There are so many great Thanksgiving-themed books that can be ready throughout the month of November… Enough to read a brilliant Thanksgiving children’s book once a day throughout the entire month. And that wouldn’t even cover them all. Fill up your library with tons of great Thanksgiving read-alouds and themed texts for students. I’ve pulled together my five favorite read alouds for Thanksgiving to suggest adding to your classroom library. Each book suggestion leads to an affiliate Amazon link for you.
Favorite Thanksgiving Read Aloud #1:
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Turkey by Lucile Colandro
What I love about this book: repetition for early readers, series for other holidays, predictable, strong sequence lesson
Synopsis: The little old lady who swallows all the seasonal items is back. This time, she swallows all the Thanksgiving-themed items. She begins with a turkey, then continues to eat things to try to take care of the item before her. After swallowing all the items, they all come back out and put on a parade, which can lead to a discussion about the Thanksgiving Day Parade tradition. Throughout the story, kids will be able to finish your sentences and predict what sentences are coming next.
Favorite Thanksgiving Read Aloud #2:
How to Catch a Turkey by Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton
What I love about this book: humor, part of a series for other holidays, illustrations, rhyming and rhythm, strong background knowledge in a school building
Synopsis: A turkey waits backstage as the students prepare to put on a play about Thanksgiving. Turkey overhears them talk about a live turkey being brought on stage, which sets him into a panic. Turkey begins running away from the people who are trying to put him on stage. He runs through the halls, running from different teachers and school personnel. Finally, the turkey ends up on stage and decides to go ahead and sing and dance. All turns out successful and he becomes the new school mascot.
Favorite Thanksgiving Read Aloud #3:
The Great Thanksgiving Escape by Mark Fearing
What I love about this book: illustrations, point of view, dialogue, humor
Synopsis: Gavin goes to his Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving and is forced to hang with the little kids while he waits for dinner. He is having a miserable time until his cousin Rhonda convinces him to make an escape to the swing set. This follows along their journey throughout the house to get out of the house of Thanksgiving. However, when they finally get to their destination, they realize there’s another big, ironic problem.
Favorite Thanksgiving Read Aloud #4:
Thanksgiving in the Woods by Phyllis Alsdurf
What I love about this book: ILLUSTRATIONS, unique tradition (with the real-life back story), community
Synopsis: A little boy prepares for Thanksgiving in the Woods. He helps his family, friends, and community prep this big feast. As we go through the story, we learn that new people come every year, but all are treated as one big happy family. This shows the joys of creating your own tradition on special holidays.
Favorite Thanksgiving Read Aloud #5:
Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet
What I love about this book: historical, high schema, illustrations, unique story,
Synopsis: We begin this story with Tony Sarg’s childhood. He always found brilliant ways to put his scientific and creative mind to good use, even for simple tasks like feeding the chickens. As he grew up, he began getting involved with marionette puppets. When Macy’s in New York City discovers him and asks him to create a window display in their window, Tony’s life changes forever. With a strong Growth Mindset theme in the story, we learn how the Macy’s Day Parade became what it is today.
Favorite Read Alouds for Thanksgiving
Here are quick links for all five books:
Need more Thanksgiving material?
Check out these fabulous Thanksgiving resources that will make your planning and instruction much easier!