A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting
I use it with a turkey-shaped graphic organizer outlining the story elements that the students use to form a summary. It’s a cute story about how some forest animals host Thanksgiving dinner but they forgot to invite Turkey. So they go out looking for him, but Turkey doesn’t want to be found because he is sure he will BE dinner.
A Turkey for Thanksgiving because it’s so cute. The turkey thinks he’s for dinner when actually he is just the guest. Super funny. After we read the book I give them turkeys to disguise so no one eats them.
How Many Days to America?: A Thanksgiving Story by Eve Bunting
It’s about immigrants coming to America and they arrive here on Thanksgiving day. Many of my students can relate to the people in the story through their own experience or that of their parents.
Our school has many families that were forced out of their home country, or they left to find a better life. I like to read it in my upper level classrooms. The stories shared are so touching and the other children who were not aware of the hardships seem to look at others in a new light. My other favorite is Molly’s Pilgrim.
Thank You, Sarah by Laura Halse Anderson
I like Thank You Sarah because it’s history and clever. I get chills when I read it to my first graders.
-Betsy Lutz Brown
by Eileen Spinelli
I like Thanksgiving at the Tappleton’s because it uses humor to show the stress that families go through when preparing the big meal. In the end it teaches us that it is not just about the food, but being thankful for family and being together. I also make my class come up with how they will help their family prepare for Thanksgiving because the story talks about how each family member had a special job. Great way to get them writing.
I love this story!!! I use it for sequencing!!! Then I have them write about their favorite Thanksgiving dish that their family makes!!!
Turk and Runt: A Thanksgiving Comedy
by Lisa Wheeler
We love reading this story because 1) it shows that even a small turkey can have something important to say; and 2) because there are so many fun extension activities you can do with the funny characters and turkey costumes.
‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving (Bookshelf)
by Dav Pilkey
because the little potbellied turkeys are adorable. And because the text rhymes kids can make some pretty good predictions for word choice. Make sure to check out the author’s website for fun backstory.
Sometimes It’s Turkey, Sometimes It’s Feathers
by Lorna Balian
It’s a feel good story and the kids never seem to suspect how it’s going to end!
I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie (Picture Puffins) by Alison Jackson
it’s a play on the traditional old lady who swallowed a fly using all the traditional Thanksgiving food, but in the end when the old lady is enormous….she becomes a balloon in the Macy’s Parade!
Eating the Plates: A Pilgrim Book of Food and Manners
by Lucille Recht Penner
Eating The Plates. History written for children to understand. My 3rd graders always love it.
by Barbara Cohen
I love Molly’s Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen. It’s about a young Jewish girl who emigrates from Russia and her mom tells her about the meaning of pilgrims.
The Can-Do Thanksgiving
by Nancy Cote
I always start with Can-do Thanksgiving. It is about a first grade class canned food drive. One student puts a note on her can to try and find out where it goes. When a soup kitchen calls they volunteer to serve Thanksgiving dinner where she meets a boy a lot like her and they save the day together. Good moral message and kicks off our canned food drive.
Sarah Morton’s Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl by Kate Waters
I love the book Sarah Morton’s Day. The illustrations are pictures taken of re-enactors at Plymouth Plantation. We compare & contrast her life to theirs. There are 3 others in the series-im not sure on the names but i think they are Samuel Eaton’s Day, Tapenum’s Day, & The First Thanksgiving. The kids love them.
Good, simple compare and contrast of the Pilgrim’s Thanksgiving and modern day celebrations Oh, What a Thanksgiving! by Steven Kroll and S. D. Schindler (Nov 1991)
Out Of The Dust
by Karen Hesse
I like to use Out of the Dust. It’s a gr 5/6 book about the Dust Bowl told in poems. It’s great for lots of things like point of view, inference etc but the last (or nearly the last) poem is a Thanksgiving poem that the girl writes about what she is Thankful for. I have the children write their own poem and if they read it aloud on Thanksgiving Day for their family they get extra credit.
Let’s Throw a Thanksgiving Party! (Holiday Parties)
by Rachel Lynette
Yep, I wrote this one. It is part of a series on holidays. Not a great read-aloud, but it would make a nice addition to a primary class library.
Do you have another favorite to add? Please comment!