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Vocabulary Words for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a joyous time of year, as well as the perfect time to incorporate Thanksgiving word games into your classroom activities. Why not take this time to invent your own word games and explore new vocabulary words that relate to the joy of the season?

Below you'll find a printable list of vocabulary words for Thanksgiving that will spark an endless array of classroom fun before you pause to celebrate the season. It's a terrific way to combine history and creative writing.

Build a Thanksgiving Vocabulary List

Before you start playing word games that relate to Thanksgiving, consider establishing a Thanksgiving-themed vocabulary list. In fact, you can build it with your students. Give them a starter list, including common words like "turkey" and "pilgrims." Then, encourage them to build a more thorough list.

If they're having trouble, take the opportunity to read a Thanksgiving-themed book aloud. Encourage students to write down any Thanksgiving-themed words they hear and, once the story is over, use their notes to build a master list together on the blackboard.

Here's a list of 90 words to refer to as you build your very own master list:

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Use Your Thanksgiving Vocabulary Words

This is the perfect opportunity to enjoy some Thanksgiving word games. Once you've built your master vocabulary list, there are endless ways to steep in the joy of the season.

Students will enjoy these games since they're related to the holiday. Also, with the shortened school week that comes with the Thursday holiday, it's helpful to consider games that will keep students invested in the classroom, even though they know their break is on the horizon.

You can always rely on your classic word games -- like bingo, hangman, and Scrabble -- but you can also branch out into other forms of festivity, including Story Starters, journal prompts, and DIY Thanksgiving cards.

Story Starters

With Story Starters, students are asked to pick at least five vocabulary words listed on their worksheet and use them in the first paragraph of their Thanksgiving short story. You can even encourage students to go beyond five words if the inspiration strikes! Here's a free printable to use as reference:

thanksgiving story startersthanksgiving story starters


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Journaling

This is also a lovely opportunity to practice gratitude. Branch out beyond the basic history of Thanksgiving and use these moments before the break to foster gratitude.

Ask everyone to take out their classroom journal and create a list of 25 things they're grateful for. Share your own list on the board to get their wheels turning. Think outside the box, listing everything from the Pop-Tart they had for breakfast, to their parents, to the bicycle they ride on weekends, to Netflix.

DIY Cards

With everyone's heart full of gratitude, roll up your sleeves and prepare to get glitter and glue all over the place. The folks at Good Housekeeping have ideas for over 30 Thanksgiving crafts for kids, including homemade greeting cards where they can make good use of their freshly pondered Thanksgiving vocabulary.

Word Game Options

Be sure to check out our list of Thanksgiving-themed word games, as well as worksheets with Thanksgiving words. As you creep towards the next holiday break, you can be sure YourDictionary's got you covered with a long list of words to wish you a merry Christmas that will pair beautifully with a round or two of Christmas Words Scramble too. May the joy of the season shine through your chalkboard and into the hearts of all your students!

Vocabulary Words for ThanksgivingVocabulary Words for Thanksgiving

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