Thanksgiving Spelling Activity For Kids

thanksgiving lesson Who says spelling lessons have to be boring and can’t have a theme? These spelling stones are a fun Thanksgiving craft and spelling activity rolled into one. Create a challenge by asking ” How many words can we make with the word Thanksgiving?” and use your child’s natural competitiveness as fuel for learning. The stones themselves are a great concrete manipulative that are a must for some learners and a nice novelty for others. I have had the idea for this for ages but making the stones seemed daunting. It took a few minutes and less than an hour later my son was playing and learning. Wish I’d done it sooner!

Gather your materials. You will need some stones ( dollar store! ) , multi-surface paint , a fine paint brush, clipboard, paper, and pencil.spelling stones

Start by writing out thanksgiving on the stones. I used all lowercase letters so they would be interchangeable. I also made a color pattern but that’s just because I think patterns are pretty. I used a shoebox lid for a workspace. These paints are not washable so I like to protect what I can. Also the kids did not help make these. spelling stones painting

Let dry. Ours took about 45 minutes to dry. Only one letter got damaged. If you are using these with a large group where they will be used a lot I would seal them but if it’s just in your home I wouldn’t bother.spelling stones ready to play

Lay out the stones. Explain the challenge. spelling stones for thanksgivingHow many words can be made with the letters in this word. spelling stones for first grade and kindergarten

What I love about using manipulatives to make words before writing them down is that when he was sounding out words he didn’t get frustrated if something didn’t seem right. He just replaced a stone with another. There was no erasing needed and for kids who have a deep desire for perfection that can be freeing.

Have your child write the word after making it with the stones. This is optional but I like adding in writing whenever I can. All my sneaking writing into things have really paid off. My son who struggled with it last year has made such progress in part because of a little here and a little there. Seeing the list grow and grow also encourages kids to keep trying to create more words.spelling stones words

This won’t be the last of these stones either… hang tight because in a few days I will have a totally different but totally fun activity using them again.


Thanksgiving Books

All book lists include affiliate links.

pete the cat thanksgiving

Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving by Kimberly and James Dean was underwhelming and I usually adore Pete The Cat. Sadly this book didn’t live up to my expectations. My daughter liked it but wondered when Pete was going to sing. He doesn’t. There are no catchy repetitive refrains which is what we love about Pete! My son pointed out the flaws in the history which thrilled me because they were distracting. The target audience is younger than my son so it may not even be an issue for you but seeing a pretty little house as the shelter the Pilgrims had for the first winter irked me. I realize that Pete is a cat who is in a play so realism isn’t expected but I’d be lying if I said I loved it. Pete is awfully cute as a pilgrim though.

thanks for thanksgiving

Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes delighted my whole family. I read it at dinner and all four of us thought the book was spot on. It’s not a story so much as a glimpse at all the things kids in a average family have to be thankful about. The illustrations by Doris Barrette are stunning. I want to frame them. I think this book does a great job at teaching children what they have to be thankful for and how everyday things can be something to be thankful for. Kids will relate so well to this book and because of that the message comes across loud and clear. My son loved that there is space on the last page to write what he is thankful for. Great find.

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  1. says

    Ugh, we just got Pete the Cat The First Thanksgiving last week and I’m similarly underwhelmed. And feeling a bit like I don’t want my young kids to think that IS the history. I think we’ll call it an $8 failure and pass it along instead of keeping it in our home. I’ll check out Thanks for Thanksgiving instead!

  2. commonplaceiris says

    I love this idea.
    I’m now thinking that it might also be fun to make themed sets of stones for writing poems (along the lines of the fridge poetry magnet sets). My 7yo did an after school poetry class last year which she really enjoyed but has to be prompted to remember she enjoys writing poems. Maybe chalkboard paint on a few stones for blanks to keep options open. And a poetry notebook for writing out finished poems.


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