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Thanksgiving is a holiday filled with so many writing opportunities for students. Here are some Thanksgiving books to use as mentor texts to introduce the writing activities to students!

You may also be interested in my additional Fall Themed Roundup LIsts:

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12 Favorite Thanksgiving Books for Kids

Thanksgiving Picture Book: How to Catch a Turkey

How to Catch a Turkey

How to Catch a Turkey by Adam Wallace is part of the popular How to Catch book series. A turkey is running loose around the school and it’s up to the students to catch it! A perfect opportunity for a STEAM activity for students to create their own turkey traps.

Thanksgiving Picture Book: A Turkey for Thanksgiving

A Turkey for Thanksgiving

A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting is a classic that may already be in your collection. Mr. and Mrs. Moose invited all of their animal friends to dinner. But one friend doesn’t want to come for fear of becoming the dinner! How can they convince him he’s a guest and not the main dish?

Thanksgiving Picture Book: Turkey Trouble

Turkey Trouble

Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano features a turkey who knows he needs to come up with a plan to avoid becoming dinner. After several failed attempts to disguise himself, he comes up with the perfect plan. You can even have your students make a disguise for their turkeys!

Thanksgiving Picture Book: Balloons Over Broadway

Balloons Over Broadway

Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet is the true story about the puppeter behind the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day balloons. This can easily be paired with nonfiction texts about the history of the parade. You can also complete a STEAM activity where students make their own balloons and make your own parade!

Thanksgiving Picture Book: Turk and Runt

Turk and Runt

Turk and Runt by Lisa Wheeler has always been my favorite Thanksgiving story. Turk is the pride of the family – big, strong, and graceful. His parents are so proud when several people visit the farm to see Turk. His brother Runt knows the real reason why they’re there but no one ever listens to Runt. Will he get his family to listen to him in time before his brother is a goner?

Thanksgiving Picture Book: Thanksgiving in the Woods

Thanksgiving in the Woods

Thanksgiving in the Woods by Phyllis Alsdurf is based on the true story of a family in New York who invite family and friends to an outdoor feast on their farm in the woods. A beautiful story of community as everyone brings something to share as they celebrate together.

thanksgiving picture books great thanksgiving escape the reading roundup

The Great Thanksgiving Escape

Kids can totally relate to The Great Thanksgiving Escape by Mark Fearing. The family time on Thanksgiving can be a bit boring for kids, so Grace and her cousin Gavin decide to make a break for it. They face many obstacles on their adventure – like the great wall of butts! Will they ever get to escape and make it to the swingset in the backyard?

Children's Book: Thank You, Sarah

Thank You Sarah

Thank You Sarah by Laurie Halse Anderson is inspired by the true story of Sarah Josepha Hale. She spent 35 years petitioning to declare Thanksgiving as a national holiday!

Children's Book: Thank You, Omu

Thank You, Omu!

Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora is an amazing alternative to turkey books this Thanksgiving. Oge More has become my new favorite author and this book is a perfect example of why! The neighborhood can’t resist Omu’s delicious stew as she graciously shares with them all. Just as your students won’t be able to resist this beautiful story and colorful cut-paper illustrations!

Children's Book: 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey is about a group of students who visit a farm. They quickly become friends with the turkeys but learn of the awful fate that awaits their friends. When it’s time to go home, their bellies mysteriously become fuller!

Children's Book: Fry Bread

Fry Bread

Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard is the perfect story to share in honor of Native American Heritage Month. It honors and celebrates Native American traditions. It’s important to share this with all students, but it’s especially valuable to let Native American students feel seen and represented in our books.

Children's Book: A Plump and Perky Turkey

A Plump and Perky Turkey

A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman tells the story of turkeys who are too smart to jump into pots and know to leave town around Thanksgiving. So the townspeople devise a plan to lure in turkeys with an arts and craft show. Will any of the turkeys take the bait?

Which of these books about Thanksgiving do you love to use with your students? Do you have other favorite Thanksgiving books that didn’t make my list? Share them in the comments!


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