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Thanksgiving Math Activities

This collection of Thanksgiving math activities for the middle school or high school classroom will give your students the opportunity to feast on the joy of math this Thanksgiving season. Check out this cornucopia of engaging Thanksgiving math activities that will keep students engaged and captivated.

text of "thanksgiving math activities" above picture of pile of pumpkins

​In the United States, the Thanksgiving holiday often results in a shortened week of school before Thanksgiving Day. Depending on how many days your school allows off for Thanksgiving, you may have students leaving earlier in the week to allow for out-of-state travel.

I always try to include a bit of holiday fun in my classroom during this time of year. 

You could also set some of these Thanksgiving Math Games and Thanksgiving worksheets out for early finishers to work on instead of doing them as a whole class activity. This is one of my favorite ways to fit a little bit of holiday fun into my classroom while still focusing my lessons on the standards that I am covering at that moment. 

My current district takes the entire week of Thanksgiving off from school, so I usually put out a few Thanksgiving games and puzzles out the week before Thanksgiving. 

Fun Thanksgiving Math Activities

Here is a collection of fun math activities and Thanksgiving word problems that can be used in multiple grade levels from middle school to high school.

Topics covered include

  • graphing on the coordinate plane
  • domain and range
  • writing linear equations
  • classifying angles
  • systems of inequalities
  • related rates (calculus)

Thanksgiving Mystery Tangram Coordinate Plane Graphing Activity

thanksgiving mystery tangram puzzle with coordinate plane art

This Thanksgiving Mystery Tangram Puzzle combines two of my favorite things: tangram puzzles and coordinate plane graphing activities.

Students must graph the given points on the coordinate plane and connect the dots in order to form a turkey outline that they can then create using a standard set of tangram puzzle pieces.

Domain and Range Turkey Activity

domain and range turkey activity for thanksgiving math class

Lisa Richardson offers a free printable domain and range turkey activity that is perfect for Thanksgiving!

Writing Linear Equations Turkeys in the Oven Review Game

turkeys in the oven review game with drawing of turkey inside oven

Practice writing linear equations with this fun and engaging Turkeys in the Oven Review Game.

Teaching a different topic? The Turkeys in the Oven blog post explains how to adapt this review game structure for any math topic!

Thanksgiving Turkey Angle Finding Activity

turkey face inside geometric angle

Mathy Miss Grove shares a creative Thanksgiving math activity where students must save Tommy the Turkey by finding all of his angles.

Thanksgiving System of Inequalities

turkey and mashed potatoes system of inequalities activity for thanksgiving

Can your students solve this turkey and mashed potatoes system of inequalities activity from Carolyn Lantos to help save Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving Related Rates Project

thanksgiving related rates project

Divya Kaushal shares a fun project where students create their own Thanksgiving-themed related rates problems in Calculus. How fun!

Thanksgiving Puzzles and Games

These thanksgiving puzzles and games can be used with students and adults of all ages! Even though I am sharing these as a high school math teacher, these activities below can be used across a wide range of subject areas. 

I have even heard of teachers printing these puzzles out and putting them out for their family to work on while the Thanksgiving feast is being prepared! What a fun way to get young and old brains working while on Thanksgiving break! 

Thanksgiving Triples Puzzle

close up of thanksgiving triples word puzzle hanging on dry erase board in high school math classroom

In this fun Thanksgiving word puzzle, you must combine the provided letter trio cards to spell out some words associated with Thanksgiving. Will you be able to spell all of the words correctly?

Students especially love working on this Thanksgiving puzzle in groups.

Triangular Turkey Puzzle

triangular turkey puzzle

This triangular turkey puzzle is such a great conversation starter. How many different triangles can you find in this picture of a Thanksgiving turkey?

This fun Thanksgiving math puzzle is courtesy of the late, great Martin Gardner.

Picking Pumpkins Game

picking pumpkins game in dry erase pocket with green dry erase marker next to it.

This fall-themed pencil and paper game has a pumpkin design which will fit in with either Halloween or Thanksgiving.

On your turn, you may pick any number of pumpkins in a single row or an equal number of pumpkins in both rows. The player who picks the last pumpkin wins.

This is such a fun game that is easy to teach! 

Turkeys in the Field Latin Square Puzzle

turkeys in the field puzzle

Ms. Rawding adds a fun Thanksgiving twist to the classic latin square puzzle.

Can you arrange the turkeys in the field so that there is exactly one turkey of each color in every row, column, and diagonal? This is a fun way to infuse some problem solving practice into your classroom! 

Turkey Square Puzzle

turkey square puzzle with nine turkeys in a square

Elizabeth Carney puts a Thanksgiving spin on a classic math brainteaser.

Can you draw two additional squares so that each turkey is by itself in its own pen?

9 Pumpkins Puzzle

9 pumpkins puzzle in dry erase pocket for halloween

Without lifting your pencil or dry erase marker, can you draw 4 straight lines that pass through all nine of the pumpkins?

This puzzle will definitely require your students to get thinking “outside of the box!”

Thanksgiving Gratitude Activities

Looking for a great way to incorporate gratitude into your classroom this Thanksgiving? Check out these ideas that you can easily add to your lesson plans in the month of November.

Free Printable Thank You Notes for Thanksgiving

free printable thank you notes for thanksgiving

Help your students show their thankfulness this Thanksgiving season with a collection of free printable thank you notes.

My students love to write these thank you notes to various staff members and then hand-deliver them.

Thanksgiving Gratitude Bulletin Board

bulletin board with text "Give thanks"

Mary Williams shares an easy to put together gratitude bulletin board that will brighten your classroom or hallway this Thanksgiving season.

Each student writes something they are thankful for on a construction paper feather. These are assembled to form an adorable turkey display!

Miscellaneous Thanksgiving Ideas

Hand Turkey Competition

handprint over background of craft supplies with text "hand turkey competition"

Start a new tradition at your school with an annual hand turkey competition. Kris Karlson shares examples of winning hand turkeys from years past.

Thanksgiving Themed Check-In Question

thanksgiving check-in question over image of cooked turkey

Mitch Meier shares a clever Thanksgiving themed check-in question where students must use a slider to decide which turkey image best describes them. Very clever!

This would be so easy to customize for any holiday!

Happy Thanksgiving from Math = Love! I hope you and yours enjoy a very special holiday season!