25 Thanksgiving Writing Prompts

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If you are looking for some Thanksgiving writing prompts for your students this year, or even for yourself, you have come to the right place.

Thanksgiving. It's a holiday that is celebrated all around the world, sometimes with a different name, and usually in the fall season. It is a time for reflection on what we have been given by God, on the many blessings that we have.

It's a season of realizing that others have far less, and it is most of all, a time for being grateful to have the people who help get us through every day.

These ideas for Thanksgiving writing prompts are useful for teachers looking for journal ideas or simply for a individual who would like to reflect on what is important.

You could even use these prompts orally with a classroom of students, or with your family at Thanksgiving dinner.

Check out this page for more on using journals in the classroom.

Thanksgiving Writing Prompts For Primary Students

  • What does "thankful" mean to you?
  • Why do we say "thank you?"
  • What do we do at Thanksgiving?
  • What holiday do we celebrate this week?
  • When should we say "thank you"?
  • What do you remember about Thanksgiving?

If you teach elementary school, see this list of elementary writing prompts.

Thanksgiving Writing Prompts For Older Students

  • What three people are you the most grateful for, in your life, and why?
  • What was the best Thanksgiving you ever had? Describe it.
  • Write about a time that you were not grateful, and became more grateful. What changed your thinking?
  • What are your family's traditions for the Thanksgiving holidays?
  • What do you plan to do this Thanksgiving holiday?
  • Write about a typical Thanksgiving holiday with your family. What do you see, hear, taste, smell, and feel? Give as many details as possible.
  • What Thanksgiving food would you like to learn to cook, and why?

Thanksgiving Story Starters

These are some possible story starters for Thanksgiving that you could use with your class, to start a story-writing assignment. If you would like to have them write a story about Thanksgiving, I would suggest offering more than one prompt to get their creative juices flowing. These ideas would also work for an individual writer, or a writing group looking for ideas:

  • Mom and Dad were missing their oldest son this year. This was the first year he would not be home for Thanksgiving. Last year had been different ...
  • "You never say thank you!" the frustrated mother said to her teenage daughter. "This year, I am going to teach you a lesson. You will be the one cooking the dinner ..."
  • I never realized how grateful I was to have a home until ...
  • Everyone says you can't go home again. Well, this year, I tried to go home again, and this is what happened ....
  • This was the first Thanksgiving dinner she would be spending with her new sister. Her little baby sister was cute but she was tired of always playing with her. Maybe this year, she would run away and find a new family that appreciated her more ...

Thanksgiving Report Ideas

Here are some ideas for reports your students could research regarding the Thanksgiving holiday. These could be done individually or in groups. There a number of ways a student could present these reports. One is the traditional report typed up, which is excellent. Alternatives for presentation could be a PowerPoint presentation, an informative poster with lots of text included, an oral presentation with visual aides. Your students might even come up with another idea for communicating their findings.

Here are some report topics:

  • Research the way other country/countries celebrate Thanksgiving. How is different than how your country does it? Things to look at are the history of the holiday, the food eaten, the traditions that are followed.
  • Research a list of recipes that would be good for making a Thanksgiving dinner. Figure out what ingredients you would need to feed a group of twelve people. Also, calculate the cost of the dinner.
  • Research how to say "thank you" in 50 different languages. Are any of the words similar? If so, which ones?
  • Research manners in another country different than your own. What is considered polite and how does it differ from our customs?

Thanksgiving Movie Ideas

This is a list of movies that make a reference to the Thanksgiving holiday.

  • A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)
  • The War At Home (1986)
  • Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
  • What's Cooking? (2000)
  • The Ultimate Gift (2006)
  • The Blind Side (2009)

I hope you enjoyed this list of prompts and writing ideas for Thanksgiving. Have a great holiday this year. Thanks for reading!

If you would like more writing prompt ideas check out our journal prompts page.

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