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Being Thankful: Writing Prompt Ideas for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving will be here before we know it, and teachers will want to educate their students on what the holiday is about: gratitude. 

gratitude journal autumn

Being thankful is just one of the important factors behind the holiday, and teachers can bring a number of writing prompts into their classrooms to help their students understand that fact. 

Education World has gathered a list of writing prompt ideas for teachers to use in the classroom before students set out for Thanksgiving break. These prompts invite students to think about what they are thankful for, and also encourage them to have fun in the process. 

Giving Thanks: With this printable provided by Education World, students are asked to elaborate on three things that they are most thankful for.

RachelKTutoring: This website offers 20 Thanksgiving writing prompts to use in the classroom, including:

  • Make a list of 20 things that you are thankful for.
  • What is something you are thankful for this year, that is different than last year? Why?
  • Write a letter to a family member and share what you are thankful for
  • What is the best thing about Thanksgiving?

Each Person Is...: With this writing prompt by Education World, students are asked to look at the Native American proverb: "Each person is his own judge", and are asked what that proverb means to them. In this article, teachers are given five different writing prompts to use in the classroom around Thanksiving time.

  • Gobble! Gobble! Tweet! Students are asked to imagine that they are the Thanksgiving turkey. "It is your good fortune to discover that the farmer accidentally left the door to the house ajar. You sneak in unnoticed. Quickly, you find the computer and login to Twitter. You have just enough time to type five tweets. What will you say to your followers in no more than 140 characters per tweet?"
  • Invitation to Dinner: Students are asked to write down who they would invite to Thanksgiving dinner. Then, students can write down ten questions they would like to ask this person. 

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving: Provided by, students K-12 can watch the famous 1973 Thanksgiving special and participate in a number of writing prompts. 

  • K-2 Giving Thanks: In this prompt, students are invited to think of something or someone they are thankful for. After they decide, create a thank you card for that person, place or thing and include a message explaining why they appreciate it/him/her.
  • 3-5 Food Frenzy: Students are asked to step in Snoopy's shoes and create a new dish  for the Thanksgiving table. "Describe what it is made of and why you think Thanksgiving would be better with your dish on the table."
  • 6-8 Turkey Traditions: Students are asked to elaborate on any traditions their family has on Thanksgiving, and if not, what traditions would they like to start this year?
  • 9-12 Create Your Own Holiday: Here, high school students are asked to think about an event or idea that deserves a holiday. "Why do you think it is holiday worthy? What would you do to celebrate it? What day would it be on? Write a letter to the president arguing why this event or idea deserves to be recognized." 


Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor