Learn the History of Thanksgiving With Living Books...And FREE Thanksgiving Notebooking Pages

One of my favorite things about homeschooling has been having the opportunity to learn in depth about holidays as they come. When I was a traditional school teacher, we usually had a party for Christmas and probably a special dinner for Thanksgiving, but we didn't have time to really talk in depth about the history and real people behind the holidays. What we did learn about each holiday was usually a little blurb in the history textbook.

In our homeschool, though, I've loved having the opportunity to devote longer periods of time to reading great living books, notebooking, and doing unit studies as a family during the holiday seasons. With this we've had the opportunity to learn much more about the history of holidays as well as about the people and places involved.

Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.
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As Thanksgiving approaches, these living books will help you to learn about the holiday with your kids in a fun and interesting way and in much more depth than a short blurb in a history textbook. I've given an approximate age level for each, although I like to read aloud to all of the kids together and just pick books from different levels to enjoy together.

You can also download a free set of Thanksgiving notebooking pages here. As you read, kids can record notes, oral narrations, or creative stories or poems using these pages.

The Story of the Pilgrims


The Story of the Pilgrims by Katharine Ross and Carolyn Croll (preschool)- This picture book traces the journey of the Pilgrims through their first difficult winter and to the first celebration of Thanksgiving.

Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.

...If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620


...If You Sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 by Ann McGovern and Anna DiVito (elementary)- Learn about the Pilgrims voyage to the New World.


Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.

Squanto's Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving


Squanto's Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac (preschool/elementary)- Squanto welcomed the people from the Mayflower that landed, and after a good harvest, feasted with them. This picture book looks at the holiday from his perspective.

Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.

The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving


The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern (preschool/elementary)- Learn about the Mayflower voyage, the early days in America, and the first Thanksgiving.

Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.

The Thanksgiving Story


The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh (elementary)- Kids can experience the Mayflower voyage through the first Thanksgiving through the eyes of three children who were there.

Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.

Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.


Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims


Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims by Clyde Robert Bulla (elementary)- This short chapter book looks at the life of Squanto and the Wampanoag Indians.

Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.

Pilgrim Stories


Pilgrim Stories by Margaret Pumphrey (elementary)- This book was written in the 1900s by Pumphrey who collected original sources to trace the journey of the Pilgrims and first Thanksgiving.

Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.

The Landing of the Pilgrims


The Landing of the Pilgrims by James Daugherty (middle grade)- This is a little longer book that follows the Pilgrims from persecution in England to their journey and life in the New World.

Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.

The Pilgrims of Plimoth 


The Pilgrims of Plimoth by Marcia Sewell (elementary/middle grade)- Although this is a beautiful picture books, there is a good bit of text, and it's written as a first person account, using the language style of the Pilgrims. 

Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.


Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving


Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas (elementary)- This book follows Squanto's life and traces God's hand at work in his life and his meeting of and help toward the Pilgrims.

Learn about Thanksgiving with living books.



Don't forget to grab your free Thanksgiving notebooking pages to use as you read.

Free Thanksgiving notebooking pages



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