In this round up of favorites I wanted to spotlight Thanksgiving books and Thanksgiving eBooks for your classroom including some digital and print options. Giving thanks and showing kindness aren’t topics limited to the month of November, but it’s a great time of year to share read alouds with students, refresh your classroom and school library, and shine a light on a few selections during Thanksgiving lessons or Thanksgiving activities in your classroom.
You’ll find favorites for elementary readers and selections you’ll want to share with middle and high school students to spark discussions and prompt writing responses. Another way to use this list? Send the link to families or a local librarian, post the link on your school’s Facebook page, or print this out and have it available for families and community members this month!
Thanksgiving Books + Thanksgiving eBooks for Today’s Readers
Stone Soup (Kindle, audiobook + paperback)
This book holds a special place in my heart. One of my earliest memories is from my own elementary experience – as a student – reading this book and making stone soup with my classmates. This is a book that can be brought to life in so many ways. You might use it to get students discussing what it means to contribute to a cause or to have them make connections to their own lives.
And to Think That We Thought That We’d Never Be Friend (Paperback)
Recommended by the amazing Maine educator Audrey O’Clair, this picture book by Mary Ann Hoberman highlights the importance of friendship. It follows a rhyming pattern similar to what students might be familiar with from Dr. Seuss books. This makes it a great extension for an author study or to spark discussions around what it means to be friends in your classroom.
Mr. Lincoln’s Way (Paperback)
Awesome New Jersey educator Chrissy Romano recommended a favorite Patricia Polacco book that is perfect for having conversations around kindness. Not only is this story a fantastic choice for starting off the school year, Mr. Lincoln’s Way can be used to tie into conversations on supporting classmates and addressing issues of bullying in your school.
Mayflower 1620: A New Look at a Pilgrim Voyage (Paperback)
This informational text from the folks at National Geographic Society and Plimoth Plantation includes photographs of reenactments and plenty of information for students to dive into. In addition to being a selection you can share with students, this book is perfect for gathering information to strengthen your own knowledge base on the topic as you prep for Thanksgiving discussions with your readers.
Those Shoes (Kindle + paperback)
I have had the pleasure of working with the team at LitLife for a number of years and Those Shoes is one of my favorite books included in their Core Ready curriculum. This story explores the idea of needs and wants and is perfect to spark conversations and prompt writers to reflect on what they are thankful for this year. Check out my new book co-authored with LitLife’s founder Pam Allyn, Taming the Wild Text for more ideas for readers.
Each Kindness (Audiobook + hardcover)
A few years ago I heard Jacqueline Woodson read aloud to students as part of a special World Read Aloud Day event in New York City. If you haven’t heard of World Read Aloud day you can check out some resources in this post. In Each Kindness, Jacqueline Woodson shares a story that is perfect for close reading opportunities, including zooming in to examine the powerful illustrations by E. B. Lewis. This book is a winner of a Coretta Scott King Honor and definitely one to add to your reading list.
Strictly No Elephants (Kindle + paperback)
Recommended by the wonderful Florida educator Jennifer Williams, Strictly No Elephants tells a story that illustrates what it means to be a friend. As you choose books to bring into your classroom during the month of November, this book can illustrate the importance of being kind, showing thanks and including everyone in special activities.
Turk and Runt: A Thanksgiving Comedy (Kindle)
This super entertaining book is a great read for students and a perfect choice for Thanksgiving reading activities. If you are working with students to explore books with a message, this book is full of opportunities for turn and talks and text explorations.
Llama Llama Gives Thanks (Kindle + board book)
I shared a Llama Llama selection in my list of Halloween favorites, so I knew I had to keep the tradition going and include a Thanksgiving themed one on this list too. This fun read is the #1 Best Seller on Amazon’s list of Children’s Thanksgiving Books.
Looking for more reading resources? Check out this free poster with 15 favorites!
Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie (Paperback + audio CD)
Another selection from National Geographic Kids, in this book you’ll find images that pop off the page. Pumpkins aren’t just for Halloween but perfect for exploring with informational text throughout the month of November. You might pair this informational text with a piece of literature to extend students’ thinking about the pumpkins they’ll spot on doorsteps this fall.
Kid Chef: The Foodie Kids Cookbook (Kindle + paperback)
If your students return from Thanksgiving break with a new interest in learning how to cook their own creations you may want to add a few cookbooks to your classroom library. Another honorable mention is a book I’m totally obsessed with The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook: Sweet Treats for the Geek in All of Us also available in paperback and Kindle. Both of these cookbooks can inspire students to think beyond Thanksgiving classics and dive into text they might not normally find in their classroom.
Thanksgiving on Thursday (Magic Tree House #27) (Kindle, audiobook + paperback)
If your students love Magic Treehouse books, #27 in the series is one to put on display in your classroom or school library. In this book, students will go back to the first Thanksgiving along with the characters they’ve followed in previous selections in the series.
Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving (Paperback)
I couldn’t help but giggle when I saw this book listed at the #1 Bestseller in the “Children’s Cat Books” on Amazon – I was immediately curious as to what else was on this list. This Thanksgiving book for students features the art of James Dean and takes readers on a lift-the-flap reading journey.
The Giving Tree (Kindle + paperback)
A list of books on giving thanks wouldn’t be complete without this Shel Silverstein favorite. Reading aloud this book to students of any age can provoke discussion, pause for moments of reflection and give students something to reflect on. You might have students respond to a prompt as writers or talk about the message in this book through a video reflection.
What did I miss? What would you add to the list? Use the comment feature below to contribute your favorite Thanksgiving ebooks or print selections!
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