Giant List of Free Thanksgiving History Resources

Thanksgiving is a natural time to learn some American history. Below is a GIANT list of free resources from around the web to teach Thanksgiving history. I’ve organized by type of resource, so it is easier to find what you’re looking for. This list has something for everyone, with resources for every age, preschool through high school.

So, have fun with all this history goodness.

Free Thanksgiving History Resources


Giant List of FreeThanksgiving History Resources to learn, play, and have fun during your holiday.


Historical Background:

Mayflower Compact from US History

The Pilgrims & The Mayflower Compact from The Mayflower Society

Thanksgiving & George Washington from Mount Vernon

Did you have a descendant on the Mayflower? Browse American Ancestors or go directly to their database search.

Children in Plimoth Colony from Plimoth Patuxet Ancestors

Plimoth Colony Timeline and other important historical documents from Plimoth Patuxet Ancestors

Biographical Profiles of colonists from Plimoth Patuxet Ancestors

Mayflower Passenger List from Mayflower History 

How Big is Plymouth Rock? from Wonderopolis

Plymouth Rock Facts & Photos from See Plymouth

Are You Teaching the Real Story of the First Thanksgiving? from Education World

Finding Accurate Thanksgiving History Books for Kids from Oaxacaborn


Lesson Plans:

Painted Pilgrims  (Gr. 6-8) from Pilgrim Hall Museum

WILLIAM BRADFORD: the pen & the person (Gr. 9-12) from Pilgrim Hall Museum

Thanksgiving Ideas for the Classroom (Gr. 9-12) from NEA

*All of the following lesson plans are from Scholastic. They are listed by grade with the Scholastics Teaching guide first and then direct links to each lesson plan for that grade.

The First Thanksgiving Teacher’s Activity Guide Home Page

Scholastic Teaching Guide Grades K-2

Voyage on the Mayflower for Grades PreK–2

Pilgrim and Wampanoag Daily Life for Grades PreK–2

The First Thanksgiving Feast for Grades PreK–2

Scholastic Teaching Guide Grades  3-5

Voyage on the Mayflower for Grades 3–5

Pilgrim and Wampanoag Daily Life for Grades 3–5

The First Thanksgiving Feast for Grades 3–5

Scholastic Teaching Guide Grades 6-8

Voyage on the Mayflower for Grades 6–8

Pilgrim and Wampanoag Daily Life for Grades 6–8

The First Thanksgiving Feast for Grades 6–8


Videos, Games, & Virtual Tours: 

The following videos are from History Channel’s History of Thanksgiving Videos:

Kids History: The First Thanksgiving

Deconstructing History: Mayflower

The Mayflower

Bet You Didn’t Know: Thanksgiving

History Channel – Mayflower Topics

The following are from Scholastic and Plimoth Plantation:

Voyage on the Mayflower Virtual Tour

Plimoth Plantation Virtual Tours

Interactive History Detective Activity: You are the Historian

17th Century English Village Video

Check out the area and its history with the fun virtual tours below.

Plymouth Massachusetts Home of The Pilgrims Drone Aerial Views

Explore Plymouth Rock in 3-D


Primary Sources:

George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789  from Mount Vernon

Throwback Thursday – Thanksgiving at Times of National Turmoil from New York Times. A list of Archival Articles on Thanksgivings from 1917-2012 

Library of Congress Teacher’s Guide to Primary Sources

LOC -Gazette of the United-States., October 07, 1789, Image 1

LOC -At a General Court held at Boston in New England the second day of October 1678. [A proclamation for a day of fasting and prayer November 21, 1678] [Cambridge, Printed by Samuel Green 1678].

LOC –Landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth 11th Dec. 1620

LOC -Thanksgiving in Camp image

Lincoln and Thanksgiving from NPS



Contact Timeline for Mashpee Wampanoag from the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe

Who are the Wampanoag? from Plimoth Plantation

Wampanoag Fun & Games from Plimoth Plantation

Picture dictionary Wampanoag animal words from Native Languages

Fun with Wampanoag words from the WÔPANÂAK Language Reclamation Project

Wampanoag Folktales and Traditional Stories from Native Languages


Crafts, Projects, & Activities:

Below you’ll find a hodgepodge of crafts and fun activities to teach Thanksgiving History.

To start, check out the super fun Measure the Mayflower Math Activity I did with my kids to help them understand the size of the Mayflower.

Milk Carton Mayflower from Stir the Wonder

Thanksgiving with Stained Glass from Renee at Great Peace

Simple Thanksgiving Learning Projects from Sallie Borrink

Thanksgiving STEM Activities from The Learning Hypothesis

Retelling the Story of the First Thanksgiving from Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Christian Thanksgiving Object Lesson: Pilgrim in a Bottle from Christian Homeschool Moms


Free Printables:

10 Thanksgiving History Conversation Starters from iHomeschoolNetwork

Thanksgiving Reading Comprehension for Upper Elementary and Middle Grades from The Learning Hypothesis

Cranberry Thanksgiving Lapbook from Homeschool Share

Thanksgiving Printable Pack from This Crazy Homeschool Life

Free Thanksgiving Timeline from a Teaching Mommy

Thanksgiving Writing Activity from Teach Beside Me

Thoughts on Thanksgiving: A Holiday Essay from Beyond Mommying

Pilgrim Sentence Scramble Activity from Sallie Bornick

Thanksgiving Coloring pages from Crayola

Thanksgiving Coloring Pages from Free Coloring Pages


I hope this list gives you some great resources and fun ideas for learning Thanksgiving history this year.

If you’re looking for gratitude activities for little learners this Thanksgiving, check out my post on Thanking Your Way Through the ABC’s.

It also includes a “Fill your heart with gratitude” activity for the whole family. It’s FREE to subscribers until Monday 11/13! 

Get the Gratitude ABC Mini-Book Now!


Happy Thanksgiving!





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Hi, I'm Heidi a homeschooling Mama just like you. I'm passionate about simplifying your homeschool days and providing quality resources and support to your homeschool family. We are a full time RVing family roadschooling across the United States, learning through experiences.