A Thanksgiving Holiday Unit Study for Homeschoolers

A Thanksgiving Holiday Unit Study for Homeschoolers | Growing Up Herbal | Here’s a quick, one week Thanksgiving holiday unit study that’s fun for homeschoolers.

In my last post on homeschooling, I explained how we’re spending part of our Winter Break doing some focused holiday unit studies with a bit of unschooling mixed into the mix. I talked about how I put a unit study together, and I shared our Halloween holiday unit study schedule as well. 

Today, I thought I’d quickly drop in to share our Thanksgiving holiday unit study with you all in case you’d like to give this one a try too.

Thanksgiving Holiday Unit Study

Topic & Time Frame

Like I said, this holiday unit study was centered around Thanksgiving, specifically the first Thanksgiving between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans, and was a short study. We started on Wednesday, November 14th and ended Wednesday, November 21st — 6 days of study total.


For reading, we downloaded Louisa May Alcott’s An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving from Librovox.org. It’s a short story and was fun to listen to. We broke it up into equal parts over the course of the week. This is how we started our mornings. After breakfast, the boys would pile on the floor with their blankets and pillows, and we’d listen to 10 minutes or so of the audiobook before moving on to something else.

For history, we used Scholastic’s interactive site on The First Thanksgiving. Each day we listened and watched videos on the different areas on the site (Mayflower, Daily Life, Feast, Historical Letters).

For grammar, we worked our way through a series of writing exercises together, paying attention to correct capitalization, punctuation, spelling, grammar rules, etc.

For poetry, we used Ambleside Online’s Thanksgiving poems. I chose one poem for each day. We read the poem through once, talked about things that caught our attention, read the poem again, and then discussed our thoughts on the meaning.

For math, we used Education World’s popcorn math which has lots of popcorn math activities. We did 1-2 activities each day.

For food, we didn’t do too much this time around, although you certainly could if you wanted to. We made homemade apple cider one day, and on Thursday, before heading to our family’s homes, I had the three oldest boys each help me make a different Thanksgiving dish.

We did incorporate picture studies in this time around. We chose Norman Rockwell’s The Four Freedoms and Thanksgiving: Mother And Son Peeling Potatoes to study. We looked at one each day and discussed what we saw, what we liked and disliked, and what we thought the paintings meant or symbolized.

A Thanksgiving Holiday Unit Study for Homeschoolers | Growing Up Herbal | Here’s a quick, one week Thanksgiving holiday unit study that’s fun for homeschoolers.

For art, we made a thankful tree, thumbprint turkey paintings, and pinecone bird feeders.

For science, we used Education World’s popcorn science, and I chose one experiment for each day. Each experiement revolves around popcorn, coming up with a hypothesis for each text, and then performing it to see if your hypothesis was correct or not.

For geography, we had one activity where we glued popcorn kernels to the states that produce the most corn in the United States. Again, we used Education World’s popcorn geography for this, and the boys were interested to see the results!

We also watched the Hallmark Channel’s version of An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving which is quite different from the book but still a good movie. We watched A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (a holiday classic) too.

As always, the boys had their daily readings in their science and history books as well as another book of their choosing. They also have piano practice and Spanish lessons they do each day as well.

A Thanksgiving Holiday Unit Study

Below is a detailed look at our Thanksgiving holiday unit study schedule. If you decide to try this with your kids, feel free to follow this schedule exactly or change it up to fit your family’s needs.

Wednesday, November 14th:

  • Audiobook: Part 1
  • Grammar: Write thank you notes to Mum-mum
  • History: Mayflower
  • Science: Experiment 1
  • Math: Activity 1 + 2
  • Art: Thankful tree
  • Picture Study: Freedom of Speech
  • Poem
  • Daily readings
  • Piano
  • Spanish

Thursday, November 15th:

  • Audiobook: Part 2
  • Grammar: Would a turkey make a great pet?
  • History: Daily Life
  • Science: Experiment 2
  • Math: Activity 4
  • Picture Study: Freedom of Worship
  • Poem
  • Daily readings
  • Piano
  • Spanish

Friday, November 16th:

  • Audiobook: Part 3 + 4
  • Grammar: How many words can you make from “Happy Thanksgiving?”
  • History: The Feast
  • Science: Experiment 3
  • Food: Homemade apple cider
  • Art: Thumbprint turkey paintings
  • Picture Study: Freedom from Fear
  • Poem
  • Daily readings
  • Piano
  • Spanish

Monday, November 19th:

  • Movie: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving
  • History: Historical Letters
  • Science: Experiment 3
  • Poem
  • Daily readings
  • Piano
  • Spanish

Tuesday, November 20th:

  • Grammar: Compare and contrast the first Thanksgiving with today’s Thanksgiving.
  • Science: Experiment 4
  • Math: Activity 6
  • Picture Study: Freedom from Want
  • Geography: Top corn producing states
  • Poem
  • Daily readings
  • Piano
  • Spanish

Wednesday, November 21st:

  • Grammar: Write the extended definition of “gratitude” and use it in a sentence.
  • Science: Experiment 5
  • Math: Activity 7 + 8
  • Art: Pinecone bird feeders
  • Picture Study: Thanksgiving: Mother and Son Peeling Potatoes
  • Poem
  • Movie: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
  • Daily readings
  • Piano
  • Spanish

And that’s it for this year’s Thanksgiving holiday unit study. It was short and sweet… perfect for the week leading up to Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! I’m so grateful for you!

  1. Megan Stevens says:

    LOVE all these ideas! Ha, love the Grammar Writing assignment, Would a Turkey Make a Great Pet? Super fun. Such a great way to enjoy this time of year with kids! <3

  2. Sarah Corson says:

    Glad to get acquainted with you the first time. So interesting!
    I am thankful for people like you making the world a better place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *