they were called).

17th Century Pilgrim and Wampanoag (Native tribe of Plimoth) Recipes- several dishes worth trying
"Seethed" Mussels with Parsley and Vinegar
Sweet Pudding of Indian Corn
Steamed Mussels with Cider and Cream
Anadama Bread
7 Easy Colonial Thanksgiving Recipes

Art Projects

There are plenty of Thanksgiving-themed craft projects floating around Pinterest, but my family always prefers art over craft. So the following is a collection of projects using art mediums and skills. (Sorry, you'll find no toilet paper tube turkeys here.)

Fall Art Project Youtube Playlist- lots of video tutorials for fall/Thanksgiving themed art projects

The Art of Fall Mixed Media Workshop for Kids from Alisha Gratehouse

Mixed Media Pumpkin Project from Real Life at Home

Chalk Pastel Fall Scene from The Unlikely Homeschool

Thanksgiving Turkey Project from Deep Space Sparkle

Mosaic Turkey from A Girl and a Glue Gun

One of the biggest benefits of homeschooling is that my children can have a one-piece life. Learning doesn't have to be a separate part of their days. It can be woven in and around our family, faith, and traditions. With a little intentional planning, Thanksgiving can be a month-long celebration of gratitude and history, not just a lavish meal. And for that, I am thankful.

For more Thanksgiving Ideas

Thanksgiving Unit Study Intentionally Uncluttered- includes a free printable for a Blessings Tree
12 Books for Thanksgiving
Open-Faced Turkey Sandwiches on Sweet Brown Bread- a recipe for using up those leftovers


  1. Thank you for compiling all of these awesome ideas in one place! This is so helpful!

  2. Also, a fun Thanksgiving Web Quest using Scholastic's Thanksgiving Website. https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/First-Thanksgiving-Web-Quest-1562797

  3. So many good ideas! Thank you!