Thinking about another slice of pie and what you’re going to watch on TV, whether it’s football, the parade, or Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, makes it easy for everyone to forget what Thanksgiving is supposed to be about and why it’s such an important holiday to celebrate for Americans.
In particular, for children it’s difficult to ever understand the holiday properly unless they’re given the opportunity.
That’s why having them work on writing prompts about Thanksgiving is a great way to give them a moment to be thoughtful and really appreciate Thanksgiving fully.
How To Use These Prompts
These prompts are best to be used throughout the month of November, leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday.
In doing so, they should give students a better understanding of both the history of Thanksgiving, as well as why and how we celebrate it.
These prompts can be worked on as solo assignments, but it’s always good to also discuss them as a group, because this will open up students to a deeper and more well-rounded understanding of the question or topic at hand.
The Thanksgiving Writing Prompts
- Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving?
- What do you have to be thankful for?
- How do you show that you’re thankful for something?
- Why is it important to show thanks to those who deserve it in your life?
- What role do Native Americans play in the Thanksgiving story?
- How should we celebrate Native Americans today?
- What foods does your family have at Thanksgiving? Which is your favorite?
- What traditions are specific to your family on Thanksgiving?
- Do you watch football on Thanksgiving? Why is this seen as an important tradition?
- Does your family like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? Why?
- Can you think of any movies or books that use Thanksgiving Day as an important plot point? How do they use it?
- Why is spending time with family important?
- Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a holiday during the Civil War. Why would it be important to be thankful during a violent conflict?
- What is the weather usually like on Thanksgiving? How does it make you feel?
- Every year the president pardons a turkey, meaning that he sets it free. Why do you think this tradition started?
- How do you think the foods eaten on Thanksgiving change depending on where in the country you live?
- Following Thanksgiving is generally seen as the start of the Christmas season. Why do you think there is no break between the two?
- Do you like Black Friday, or try to ignore it? Why?
- If you could go to Thanksgiving dinner with any historical figure, who would you choose? What would you talk about?
- Who cooks Thanksgiving dinner in your family? Is this how your family normally cooks?
- Do you like Thanksgiving? Why or why not?
- Has your opinion changed on Thanksgiving over time? Why?
- What does it mean to be grateful?
- During the Great Depression, President Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving a week earlier to allow more time for buying and selling products before Christmas. Why would he put consumerism ahead of tradition? Can this be felt today?
- Why do people tend to give more food, clothes, and toys to charity during Thanksgiving and the holiday season?
- Can you think of any songs about Thanksgiving, the way there are songs about Christmas? Why do you think there are fewer songs about Thanksgiving?
- A lot of people want to travel around thanksgiving. Because of this, travel prices go up. Is it fair that it costs more to travel to see family and friends around the holidays? Why or why not?
- How does the story of the first Thanksgiving contrast with how Native Americans were treated by settlers in the years that followed?
- What do you know about the Pilgrims, and why were they so important to American history?
- Are you familiar with the poem, “Over the river and through the wood?” What does it mean to you?
Looking For More Information?
Teachers looking for more resources and writing prompts can find them throughout this website.
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