Thanksgiving Books for the Social Studies Classroom

I love this time of year- the cool air, the leaves changing, the pumpkin spice everything! Yes, I know, it’s part of the fad, but I am one of those who loves all things pumpkin spice! What I really love, though, is story time with my kiddos! This post is full of books about Thanksgiving that you can use for your Social Studies classroom! Enjoy!

1. Magic Tree House #27: Thanksgiving on Thursday

Best for Grades 3 – 5


This series follows a brother and sister duo, Jack and Annie, through adventures that start in their magic tree house! In this book, they go back in time to 1621- ready to prepare for their very first Thanksgiving.


Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #13: Pilgrims




This book is also from the series, Magic Tree House, but this is the nonfiction counterpart to Jack and Annie’s adventures. Jack and Annie track the facts about Pilgrims. These two are a great way to implement text sets into your social studies class!



Mayflower 1620: A new look at a pilgrim voyage



I love this book because it is FULL of primary sources! Your kiddos can browse through maps, photographs, and illustrations. This book is a great resource for your students to explore, but it’s probably not going to be a big hit during a read-aloud.

4. The Pilgrims Didn’t Celebrate the First Thanksgiving: Exposing Myths About Colonial History

Best for Grades 2-3


This book has a real “myth-busters” feel to it! It covers a range of topics relating to early America in a short, nonfiction, style. It has great illustrations with short snippets of facts- another that might not be good for a “story time” setting.

Why did the pilgrims come to the new world

Best for Grades 4-6, 750L


Students can uncover facts about the pilgrims and their hardships as they were building a brand new colony in America. This book focuses on six specific questions about the pilgrims.

6. The Truth (and Myths) About Thanksgiving



This book is full of facts about the pilgrims and Thanksgiving! Was pumpkin pie really served at the pilgrims’ Thanksgiving? Read and find out!

9. Corn is Maize: The Gift of the Indians

Best for Grades 4 and Under



I have this listed for social studies, but this book also integrates science! This book takes students through the ways Native American farmers used corn. A major bonus is its incredibly beautiful illustrations!

10. The Pilgrims and Me

Best for Grades 1-4


Main character, Maggie, compares the her family’s Thanksgiving to the Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving. This book is super cute for story time because it is written from Maggie’s young perspective.

7. Life on the Mayflower

Best for Grades 2-3



Sometimes children have a hard time imagining what life was like in the 1600s, but this book has such great illustrations! They really help students understand what the pilgrims went through on their journey to the New World. This would be a perfect book for your story time read-aloud!

8. The Mayflower and the Pilgrims’ New World


Best for Grades 7+



This book follows the pilgrims on their journey on the Mayflower and their journey with the Native American Indians. Readers get a historical view of the conflicts the pilgrims had during their relationship with the Indians. Because the relationship suffered lots of conflict, this is not suitable for younger readers- grades 7 and up. Also included are maps, illustrations, and photos.

11. Llama Llama Gives Thanks



So, this one isn’t necessarily for social studies- it’s just for fun! In this book, Llama Llama shares that giving thanks should last year round, not just at Thanksgiving.


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