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Thanksgiving No Prep ESL Lesson Guide

Updated: Dec 14, 2022

Need some useful materials for your upcoming Thanksgiving ESL lesson? I've got you covered with a lesson stuffed with delicious games and activities, flashcards, a holiday themed spinner, and a new guess the picture line by line video! It's enough content to make any ESL teacher thankful this holiday! :D

No Prep ESL Thanksgiving Lesson

First up, we've got the Thanksgiving ESL lesson. This lesson is stuffed to the brim with games, activities, and presentations.

You can download it here.

This lesson introduces the origin of the American Thanksgiving as well as some useful keywords for this holiday. The keywords are related the origin story. They can use these words to play loads of games and activities. Flashcards for these keywords are available for download as well on the download page.

One of the practice activities built into this lesson is one to talk about being thankful. This concept might be unfamiliar to some students so some scaffolding is included to help (including an example for the teacher that I'm sure most of you can relate to).

Like all of the Happy Everyday English lessons, this one is ready to go and doesn't need to be installed to use. You can throw it on your USB drive and plug it into your classroom computer and use it. That computer must be a windows computer tho.

Thanksgiving Themed Game Wheel

Next up we have a Thanksgiving themed spinner/wheel.

You can download it here.

You can find this Thanksgiving wheel on the cool stuff section of the site. You can use this to practice and review any content you've taught during your lessons (whether it's the Thanksgiving holiday content or not). Simply divide your students into 2-4 teams and ask your questions. Allow the team that answered to spin the spinner. Add the points to their team's tracker and then repeat. You can play as long as you like or until a team reaches a certain points value.

This spinner has two game modes. The point values in the first mode are only positive values (pictured above) while the second mode has two spots on the wheel that are negative. Choose an appropriate wheel to fit the needs of your class. I'd recommend the first mode for the youngest children and for older kids use the second.

Thanksgiving Themed Guess the Picture Line by Line

This is the latest video in my guess the picture Line by Line series. In this video, I draw Thanksgiving keywords line by line and students try to guess what the picture is before the time runs out. If you like the video, please like and subscribe to the youtube channel :D

(You can download this video by copying the video link to this website:

Here's how to play.

How to Play

1. Divide students into teams.

2. They have 15 seconds each round to guess the picture.

3. When a team guesses correctly, award them as many points as there are left on the timer.

4. If they make a wrong guess, they must wait until other teams guess incorrectly before they can guess again.

5. Optional: Talk about the picture when it's revealed. Pause the video and freely talk about it. Press play to continue with the game.

6. The team with the most points at the end of the video wins!

Pictures in order of appearance: 1. hat (pilgrim hat) 2. corn! 3. pumpkin 4. Native American 5. turkey 6. pilgrim 7. ship 8. harvest 9. pie 10. USA

Annnnd there we go! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Using the content above, you've got yourself a great no prep lesson filled with exciting content that will get your students pumped for this holiday.

Next up? Christmas and New Year! Stayyyyyy tuned.

~Richard 'Griffy' Griffith

creator of Happy Everyday English

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