I love teaching my students all about turkeys during the last week leading up to Thanksgiving, but I also like to bring in some additional Thanksgiving themed activities throughout the entire month of November. One of my favorite ways to do this is with these math and literacy Thanksgiving centers. Your students will be highly engaged with these escape room type activities, as they complete different challenges to eliminate the suspects and discover which disguised turkey has stolen the pumpkin pies!
Thanksgiving Escape Room
Celebrate Thanksgiving, as you review math and literacy skills, with “The Case of the Pumpkin Pie Bandit” Thanksgiving Escape Room!
My favorite way to introduce our Thanksgiving centers is by setting the stage with a note form the pie shop owner.
Read this script to boost engagement and get students excited for what’s to come:
A tricky turkey,
Dressed in disguise,
Snatched up all,
The pumpkin pies!
Please can you help,
Solve this mystery,
And find the bandit,
Who took them from me?
Complete each challenge,
To receive a clue.
Eliminate the suspects,
And figure out who!
Once I have read the script, it is time for the detectives to set up their case files!
File folders are a great way to make the center activities more authentic, but using a large sheet of folded construction works just as well. All of the completed Thanksgiving center activities will be housed in these case files.
Thanksgiving Centers Set Up
I like to set up these Thanksgiving math and literacy centers at the beginning of November so we can use them all year long. After printing the centers, prep is a breeze! Simply add each challenge to a manila envelope. As an alternative, you can also choose to use a basket or tub to organize your centers.
There are six to eight challenges included! In order to solve “The Case of the Pumpkin Pie Bandit,” the students will need to complete each of the Thanksgiving themed math and literacy centers.
Once the students complete a challenge, they will receive a clue from the culprit.
Based on that clue, a suspect will be eliminated.
After the students complete all of the challenges, they will be left with one remaining guilty suspect and “The Case of the Pumpkin Pie Bandit” will be solved!
Thanksgiving Centers for Literacy
There are four different literacy centers included. Here is a sneak peek at the targeted skills the students will work on during each challenge.
In order to solve the “Cornucopia Challenge,” the students will build each CVC word by identifying the beginning sound, ending sound, or all three sounds.
Next, they will take on the “Pie Challenge” where they will need to match the pie to its rhyming oven.
At the “Feather Challenge,” the students will be asked to count the syllables and match the feather to the correct turkey.
In order to receive the next clue, the students will match the uppercase and lowercase letters to build each wishbone.
Thanksgiving Centers for Math
The suspense builds as the students work through the four math centers! Here is a peek at the math challenges.
At the “Mayflower Challenge,” the students will help the Mayflower set sail by ordering the numbers 1-10 or 11-20.
As they arrive at the “Turkey Challenge,” they will need to use the pumpkin pie ruler to measure each turkey and then count and color how many.
When they make it to the “Pilgrim Hat Challenge,” the students will count the feathers and match the pilgrim hat to the correct turkey.
The final challenge will be the “Corn Challenge” where the students will add more to make 5 and then write the number sentence to match.
You can also drop the mystery aspect, and use these as regular math and literacy centers.
More Thanksgiving Activities
Work on building number sense with this decomposing turkey craft & center game!
Don’t forget to browse this list of 25 fiction and nonfiction turkey books!
Strengthen fine motor skills and number sense with these FREE “Stuff the Turkey” math games for centers!
You might also enjoy these three turkey games for comparing numbers and counting forward and backward from a given number!
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