Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to celebrate and spend time with family and friends. It is a time that children of all ages look forward to all year long. For my teacher and educator friends, Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to engage children and have them excited to learn throughout the season. Below is a free Thanksgiving Classroom Scavenger Hunt.
The scavenger hunt has been created specifically to use within a classroom, or school. The activity requires little to no prep and you can set it up in minutes. You can try the activity with the whole class or in small groups.
Scavenger hunts are a great way to encourage problem solving and team work. It is also a screen free activity children will love. In the classroom it provides a structured way to get children up and moving within the classroom.
Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt Materials
You don’t need to prepare any special materials for this scavenger hunt. However, there are some places in your classroom that you will need to set each riddle. The location of the riddles are:
- Front Door
- Craft Supplies
- Teacher Chair
- Class Next Door
That’s all the spots you need. Once you’ve printed the cards, one riddle is placed in each of the locations and on the bottom of each card the location of where the card needs to be placed is printed. This is to help make setting up faster, and easier.
If you don’t have one of the locations in your classroom, you can go on an adventure outside of your room to find the location. For example, if you don’t have a sink in your room, you can visit the washroom and sink the students typically use. It’s your scavenger hunt to set up and play how it works for you and your students.
Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt Clue #1
The first clue welcomes players to the scavenger hunt game. The riddle tells them to check near the front door. This can be the main/front door of the classroom, or if you want to venture out of your room it can be the main doors of the school.
Here players will look for a card, or picture of colorful leaves.
This first clue can either be given to children, read aloud, or placed somewhere in the room for them to find.
Free Scavenger hunt Clue #2
I have includes picture/word cards for each of the riddles. The scavenger hunt can be done without these cards. However, you can also print the cards and place them near the connected riddle. This will signal to children that they are in the right spot.
The picture cards can be used around the classroom as a Write the Room activity. As children find each of the riddles, they then print the word on the related card on their list page which is also included in the printable.
At the front door, children will find a new riddle with pictures of leaves on it. They’ll know that they found the right clue! The second clue reads:
Free Classroom Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt #3
The bookshelf can be any shelf in your room with books, or you could make it more challenging for older groups by visiting the library for their next riddle.
Children will find the image of the family/friends celebrating together and know they’ve found the right clue.
Classroom Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt Clue #4
The next clue is placed on a window ledge or you can tape it to the actual window. Make sure that it is placed in a safe spot for children to find and read.
Children will find the image of the turkey and they’ll know they found the right clue.
Free Scavenger Hunt Clue #5
A pumpkin is the big, orange and round object players will look for for the fifth clue. You can set the riddle anywhere children will check for the arts and crafts in the classroom.
The clue reads:
Free Thanksgiving Classroom Scavenger Hunt #6
The next riddle suggests for players to check where they throw things out. If you have a few garbage bins in the room, you can set the clue with any of them. It can be taped to the side or simply set near the bin.
If you’re using the extra picture/word cards, this is a great place to use the image of the family having a feast. Tape the picture/word card to the trash bin so that children know they are close. (Make sure children know that the next riddle is not found in the garbage.)
The clue found here tells players to check for apples around the place that they wash their hands.
Free Thanksgiving Classroom Scavenger Hunt #7
Around the sink, the next riddle is found.
The next riddle tells players to search for images of fall, like an acorn or fall harvest at the spot that the teacher sits. This can be any chair children identify as their teachers.
Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt Clue #8
This riddle at their teacher’s chair is the final riddle.
The riddle tells players to look for the image of pumpkin pie and to find their next riddle in the classroom next door.
If your classroom is between two classroom, you can decide where you place the final prize. I have made the neighboring classroom the spot for the prize so that students don’t see the prize before they’re done.
Depending on the classroom teacher next door, the teacher can reveal the prize to your class when you visit. However, if going into the room isn’t an option, you can place the prize outside the door for your class to find.
Free Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt Prize
You can print the completion certificate for each child or one for the whole group. Place the certificate with a small prize for your students. It can be a treat, something fun for the group to do together, like an extra gym period or keep it simple and just use the certificate. It’s up to you.
The scavenger hunt has been successfully completed once this clue has been found.
Thanksgiving Completion Certificate
I love including a completion certificate for each child so that everyone can take it home. This promotes a conversation with their parents/family about their adventure. It’s a great way to connect school and home and encourage conversations about what children did at school.
A page is included in the printable that includes two of the certificates on one page to make printing easier and faster.
Free Thanksgiving Write the Room Extension
Make sure to peek at the picture/word cards included in the printable. These are completely optional to use and the scavenger hunt can be done without them.
They are a great and easy way to incorporate some printing into the activity or you can use them separately as a Write the Room type activity.
Click for another Thanksgiving Write the Room activity for the classroom.
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More Hands-On Teaching Ideas
This is a great season for themed activities and scavenger hunts. Check out the collection below free resources and scavenger hunt ideas. From free hunts for Halloween or simply a free school scavenger hunt for any time of year – or a rainy day, there are lots of ideas to keep kids engaged and learning all year long!