Thankful Activities for MLs

Thankful Activities for MLs

thankful activities

Integrating the themes of gratitude and being thankful is a common practice around Thanksgiving. These themes are great to teach about throughout the year as well. Here are some thankful activities to use with your students, including a FREE writing activity.

I am Thankful Writing

I am thankful writing materials



This set comes with vocabulary words to help students tell what they are thankful for. This is a great opportunity to integrate basic vocabulary into a lesson for all students. The vocabulary words are also helpful for beginning writers.

I am thankful vocabulary

Task Cards

You can use these task cards for speaking or writing. One strategy to help students generate ideas for writing is to have them talk with a partner or in a small group about what they are thankful for and why. Then have the students use the vocabulary cards can help them add details about why they are thankful.

Students can use sticky notes to write or draw what they are thankful for. Another idea is that they can say what they are thankful for as a speaking warm-up.

Graphic Organizer & Writing Page

This graphic organizer will help students organize their thoughts and then write a paragraph about why they are thankful for a particular person or thing. It has space for writing or drawing depending on the student’s language level. Next, they can use the writing page to write about what they are thankful for.

I am thankful graphic organizer and writing paper

Get your FREE I am Thankful Set HERE

Thankful Cards

This thankful activity is a set of picture cards will help students speak and write about what they are thankful for. There are pictures that give ideas of being thankful at home, school, and in the community. A digital version is also included.

Being Thankful Around the World

Another thankful activity is to have students read about giving thanks around the world with this free reading passage from Readworks.

Books about being thankful

Thank you books for ELLs

Thanku: Poems of Gratitude– This is a collection of poems about being thankful and showing gratitude by a diverse group of authors.

I Am Thankful: A Thanksgiving Book for Kids– See examples of kids getting ready for Thanksgiving and what they are thankful for. The text is simple and includes many rhymes.

Thank You Omu– Omu (grandmother) has plenty of soup to share with everyone that knocks on her apartment door. At the end, the people that had soup show their gratitude by bringing over food that Omu has for dinner.

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga– Learn about Cherokee traditions throughout the year as the community shows what they are grateful for.

The Thankful Book– This book gives examples of things to be thankful for. It follows the sentence pattern of I am thankful for _______ because _________. This book would make a good mentor text to go along with my I am Thankful set of materials.

Gracias Thanks– This is a bilingual book that follows a young boy around as he vividly describes the things that he is thankful for. Get a free read aloud lesson to go with the book.

Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message– Learn about saying thank you for the natural wonders in nature. Get a free read aloud lesson to go with the book.

Giving Thanks– In this book, a boy shows many ways that he can say thank you to those around him. There is a small picture featuring the same character to go with examples of different ways to say thanks.

I am Thankful– This is a simple to read book that follows a young boy as he gets ready for and celebrates Thanksgiving with his family. Use this book as you speak with your students about Thanksgiving family traditions or use it as a guided reading book for students reading around a first-grade level.

The Thankful Book–  In this story Piggie says that she is going to say thank you to everyone. But Elephant is nervous that she will forget someone. This is a fun book for early readers to read independently.

Teaching about being thankful with ells: Books and writing

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