Professional Development

November 7, 2020

12 Thanksgiving Read Alouds Your Class Will Love

One thing that is sure to bring a smile to a kid’s face is an enjoyable read aloud. No matter the season and topic there are always great books we can use to build background knowledge, set the stage, and model attributes of good readers. During the fall, I always pull out my favorite Thanksgiving read alouds as I work to integrate literacy everywhere I can!

For our Thanksgiving read alouds, there are several different directions we can go. Topics may include:

  • Turkeys
  • Thanksgiving Celebrations
  • The First Thanksgiving

To give you a great starting point, I’m sharing many favorite Thanksgiving read alouds for you to use both in person or in your virtual classroom.

Thanksgiving Read Alouds

Peyton Picks the Perfect Pie: A Thanksgiving Celebration by Jack Bishop

If you are looking for a new Thanksgiving read aloud, this is a must-read for sure! This adorable story is about a little girl named Peyton from a biracial family who is such a picky eater. As a matter of fact, she is dreading having to try some pie on Thanksgiving! As her family and friends arrive at her house, there are SO many pies to choose from, yet she is still nervous about trying something new! Share this wonderful Thanksgiving story with your students as you encourage them to try something new from the table this year!

Grab the book on Amazon HERE!

This book would be great to discuss making connections! Text to self connections will definitely come naturally with this read aloud!

Mouskin’s Thanksgiving by Edna Miller

This story is about a small mouse who runs from creature to creature throughout the forest searching for who has taken his food. In the end, a turkey comes to his rescue both to save his life and share his food…or was it truly Mouskin’s food all along? This story accurately depicts the forest creatures and their habitat. It has beautiful illustrations!

As a post-reading activity, you could have students begin research on turkeys–their diet, habitat, young, and body adaptations.

Thanksgiving Is…by Gail Gibbons

This wonderful book explores Thanksgiving not only in America, but in China, Egypt, Greece, and Rome! This Thanksgiving read aloud shares the history of the holiday and how it came about. It does not go into the details of the pilgrims and Native Americans’ relationship, but it does tell how Abraham Lincoln made it a holiday and all of the many symbols of Thanksgiving.

Grab the book on Amazon HERE!

The Thanksgiving Door by Debby Atwell

Have you ever burned dinner when cooking? Better yet, have you ever burned Thanksgiving dinner? YIKES! This heartwarming story tells of a family who has done just that. As they search for a delicious meal, they end up in a cafe with an immigrant family. There they are introduced to a new family and their cultural traditions.

The story is perfect for you to model questioning with your readers. Remember to encourage them to ask questions before, during, and after reading!

The Best Thanksgiving Ever! by Teddy Slater

While technically this story could be in the turkey category, I thought it best fit in the thanksgiving category because it tells about a family of turkeys celebrating the holiday. From the hustle and bustle of cleaning the houses before guests come to the craziness of family, it depicts a pretty “on point” Thanksgiving!

Before reading, this book lends itself naturally to making predictions! It’s a great read aloud to use as you model this reading strategy.

Grab the book on Amazon HERE!

Balloons over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet

This story is one that is truly magical! I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! I have never known the story behind the parade and how it came about. This story shares all the details about this wonderful Thanksgiving tradition that many families enjoy!

This Thanksgiving read aloud would be perfect to complete a KWL chart on. You can get a FREE KWL chart here in this post.

Grab the book on Amazon HERE!

Turkey Read Alouds

Gracias The Thanksgiving Turkey by Joy Cowley

This beloved book was introduced to me during my first year of teaching by one of my favorite teammates! The author, Joy Cowley, is the famous author behind Mrs. Wishy Washy, which is a favorite for shared reading.

The story is about a little boy who receives a turkey from his papa who is away working. He instructs the little boy to fatten him up so he will be ready for a thanksgiving meal, but Miguel just can’t. He keeps him as a pet and names him Gracias. To find out how this joy-filled story about a Spanish speaking family ends, be sure to grab your copy!

Grab the book on Amazon HERE!

For read aloud activities, you could:

  • practice asking questions before, during, and after
  • make predictions
  • make inferences as you read
  • talk about how your thinking changes along the way the more that you read
The Great Turkey Race by Steve Metzger

If you have been around the K-2 classroom for a while, this book is probably not new to you. The turkey book is funny, playful, and reveals the truth to this turkey trio about Thanksgiving dinner–they will be cooked! A race ensues to find the best turkey, but once the truth is out, the real race is on! Your students are sure to giggle as you read aloud this story. Definitely add this one to your thanksgiving read alouds stash!

You can get the book HERE on Amazon.

For post-reading activities, you could:

  • Have students discuss characteristics of the turkeys, both inside and out
  • Write to tell what they would do if they found out they were going to be Thanksgiving dinner
A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting

In this story, Mr. Moose and his friends set out to find Mrs. Moose a turkey for Thanksgiving. After chasing him down to bring him to Thanksgiving dinner, they can’t figure out why he doesn’t want to come. When he arrives, they learn that he thought he was going to be ON the table for his friends, not AT the table with his friends.

You can get the book on Amazon HERE!

For reading and writing activities, you can:

  • Have students write a persuasive letter to Mrs. Moose about why she doesn’t need a turkey for Thanksgiving
  • Invite students to make predictions along the way and tell if the author surprised them
Turk and Runt: A Thanksgiving Comedy by Lisa Wheeler

This book may be old, but it’s definitely a classroom favorite! I learned about this hilarious story from other teacher bloggers and am so glad I did! It’s a classroom favorite for sure! It tells the story of a small, but smart little turkey who gets his family’s attention in a funny way, all to save his family from being Thanksgiving dinner!

Get it HERE on Amazon!

After reading, you can have your students write and respond to answer how they would get their family’s attention. This story is also great to use as you teach making inferences!

Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano

This book is sure to surprise your students! Turkey is in some major trouble as it’s almost time for Thanksgiving dinner. He spends the day looking for an adequate disguise. In the end, he is even more trouble…that is until he has a wonderful solution!

You can grab this book on Amazon HERE!

After reading, you can have students share what they would do if they were in turkey’s shoes!

Run, Turkey, Run by Diane Mayr

This well-loved, rhythmic book is about a turkey who is running from a farmer to escape being Thanksgiving dinner. After trying all sorts of things and running and running, he finally thinks he is safe! Or is he?? You’ll have to read to find out!

You can grab this book on Amazon HERE!

This story is perfect for students to practice making inferences both throughout and at the very end!

If you are teaching virtually or with a hybrid model right now, don’t worry! You can simply use Zoom or GoogleMeet to read aloud to your students. You can also use Loom to record yourself reading, stopping throughout to ask questions!

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Looking for detailed, scripted read aloud lesson plans for November? The November Read Aloud Lessons resource has everything you’ll need to for 6 interactive read aloud lessons. You can find it HERE!

If you are looking for more activities that are planned for you and easily integrate literacy, you’ll love these resources that help teach all about turkeys and about the first Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for more turkey and Thanksgiving activities, check out this post!

Friends, if you are wanting to join a community of over 3,000 other teachers, head to my Facebook group. We chat about all things literacy, classroom management, and more! I love brainstorming and problem-solving with teachers! Come join us!

Happy Teaching,


8 Get to Know You Games for Distance Learning

Getting to know your students can be trickier while distance learning. Grab this FREE printable with eight get-to-know-you games and activities so that you can start connecting with students, help them get to know each other, and build a positive classroom community.

Hi, I'm Amanda

I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your studentsย loveย and that areย easy to implementย for teachers.ย ย Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, youโ€™ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!


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