Thanksgiving Bible Unit for Elementary Students

Happy {almost!} Thanksgiving, readers!

Earlier this week I shared about my preschool friends and the Thanksgiving Bible unit we did - you can read all about it (and snag a freebie!) here: Preschool Bible Thanksgiving Unit
Today I want to share some biblically-based Thanksgiving ideas for those of you who teach (or have!) elementary students:
Here are some of my favorite Thanksgiving books for elementary students:
It's Not About You, Mrs. Turkey is a heart-warming story that shares both the historical and religious background of the holiday with young readers. The fun and colorful illustrations give children the opportunity to see clothing styles of the past as they learn the importance of courage, sharing, friendship and giving thanks. 
God Gave Us Thankful Hearts is such a cute story about the importance of having an attitude of gratitude. Lil Pup learns that God is the giver of all things - and that his heart can be thankful when he sets his mind on the best things in his life. Through this book kids learn that giving thanks warms hearts and brings joy.

The Berentstain Bears Give Thanks is a cute story in which the Berenstain cubs act out the first Thanksgiving complete with costumes, props, and a full Thanksgiving feast. The Berenstain Bears Give Thanks teaches how God provided for the pilgrims and reminds children of God’s many blessings.

In my classroom we spent some time the week of Thanksgiving learning about what it means to be thankful and the importance of developing an attitude of gratitude.

First we took notes using these interactive notebook foldables:
Students brainstormed in groups to define "thankfulness," think of ways they can express gratitude, and wrote reasons why they were thankful for Jesus, their families, our school, and their health. Then they dug into their Bibles to write verses that highlight the importance of thankfulness.

Next we discussed the idea that developing an ATTITUDE of GRATITUDE begins in your mind. Each student filled their "mind" with things they were thankful for. They then personalized the person to look like themselves. Here's one of my sweet student's sample:
Each person cut out their thankful characters and I hung them on a bulletin board outside my classroom. Passersby always comment on what a meaningful activity this is!

Then we met back together and did a Bible Case Study in Luke 17:12-19 - it's a short and poignant story of God healing 10 men struggling with leprosy. All are completely healed, yet only one comes back to Jesus to thank Him.

Then we separated back to our desks and did some personal reflection. We wrote thank-you letters to someone who we were thankful for. I encouraged each student to give (or mail) their letters to the special someone they wanted to thank.
Lastly, we divided into pairs and did a fun brainstorming activity - I set the timer and challenged the students to write something they were thankful for - one for each letter of the alphabet.
Our Bible class was extra-special the week before Thanksgiving - I hope I instilled the importance of developing an ATTITUDE of GRATITUDE in my students. You can snag all of these print-and-go resources in my Elementary Thanksgiving Bible Packet
You can pin this idea for later:

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!
Psalm 9:1 "I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; 
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds."

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