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Thanksgiving poem for students from teacher
May 27, 2019 Kids Thanks 1 comment

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Who is Ted the Turkey? Thanksgiving Poem for Kids

Meet Ted the Turkey! He is the famous bird that all the kids are talking about around Thanksgiving.  What better way to engage learners than with a Thanksgiving poem for kids about this funny bird! Ted the Turkey will flaunt his feathers and say gobble, gobble, gobble on Thanksgiving Day.  Introduce Ted the Turkey to your elementary students, and they will be ready to gobble up this interactive Thanksgiving poem for kids pocket chart activity.

Meet Ted the Turkey and introduce these Thanksgiving poems for kids for pure enjoyment!

Introduce Ted the Turkey

Your kids may have heard about Ted the Turkey, but have they met him?  Always start a learning activity with a strong hook to engage the kids and keep their attention.  Grab a Turkey stuffed animal and a these Thanksgiving poems, and, like magic, the kids will be so excited to read!

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After meeting Ted, the new Thanksgiving class mascot, introduce the Ted the Turkey Build a Poem. Sung to the tune, I’m a Little Teapot, Ted the Turkey is also a catchy Thanksgiving song for kids. I have found students to be more engaged and likely to recall the poem if I teach them a song to go with it.

Thanksgiving poems for kids include this funny Build a Poem about Ted the Turkey.

Ted the Turkey Build a Poem

Incorporate Thanksgiving finger plays with music and movement for your kinesthetic learners, while displaying this bright and colorful Ted the Turkey poem for your visual learners.  As an introduction lesson, I display the Thanksgiving poem for kids on my smart board using a portable document projector camera.   The students can easily follow along with the poem projected onto the large screen.  This is also a great opportunity to extend lessons about concepts of print, sight word and letter recognition, beginning sounds, vowel patterns, and rhyming skills.

Students work together using large print word cards to complete this Ted the Turkey Build a Poem pocket chart activity,

After reciting the Ted the Turkey poem a couple times, the kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students are eager to go to the Thanksgiving Build a Poem pocket chart center.  

Ted the Turkey Thanksgiving Build a Poem Poetry Pocket Chart Center for emergent readers.

This Thanksgiving poem for kids is interactive, engaging, and builds reading fluency.

Thanksgiving Poetry Center

Before sending them to the Ted the Turkey Thanksgiving build a poem center, I like to model Build a Poem as a whole class activity – modeling how to track words on the poster, build the poem, check for accuracy, point and recite, and how to problem solve when others may disagree what comes next. 
Working in a small group, or individually, students sequence the words in correct order to complete the Ted the Turkey Build a Poem. I love observing this pocket chart build-a-poem center.  The kids are singing and reciting the poem, reading words, tracking print, and reading….all while having fun!

Personalized Thanksgiving Poem

When done, the kids LOVE swapping out the poem for the other version included. Wait, what?! Yes, friends, you can turn this Thanksgiving pocket chart poem into a personalized poem.  Now, this already fun Thanksgiving poem about Ted the Turkey gets even better!
Blank word cards are included for the kids to write their own name on.  Put all of the names into a baggy, and students can recite and build the poem using whichever name card is pulled.  This version REALLY gets the giggles out 🙂

Students work in small groups to build and read Ted the Turkey, a Thanksgiving poem for kids

Turkey Facts for Kids

Ted the Turkey is also a great introduction to teaching turkey facts for kids.  They can learn facts, such as turkeys live in trees, with my Building Sentences: All About Turkeys resource.  You can read more about this Thanksgiving writing center, here.  The holidays bring forth so much excitement, and there are endless ways to incorporate reading, vocabulary, and writing into the hype.  Embrace the learning opportunities 🙂

Students work in small groups to build the poem, Ted the Turkey during the Thanksgiving centers and learning stations around the room.

Ted the Turkey is the perfect Thanksgiving poem for a build-a-poem poetry center! Ted the Turkey can’t escape the active learning with this Thanksgiving Pocket Chart Center

Teacher Poems

Teacher poems of appreciation, gratitude, and admiration. Thank you teacher poems make teacher feel valued and respected, for an extra special Teacher Day.

Number One Teacher

(Name of teacher),
I'm happy that you're my teacher;
I enjoy each lesson you teach.
As my role model you inspire me
To dream and to work and to reach.

With your kindness you get my attention;
Every day you are planting a seed
Of curiosity and motivation
To know and to grow and succeed.

You help me fulfill my potential;
I'm thankful for all that you've done.
I admire you each day, and I just want to say,
As a teacher, you're number one!

By Joanna Fuchs

This short Teacher Day poem is full of admiration. It's a rhyming poem.

The Teacher Gets A+

I look forward to your class
When I come to school.
You're an awesome teacher;
I think you're very cool.

You're smart and fair and friendly;
You're helping all of us.
And if I got to grade you,
From me you'd get A+!

By Joanna Fuchs

To view ALL our poem pages, see our SITE MAP

There are lots of requests for thank you teacher poems, so here's a free verse teacher thank you poem.

I Want To Be Like You

Thank you, teacher,
for being my life's role model.
When I consider all you've taught me
and reflect on the kind of person you are,
I want to be like you—
smart, interesting and engaging,
positive, confident, yet unpretentious.
I want to be like you—
well-informed and easy to understand,
thinking with your heart as well as your head,
gently nudging us to do our best,
with sensitivity and insight.
I want to be like you—
giving your time, energy and talent
to ensure the brightest possible future
for each of us.
Thank you, teacher
For giving me a goal to shoot for:
I want to be like you!

By Joanna Fuchs

Before using our poems please see our
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Poems for teachers can compare teacher to a force of nature, as this thank you teacher poem does. This poem for teacher is one of my best Teacher Day poems. Looking for an inspirational teacher poem? This might be the one.

A Teacher for All Seasons

A teacher is like Spring,
Who nurtures new green sprouts,
Encourages and leads them,
Whenever they have doubts.

A teacher is like Summer,
Whose sunny temperament
Makes studying a pleasure,
Preventing discontent.

A teacher is like Fall,
With methods crisp and clear,
Lessons of bright colors
And a happy atmosphere.

A teacher is like Winter,
While it's snowing hard outside,
Keeping students comfortable,
As a warm and helpful guide.

Teacher, you do all these things,
With a pleasant attitude;
You're a teacher for all seasons,
And you have my gratitude!

By Joanna Fuchs

More Poems For Teachers From Students

There is a Sunday School teacher appreciation poem on the Christian poems page. There is a Christmas poem for a teacher on the Christmas poems page.

This short Teacher Day poem credits teacher with looking further than just the surface in this student.

I Have A Future

Thank you, Teacher,
For reaching deep in me
to find all I can be
before I can see it myself.
You never gave up on me.
I have a future
because of you.

By Joanna Fuchs

Teacher poems can be rhyming poems or free verse, as this teacher appreciation poem is. This thank you teacher poem can be used by students or administrators. To make this Teacher Day poem usable by a principal or administrator, change it to say, "I'd show you the positive effect you have had on this school." This is an inspirational teacher poem.

If I Could Teach You, Teacher

If I could teach you, teacher,
I'd teach you how much more
you have accomplished
than you think you have.
I'd show you the seeds
you planted years ago
that are now coming into bloom.
I'd reveal to you the young minds
that have expanded under your care,
the hearts that are serving others
because they had you as a role model.
If I could teach you, teacher,
I'd show you the positive effect
you have had on me and my life.
Your homework is
to know your value to the world,
to acknowledge it, to believe it.
Thank you, teacher.

By Joanna Fuchs

Teacher Appreciation Poems

Looking for a thank you teacher poem? This sonnet is a teacher poem for older students and adults to give to their teachers or professors. Put this inspirational teacher poem on a classy looking card. It's a teacher appreciation poem certain to make an impact. It's one of my best poems for teachers.

Sonnet For An Unforgettable Teacher

(Teacher's name),
When I began your class I think I knew
The kind of challenges you'd make me face.
You gave me motivation to pursue
The best, and to reject the commonplace.

Your thinking really opened up my mind.
With wisdom, style and grace, you made me see,
That what I'd choose to seek, I'd surely find;
You shook me out of my complacency.

I thank you now for everything you've done;
What you have taught me I will not outgrow.
Your kind attention touched my mind and heart;
In many ways that you will never know.

I will remember you my whole life through;
I wish that all my teachers were like you.

By Joanna Fuchs

Poems for teacher from students often describe teacher's best attributes. This teacher appreciation poem says it all. Your teacher would love getting this teacher poem.

The Most Admired Teacher

(Name of teacher),
The most admired teacher
Would be caring, kind and smart.
She'd always have her students'
Best interests in her heart.

She'd help us love to learn.
Her lessons would be clear.
She'd motivate with praise,
And always be sincere.

She'd be upbeat and supportive,
And a great role model too.
She'd be the perfect teacher;
She'd be just like you!

By Joanna Fuchs

More Poems About Teachers

Poems about teachers are almost always complimentary. This Teacher Day poem expresses admiration and respect for teacher.

Good Guide

A smart and really good teacher
Should be a good guide, not a preacher.
She’d open each mind
Therein treasures to find;
Encouragement would be her best feature.

You have this good quality and more;
You inspire each brain to explore.
Our respect you are earning;
You’ve made us love learning,
As no teacher has before.

By Joanna Fuchs

Teacher appreciation poems are very popular. This poem for teacher, in free verse, is an inspirational teacher poem and a positive message for teacher.

I'll Remember You Always

Rarely does someone
get to influence a person's life
in a positive way
for a lifetime,
as a teacher can,
fostering optimism and confidence,
providing knowledge that leads to success,
and being a good role model,
as you have,
and you are,
and you will...
I'll remember you always.
Thank you.

By Joanna Fuchs

Teacher Day Poems

Poems for teachers from students should make the teacher feel good. This Teacher Day poem in free verse is a message for teacher that lets the teacher know how special he or she is.

I Wouldn't Know...

If I hadn't had you as my teacher,
I wouldn't know
how much fun learning can be,
satisfying to the brain and heart,
filling me with essential knowledge
I can use all my life.
I wouldn't know
some teachers stand out from others
in their desire to maximize
students' potential
for educational fulfillment,
success and happiness.
If I hadn't had you as my teacher,
I just wouldn't know.

By Joanna Fuchs

Teacher poems can talk about different kinds of teachers. We've all had teachers we remember all our lives, the star teachers. This teacher appreciation poem is for that kind of teacher.  A poem for a teacher like this is really special.

Star Teacher

I always love your class;
Your teaching helps me see,
That to have a happy life,
Learning is the key.

You understand your students;
You're sensitive and smart.
You're a skillful teacher;
I knew it from the start.

I'm grateful for your wisdom
For the teacher that you are;
You're a very good person,
And as a teacher, you're a star!

By Joanna Fuchs

Poems for your teacher can be short but meaningful. Here's a short teacher appreciation poem, in free verse.

Rainbow Teacher

A good teacher is a brilliant light
illuminating the prism of life,
revealing to students
a rainbow of possibilities.

By Joanna Fuchs

Here's a poem about teachers that emphasizes how inspirational a good teacher can be in a student's life. It's a thank you teacher poem sure to make your teacher feel good.

Some Teachers

What we learn forms the filter
through which we view the world.
What we learn
determines how we live our lives.
Some teachers teach us the right things
and make them easy to understand.
Some teachers make learning fun,
a joy that enriches all we do.
Some teachers help lead us
toward success and happiness.
Some teachers are very important to us;
we will always remember them.
You are one of those teachers.
Thank you for being my teacher.
I really appreciate you!

By Joanna Fuchs

Thank You Teacher Poems

This short  thank you teacher poem sums up the lifetime value of a teacher.

Special Teacher

Special Teacher
What you taught me
in just a few minutes a day
will help me
for my lifetime.
Thank you.

By Joanna Fuchs

A message for teacher is often filled with gratitude, as this short thank you teacher poem is.

Important Teacher

When everything else was getting me down,
I'd come to school and lose my frown.
You'd teach me stuff I wanted to know;
With you, I learned; You helped me grow.

Important people are very few;
In my life, one of them is you.
Because of you, I got some smarts.
Thank you, Teacher, from my heart of hearts.

By Joanna Fuchs

Inspirational poems for teachers are in demand. This thank you teacher poem is perfect for Teacher Day. 

The Best Teachers

Teachers open up young minds,
showing them the wonders of the intellect
and the miracle
of being able to think for themselves.
A teacher exercises
the mental muscles of students,
stretching and strengthening,
so they can make challenging decisions,
find their way in the world,
and become independent.
The best teachers care enough
To gently push and prod students
to do their best
and fulfill their potential.
You are one of those.
Thank you.

By Joanna Fuchs

This favorite teacher poem is a teacher appreciation poem sure to please. Rhyming poems for your teacher, like this one, are especially popular.

Thank You, Teacher

Thank you, skillful teacher,
For teaching me to be
A stronger, smarter person,

Thank you, favorite teacher
For acting like a friend,
And taking time to show me,
Lessons hard to comprehend.

Thank you for your caring
And lots of other stuff;
For all the things you gave me,
I can't thank you enough.

By Joanna Fuchs

Short Teacher Poems

Teacher Day poems often address the lasting impact a teacher has on a student's life, as this short teacher poem in free verse does.

Changed Forever

My Terrific Teacher,
When you fed me knowledge,
you changed forever
my view of life
and the world.
I will always remember you.

By Joanna Fuchs

This short teacher appreciation poem has a casual, breezy tone that may appeal to many.

You're So Fine

Teacher, teacher you’re so fine;
I’m so glad that you are mine.
I can’t wait to go to school.
You help me learn, and you're so cool.

When I graduate, I know
I'll remember you, wherever I go.

By Joanna Fuchs

Short poems for teachers can say a lot, like this inspirational teacher poem.

I Feel Good

Kind Teacher,
You conquered my fears
that I was dumb.
You focused on my smart strengths
and ignored the rest.
Because of you,
I feel good about me.

By Joanna Fuchs

This short teacher poem is perfect for a Teacher Day card.

My Teacher

My Teacher,
You taught me, inspired me
guided me, encouraged me
pushed me to do my best.
Thank you for caring about me.

By Joanna Fuchs

Short poems for teachers fit nicely in a card. Teacher Day poems should reveal your feelings. Let your teacher know all the ways he or she has enriched your life with these teacher poems.

A Privilege

You make my life better
both in and out of class.
Your lessons enrich my brain.
Your caring touches my heart.
You are an extraordinary person,
etched in my memory forever.

It is a privilege to know you.
Thank you, teacher, for being you.

By Joanna Fuchs

Teacher Poem To Students

While students are looking for Teacher Day poems, perhaps teachers might like this rhyming poem as a teacher thank you poem to students at the end of the year.

Students Like You

With students like you, teaching is easy
I look forward to each day;
Your wondering minds keep me on my toes;
You make teaching more like play.

Students like you make teaching rewarding;
When I go home, I'm content;
You pay attention, you learn—giving me
A sense of accomplishment.

Thank you for being the way you are,
For making my job so much fun.
I'll remember how good you made me feel,
Even when my teaching is done.

By Joanna Fuchs

Teacher Retirement Poems

Teacher appreciation poems should include poems for teachers who are retiring. This teacher poem is a teacher retirement poem. You can use this teacher retirement poem with a card or gift.

Now That You're Retiring

Now that you're retiring
We can tell you how we feel;
Our heartfelt admiration
Is deeply felt and real.

You've been a great role model
For teachers and each kid;
You showed us how to be
In everything you did.

We'll miss your fine example;
We'll miss the things you gave;
Our pleasant memories of you
We'll recall and carefully save.

We wish for your retirement
The best of all your days;
May you discover sweet fulfillment
In new and rewarding ways.

By Joanna Fuchs

Teacher retirement poems are in great demand. This teacher appreciation poem should linger long in the mind of the retiree.

As You Retire

As you retire,
know that we will miss you.
Every day, we will feel a gap,
an empty space in our lives
that used to be filled
with the pleasure of seeing you.
As you retire,
look back on your major accomplishment:
the lives you touched, influenced,
and improved forever.
As you retire,
know how important you are to everyone,
a gem, a unique treasure
that we could never replace.
As you retire,
be fulfilled, be happy, be at peace;
you deserve it.

By Joanna Fuchs

Preschool Teacher Poems

Teacher poems can be for students of different ages. Just as I designed "Sonnet For An Unforgettable Teacher" for advanced high school or college level students as a poem for teacher, I also wrote preschool teacher poems. Here they are.

Special Teacher

Thank you special teacher
For helping me to know
The things I need to learn
To live my life and grow.

I feel good with you because
Your teaching makes me see,
If I work at it, I can do it.
Thanks for showing me!

By Joanna Fuchs

Poems for teachers that are written for young children are very popular. These Teacher Day poems and wishes can be used by kids on cards or with gifts.

Lessons Are Fun

I'm happy you're my teacher;
Thanks for all you do.
You make learning easy;
Your lessons are fun, too!

By Joanna Fuchs

Poems for teachers must include short poems from little kids. These short teacher poems from preschool and kindergarten kids will fit on a little card.

Mommy, Daddy and Teacher

Dear Teacher,
I love my mommy
and my daddy, too,
but the person
I think about most
is you.

By Joanna Fuchs

Here's another teacher poem for a younger child, a message for teacher. It's suitable for an end of the year poem for teacher or a goodbye poem for teacher.

We'll Remember You

Thank you teacher for helping us
To learn what we need to know
We'll all remember you
No matter where we go.

Thank you, teacher, for being
So nice and kind and good;
We like you so much, teacher,
We'd stay here if we could!

By Joanna Fuchs

Teacher Prayer

Many thousands of people are typing teacher prayer into their search box, so I wrote a free verse teacher poem to be used as a teacher prayer or teacher appreciation saying. Here it is.

Teacher Prayer

Dear Lord, bless these teachers mightily
as they seek to teach, enrich and guide
your precious children.
Grant them abundant resources to do their job,
intelligence, wisdom, sensitivity, kindness,
and the material things that make it possible
to turn some of these tender green plants
into the strong, stable trees that will lead our nation,
to transform some of these buds into brilliant flowers
that will bring light, color and happiness
to all who encounter them,
and to give every one of them the tools
to be creative, and productive and to develop
their own kind of success in the world.
Lord, wrap Your loving arms around these teachers
who give so much of themselves to grow our youth
into creative, responsible adults.
We pray that You will immerse them
in your boundless, transcendent love.
We pray that You will strengthen and soothe them
when they have given so much of themselves
that they need Your extra attention, Your extra care.
We love, respect and admire these teachers, Lord
and we pray that you will watch over them always--
these special people who hold our children
and our future in their hands.

By Joanna Fuchs

Curious about the Christian religion? What is Christianity?
What is a Christian? What is Christian faith?
To see the answers and find out how to become a Christian,
check out this Web site.

There are more than 800 poems at this site!
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Thanks for reading our teacher poems! These teacher appreciation poems are free for use on personal greeting cards, as teacher appreciation day messages, sayings, wishes and verses, provided that the author's name (Joanna Fuchs or Karl Fuchs) and our Web site address,, appear beneath the poem. (It can be small print; just so it's readable.) All other uses require permission. See our Terms of Use for details.

Write A Teacher Message To Tell the World
Why Your Teacher Is The Best!

Don't just think it; post your praise and give your teacher a card with a link to your page. Give examples of what your teacher has said, done and taught you that makes him or her extraordinary. Your teacher will love reading why you think he or she is special.

Please note: YOUR ORIGINAL WORK ONLY, posted only at Please DO NOT submit the work of someone else. Minimum 100 words; more is better, no limit. If your poem is too short, please add comments. Submissions are subject to approval and editing.

Teacher Messages and Poems
From Other Visitors

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Poems for Kids - The following selections of poems are curated around Find poetry lesson plans, essays about teaching, a glossary of poetry terms, and other . Browse this selection of poems about gratitude and the Thanksgiving holiday, .


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Thanksgiving Kids Poems

thanksgiving poem for students from teacher

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Thanksgiving presents the perfect opportunity to think about values such as gratitude, charity, friendship, and community. Here, you’ll find 20 tips on how to teach the history of the holiday responsibly, as well as activities that go beyond Pilgrim hats and hand turkeys to help you navigate that tricky no-man’s land known as the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving break!

1. Celebrate Modern Natives
Sometimes Thanksgiving lessons give the impression that Native Americans lived only in the past. That’s a big mistake! Many Native American cultures exist in our country today. To learn about some of their traditions, visit (Note that this is an ad-supported site.)

2. Put on a Pilgrim Play
Teach students a few words and phrases commonly used in 17th-century colonial America. Download our Pilgrim–English Translator, and invite your students to write a Pilgrim play using language of the time. Your “popinjays” will be talking “scrap and tittle” to one another and saying, “What cheer?” before you know it! Huzzah!

3. Get Specific With Gratitude
Help students think beyond the automatic answers to “What are you grateful for?” with poetry. For younger kids, assign one letter of the alphabet to each student and ask them to list all the things that they are grateful for that start with their letter.

Ask older students to write a gratitude poem, featuring a different letter in each line of the poem (I am thankful for baseballs and bats / and chocolate and cats). Challenge them to build to a big finish, listing the most important things in the last line. Tell them that they can break form to do this, using words that start with different letters. Collect students’ work, photocopy, and create a Gratitude Book for them to take home.


4. Play T-Day “True or False”
Download our “What Do You Know About Thanksgiving?” trivia sheet and play a game of true or false with your students. You’ll find statements such as “There were no kids at the first Thanksgiving” and “At the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims and Indians ate eels.” (Of course, you’ll also find out whether these statements are true or false!)

5. Understand Dissenting Views
Some Native American communities consider the fourth Thursday in November the National Day of Mourning. While the harvest feast in 1621 was a peaceful celebration, within 50 years, the Wampanoag were no longer a free people. To many Native Americans, Thanksgiving represents loss of their land and the death of many of their people. For ways to discuss this difficult subject, search for “Thanksgiving” at

6. Muck the Garden
A common chore for young Pilgrim children was to “muck,” or fertilize, the garden. Why not invite students to help out for an afternoon in your school or neighborhood garden? You’ll pay tribute to colonial life while giving back to the community: the perfect Thanksgiving combination! To learn more about daily life for the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag, visit Scholastic's First Thanksgiving learning activity.

7. Hunt for the First Facts
Find out the real deal on the first meal. Go to Scholastic's The First Thanksgiving: The Thanksgiving Feast for a slide show that students can use to learn about the famous first Thanksgiving feast. Then use our The Real Deal on the First Thanksgiving printable as a quiz.

8. Eat No-Bake Pumpkin Cookies
Grab this fun and easy recipe, which calls for a microwave. If you don’t have access to a microwave, combine the dry ingredients for a Harvest Trail Mix. Be sure to enjoy some math with your snack! Have each group measure out their share of the ingredients. Ask students to estimate how many individual pieces of each ingredient they have. Invite them to write down their estimations. Then ask them to count and record the amount of each item they actually have. Were their estimates close to the real amount? Record each group’s findings on the board and compare the results. Discuss careful measuring and why it’s important when working with a recipe.

9. Separate Myth From Reality
Myth: The first American Thanksgiving feast was held in 1621.
Truth: There was a celebration of the harvest following a difficult winter. But the term “Thanksgiving” was first used to describe a different feast, in 1623.

Myth: The 1621 feast was the first celebration of Thanksgiving in the world.
Truth: People have always given thanks at harvest time, all over the world. Native Americans have held celebrations to give thanks for bountiful harvests for as long as there are recorded traditions. Today, Thanksgiving celebrations take place at harvest times in China, France, Great Britain, Greece, India, Israel, and Japan, to name a few.

Myth: The Pilgrims wore tall hats with silver buckles.
Truth: While frequently depicted wearing hats decorated in this style, Pilgrims actually did not have buckles at this point.

Myth: The Wampanoag wore headdresses.
Truth: The Wampanoag would not have worn headdresses, or war bonnets, to the feast. Headdresses have great significance to Native Americans and they are important heritage artifacts.

10. Discuss the Menu
What was served at the first Thanksgiving? What are the most commonly served items today? Download a “Then and Now” Thanksgiving menu, which includes a blank column so students can add items from their own Thanksgiving tables. Have each student read what they’ve written, then list on the blackboard any items that do not also appear in the “Now” column to create your classroom’s alternative Thanksgiving menu.

11. Talk Turkey
The United States raised approximately 271 million turkeys and produced 689 million pounds of cranberries last year. That’s a lot of food! Remind kids that even if their Thanksgiving table is jam-packed with goodies, there’s no reason to overdo it. The average person consumes between 3,000 to 6,000 calories on Thanksgiving, which is up to four times more calories than a child needs in one day. Remind kids to stop eating when they feel full, and to give those vegetables on the table a try.

12. “Grow” a Thanksgiving Tree
Help students show their friends and families what they are thankful for.

What you need: Twigs with several small branches; leaf templates; colored construction paper (orange, red, yellow, and green); scissors; large paper or Styrofoam cups; twist ties, pipe cleaners, or ribbon; modeling clay; pens or markers; hole punches

What to do: If possible, take a nature walk with your students before you plan to build the Thanksgiving Trees. Gather straight twigs that have at least three branches. The twigs can be up to 12-inches tall. Invite students to decorate their cups using markers or construction paper and glue. Fill each cup with enough modeling clay to support the twig. Have students “plant” their Thanksgiving Trees by sticking the twigs into the cups. Trace the leaf templates on the colored construction paper and cut them out. Pass around the hole punches so students can punch holes at one end of each leaf. Then, ask students to write one thing on each leaf for which they are grateful. Have them fasten the leaves to the trees with twist ties, pipe cleaners, or ribbon.

13. Reach Out to the Community
Ask your students this: “If you could do anything to help our community, what would it be?” Tell them that they can think big (“I want to build a new homeless shelter”) or small (“I want to clean up the playground”). After they write down their ideas, collect them and choose several to talk about. Discuss the idea that small projects, like cleaning up a playground, can have a huge impact, and explain the concept of starting small to achieve big goals (“We can’t build the new shelter, but we can come up with ways to raise money for it”). Also offer suggestions such as baking or cooking for the local homeless shelter, and use the discussion as an opportunity to explain that homelessness is an issue year-round, not just at the holidays. Choose the top three doable projects and hold a class vote to decide which one to pursue.

14. Learn Wampanoag
There are no native speakers of the Wampanoag language today; however, the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project is partnering with the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Language Department to offer classes and immersion programs that help revitalize the language. You can go online to the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project’s website to print a list of English words and place names derived from the Wampanoag language, and visit to print out a page of Wampanoag words for common animals. Write the words on the board and invite students to copy and illustrate them.

15. Sail on the Mayflower
Visit Scholastic's Voyage on the Mayflower activity to get a sense of what the journey on the Mayflower was like. You’ll find maps, illustrations, and audio about the journey, as well as a “Tour the Ship” feature.

16. Disguise a Turkey
Invite students to “save” a turkey by giving him a clever disguise — and writing a great story to go along with it.

What you need: Blank turkey and speech-bubble templates, markers and crayons, decorations (glitter, crepe paper, colored string, etc.), construction paper, scissors, tape and/or glue.

What to do: Print out the templates and photocopy them for your students. Have them cut out the “naked” turkey and disguise him by giving him a creative costume with markers, crayons, and decorative elements. Then have students write a first-person story entitled “I am NOT a Turkey” to explain who their character is. Invite students to present their turkeys and read their stories aloud.

17. Research Global Celebrations
There are different types of Thanksgiving celebrations in countries all over the world, including China, France, Great Britain, Greece, India, Israel, and Japan. Usually, these celebrations take place around harvest time. If you can, take your class to the library, divide them into teams and assign each team a country. Ask them to research the harvest festival in their assigned country, and have them present a list of facts or a paragraph about the celebration.

18. Make Trivia Place Mats
What you need: Cardboard, construction paper, glue or tape, pens and markers, scissors, several sets of Thanksgiving-shape patterns, and the “What Do You Know About Thanksgiving” quiz.

Before class: Trace or draw leaves, cornucopias, and other Thanksgiving shapes on cardboard. Make them roughly the same height. Cut out several sets for your students to use as patterns.

In class: Have students trace the patterns on construction paper and cut out the shapes. Then invite them to write trivia questions about the first Thanksgiving from the quiz in the center of several shapes. On the back, have them write the answers. Help students tape or glue the shapes to each other in three rows of four, with all the questions facing up. (If you can, use contact paper to further secure the place mats.) Have students bring their special place mats home for use at the Thanksgiving dinner table, where they can be the Trivia Master by asking their family questions!

19. Thanksgiving Fractions
Combine the spirit of Thanksgiving (and messages of thanks) with equivalent-fractions practice, as kids make and share fraction pies. Divide the class into groups of twos and fours (for younger children) or into threes, fours, and fives (for older or more advanced children).

Cutting Up a Fraction Pie

  1. Each group will need a large sheet of construction paper, a large pie pan, a ruler for each group member, pencils, oak tag, and crayons.
  2. Have kids trace the pie pan on the construction paper and cut out the circle, then work together using their rulers to divide their pie into equal pieces — one for each member.
  3. Each child outlines his or her pie piece in a different color and then draws a line through the piece, cutting it in half. Students will now see that their halves becomes fourths, thirds become sixths, fourths become eighths, and so on.
  4. Have students write a word or phrase on each of their pie pieces that tells why they are thankful, then glue the pieces of their pie back together onto oak tag circles. Display the Thanksgiving pies around the classroom.

20. Find Out More!
Try these great online resources for answers to your Thanksgiving questions.

Visit, the companion website to Plimoth Plantation, the museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Check out to view text from the only two primary sources about the first Thanksgiving.

The Boston Children’s Museum ( and the Wampanoag people worked together to provide lesson plans designed to assist teachers in accurately presenting the tribe’s history.

The American Journeys website ( provides access to firsthand accounts of early North American exploration.


Ted the Turkey is a funny Thanksgiving poem for kids. This pocket chart Ted the Turkey is also a great introduction to teaching turkey facts for kids. They can.

Thanksgiving Poems for Kids

In brief:Are you hunting for Thanksgiving-themed English lesson ideas? Look no further for inspiration for your Thanksgiving English lesson.

I’m grateful for Thanksgiving.

Without the annual cue of turkey, cranberry sauce, and filing, I very well may finish the year without thinking about all that’s going well in my life.

I know I’m not alone in forgetting the positive; even you’re wired to focus on the negative. According to neuroscience research, Mother Nature insisted on us focusing on the negative to increase our chances of survival. That’s why our brains process a negative event– with all its sting and embarrassment– almost instantly. Positive events, in contrast, take 5-20 seconds to fully process. Yes, we have to force our brains to notice the good. If a person is depressed, even more so, he or she must force the brain to look up.

And I’m all for it!

I’m all for forcing myself and my students into moments of gratitude before Thanksgiving. We all need a bit of guidance in focus our attention towards the good. So, whether the holiday reminds you of God’s blessings in your life or if it simply reminds you of the people you hold dear, I think it’s worth an English lesson.

Here are 5 ideas for celebrating Thanksgiving in the middle/high school ELA classroom:

1. Write Anonymous Notes of Gratitude

Materials: Smartboard & a 2-3 packs of dollar store thank you cards

Time needed: 1-2 classes (depending on length)

Skill focus: Writing a detailed thank you card

Guiding questions: Who are you grateful for today? How does one effectively express gratitude in writing? Ineffectively?

A fun way to get students engaged in formal writing is to have them writes anonymous notes of thanks to school staff. I recommend  “hooking” them into  this exercise with a Youtube video about the power of expressing gratitude:

Before writing, students should be guided in the fundamentals of writing a thank you note, with special attention to detail and style. Many students, without this guidance, will write vague thank you notes with messages such as “thanks for being a great teacher” or “you’re a cool guy.”

I recommend reviewing the format and writing a note of thanks together— I often write one in front of the class to the custodian. We brainstorm specific examples of the custodian’s hard work or kindness to include in our note. I make grammatical errors on purpose and ask the students to catch them.

To avoid writing notes to only certain staff members, you could pull up the school staff list and divvy up the names amongst students.  You can also  hand out names on slips of paper and let the students switch names amongst themselves.

In the past, I’ve had students put their cards in addressed envelopes (with no sender address) and leave them open. They can sign as “Anonymous” or “A. Student.” I review the cards before dropping them off into staff mailboxes (I check for any rude messages). Staff seem to love the cards and students appreciate the challenge!

Here’s another good video to spark the note writing; this one’s about the often unnoticed heroism of the school lunch lady:

2. Read “The Treasure of Lemon Brown” and Write “My Treasure” Essays

Materials: Copies of the short story & an example of a finished essay– access to Youtube to play the audiobook

Time needed: 2-3 classes (depending on class length)

Skill focus: Writing with imagery; especially, carefully chosen adjectives

Guiding questions: What’s something you treasure that not many would consider valuable? How do writers enhance imagery in their writings?

The story in brief: Greg Ridley, a young whippersnapper nearly flunking math class, is upset because his dad keeps lecturing him about doing well in school. Greg just wants to join the school basketball team. But dad’s the man of the house, and if he’s going to shoot balls, he’ll have to hit the books.

Ridley takes a walk. Because of the rain,  he dunks into an abandoned building and  meets a homeless man. “Old Lemon Brown,”  he calls himself. In this powerful and funny conversation between a young, restless teen and an old, contended man, we learn the power of gratitude. What’s Lemon Brown’s treasure? The answer surprised Greg Ridley and changed his perspective as it will surprise your students and change theirs.

After reading (see the audiobook reading below), discuss the powerful imagery in the story. Next, assign students an assignment to write 350-400 words– words full of carefully chosen imagery– to describe an object they consider their treasure. These assignments are fun to read in groups and then to the class. An example of such an essay to read with your class can be found inthis package

3. Read Ella Wheeler Wilcox’s “Thanksgiving” and Write Rhyme Scheme Poems

Materials:Copies of the poem for annotation

Time needed: 1-2 classes (depending on class length)

Skill focus: Writing stanzas with ABABAB rhyme scheme

Guiding questions:Which small yet wonderful moments did you overlook this week? How do writers such as Wilcox use a rhyme scheme to improve their poems? When might a rhyme scheme be inappropriate or less effective?

This poem is ideal for beginning a discussion about gratitude and for highlighting the purpose of a rhyme scheme. After reading and discussing the poem, you may have the students write their own poems about “blessings common in [their] sight” for which students “rarely offer praises”

It can helps students to put limitations on their writing. For example, you can tell them their poems must be at least two stanzas in length, follow an ABAB rhyme scheme, and include a title. Often, giving them one class to write is enough.

To help students who struggle coming up with ideas, consider having a pile of cut out words from magazines. To inspire student writing, you may pass out three words per student (these words they must use in their poems).

4. Read Hauntie’s “To All My Friends” and Write Poems Including Repetition

Materials: Copies of the poem for annotation

Time needed: 1-2 classes (depending on class length)

Skill focus: Writing poems with repetitive structures and lines

Guiding questions:Who are what are you most grateful for? How do writers such as Hauntie use repetition to enhance their poems? 

May Yang, otherwise known by her pseudonym, “Hauntie,” wrote a poem to her friends about surviving a deep depression. Her poem is notable for its repetition not only of exact words at the end of the poem, but within stanzas through repeated structures.

The poem can be used as a springboard for students’ own exploration of repetition in poetry. In their poems, they can write to someone they’re grateful for.

5. Debate the Merits of Thanksgiving as a Holiday

Materials: Smartboard to project a Youtube video

Time needed: 1-2 classes (depending on class length)

Skill focus: Argumentative writing/public speaking/research

Guiding questions:Should Americans still celebrate Thanksgiving, even if it may have an unsavoury past?

Some people in the USA are opting out of Thanksgiving. Believing the holiday to be an indirect celebration of the subjugation and genocide of Native Americans, they will not buy a turkey or savour the tart cranberry. Are they right in refusing the holiday? Or should we continue to celebrate? What would you allow in your own home, if you were an adult? These are the kinds of questions to stir debate in your students (this debate can also be linked to the national anthem kneeler controversy).

You can use a poem by Raymond Foss to highlight the rosy view of Thanksgiving before you introduce the darker view in this video (11 mins):

You may decide to have students research the claims in the video after you review authoritative vs. questionable sources. This will surely be an interesting exercise!

Do you have any other ideas for celebrating Thanksgiving in your English class? Please, don’t by shy. Share your ideas with us in the comments below!

To your teaching success and work-life balance,

Patricia Sacawa




thanksgiving poem for students from teacher

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: 感恩节快乐 "Happy Thanksgiving" Poem for kids learning Mandarin Chinese

If there is one thing I am thankful for as a teacher, I am thankful for my students. Each year as a teacher I am blessed with 20 or so little humans to teach to read.

thanksgiving poem for students from teacher
Written by Gunris
1 Comment
  • Donos

    DonosJune 04, 2019 5:26 AM

    While very well.

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