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Download No Prep Thanksgiving ESL Lesson, Games and Activities

Happy Everyday English Theme: Thanksgiving

No Prep Thanksgiving ESL Lesson for Kids and Teachers

This is a Thanksgiving (American) ESL lesson filled to the brim with games and activities for your interactive whiteboard or online class.  The lesson itself focuses on keywords related to the holiday.  It includes a presentation for the new words and as well as a simple presentation that introduces the idea of being 'thankful'.

This fun and easy to play lesson software has so much content in it that you can actually use it across multiple lessons if you desire.

Want to make your own lesson like this?  Check out the

DIY Lesson Maker!

You can create a lesson from scratch like this easily but with EVEN MORE practice activities and games.  More than 50 practice activities and games included. 

DIY Lesson Maker0028.png

ESL Thanksgiving Lesson Content

Keywords: turkey, pumpkin, pilgrims, hat,

                     ship, native Americans, corn,


Sample Sentences

  • Happy Thanksgiving!

  • What is it?

  • It's a pumpkin.  It's yummy.

  • What are you thankful for?

  • I'm thankful for my family.

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Lesson Plan Procedures and Tips

Although you can simply start this lesson up and teach it without much prep, here's a sample lesson plan you can use to have a blast in your class using just this lesson software.  To add more to your lesson tho, I recommend downloading the provided flashcards and adding some flashcard games to the class.  It's not necessary but it helps add even more fun to your class by getting students moving around more.

New Content Teaching

1. Lesson Introduction and Pre-Teaching

Start the lesson by using the new words section of the lesson software.  You can reveal the Thanksgiving pictures one by one to your students or have them choose a picture to reveal in a more discovery based learning process.

When a word has been revealed, press it to focus on that picture.  Ask students what it is and what they know about it.  Make sure to model the correct answers for them: "It's a pumpkin."  "It's orange." "It's a fruit."  Teach students the new word and navigate back to the new word screen.  When returning to the new words introduction page, allow students to say all of the words that they have learned so far.  After all 8 words have been learned, go to the Listen and Touch activity.

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2. Thanksgiving Listen and Touch (Practice Activity)

In this reinforcement activity, you say a word and a student should touch that picture on the board.  When they touch it, they should say the name and perform the TPR/action for it (if applicable).  Other students can say and do the action as well.  Do this several times at a pace your students can handle. 

If your students are capable, other students in the class can also call out the Thanksgiving words that the active student should touch the picture and say.

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3. Stand Up Sit Down (Practice Activity)

Stand Up Sit Down can be found in the Practice section of the software.

In this practice activity, touch a picture and it will start flashing.  Say a yes or a no sentence or question about it that your students would understand.  If the answer to the question is YES, they jump.  If it is NO, they sit down.

Here are some example sentences & questions you might use (depending on student level):

  • Is it a hat?

  • They are pilgrims.

  • The boat can fly.

  • I drink pumpkins.

To make the activity even more fun, you can rapidly ask questions and students can jump and sit pretty fast.  You can even substitute jump and sit for other actions such as eating or drinking.

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4. Even More Practice! (Optional)

At this point, you have a lot of different practice activities to choose from.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Riddles (practice):  Students are presented with a simple riddle for each of the words from this Thanksgiving lesson.  Help students understand the riddle and allow them to guess what word it's referring to.  Once the word has been guessed, click the mystery box to reveal it.

  • Thankful (practice): Use the provided sample form and pictures to introduce the structure of "I'm thankful for _____.  Numerous examples have been provided for students to use but encourage them to say their own. (You may save this for after the presentation, too).

  • Meal Chain (practice): Students make a chain of sentences using the structure 'On Thanksgiving, I eat _____.  Each student repeats the previous sentence and adds to the chain.  Example: S1: 'On Thanksgiving, I eat pumpkin pie.'  S2: 'On Thanksgiving, I eat pumpkin pie and turkey.' S3: 'On Thanksgiving, I eat pumpkin pie, turkey, and potatoes'.  A student is out when they can't say the sentence correctly or add a new food to it.  Play until one student is left.

  • Flashcard Games: This can also a great time to play some flashcard games.

5. Lesson Presentation

This lesson talks about the origin of Thanksgiving.

Some tips about lesson presentation:

  • Talk about the pictures first.  "What is it?" Guide students to talk about the pictures and use whatever related content you've learned in the past to talk about them.

  • If your students can read,  guide your students together using your finger.

  • If students can't read, instruct them to listen as you do so.  They can repeat after you.  Do this a few times.

  • Ask follow up questions about the monster such as: "who are they?" "what is it?" "what's the problem?"

  • Repeat the above steps for all pages until you reach the final page.

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6. Games Games Games

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Now that students are more familiar with the new content, let's play some games!  You can navigate to the games section of the software and choose the games you think your students would enjoy.  There are so many to choose from!

You may also try:

  • Flashcard games

  • Any of the numerous built in games found in the 'games' section of this software.

  • Any game from the Happy Everyday English game shop here.

  • The Thanksgiving Spinner game found here.

7. Wind Down and Review

Depending on the time left, it's time to wind down the lesson, review, and award points/rewards/etc.  Here are a couple options you have:

  • Flashcard review: Hold up flashcards and have students shout out the word while performing the TPR.

  • As students are leaving, ask them what they are thankful for.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! This is a pretty interesting American Thanksgiving ESL lesson that students are sure to love.  If you've followed this plan, you should still have plenty of content left for an additional lesson using this lesson software if so desired. 

If you have time to prepare a full lesson plan ahead of time, here are some final thoughts to make a fantastic lesson.

  • Add some musical flair to the lesson with this great song:

  • Download some Thanksgiving based worksheets from a website like

  • Add a turkey hand craft or other hands on activities.  It can be a lot of fun for students to trace their hands and turn them into turkeys (basically a tradition for elementary school students in the USA).  Info on the turkey hand craft here.

  • And for some great flashcard games and other active games, check out Muxi's English Games YT channel here.

Want to make your own lesson like this?  Check out the

DIY Lesson Maker!

You can create a lesson from scratch like this easily but with EVEN MORE practice activities and games.  More than 50 practice activities and games included. 

DIY Lesson Maker0028.png

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