November is a month full of discovery in the primary classroom! With fun themes like turkeys and Thanksgiving, what’s not to love? If you’re hoping to find something new to add to your lesson plan this month, come along to check out my favorite November activities!
What to Teach in November
As a kindergarten teacher, November is a very busy month! In the United States, we usually get a solid week or two off to celebrate Thanksgiving. This means that the time for instruction is cut short so I’ve got to make sure that every lesson counts!
To help make sure my students stay engaged and focused through our limited class time in November, I’m a big fan of using thematic lessons. To be honest, this is something I do all year long because it makes such a huge impact on the ability to snag (and keep) student attention.
In November, my favorite themes to use in our class lessons include:
- Veteran’s Day
- Then and Now
These themes are fun for students, highly relatable to the season, and seamless to switch back and forth between. Not to mention, choosing a few themes makes lesson planning quicker and much simpler too!
For your classroom, you can pick and choose which themes work best for your students, or use them all like me! Now, let’s get to the good stuff- my favorite November activities!
1. November Writing Center Activities
One of the first things I do at the start of every month is update my classroom centers to reflect our current theme. This switch-up helps keep my classroom fresh and exciting all year long. This is especially true for the writing center, which doesn’t always get the most love from my students. If you struggle to motivate your students to use the writing center, thematic materials might just be the thing you need to jazz it up!
I love using thematic writing activities because they draw students toward the writing center, and also help get them excited to write. Changing up the materials in our writing center is one of my favorite ways to make the classroom, and our lessons, feel “new” each month even if we’re targeting the same skills.
Our November activities for the writing center are focused on skills like letter formation, fine motor development, learning new vocabulary words, writing sentences, and encouraging creative writing. Using a variety of activities in your writing center also means that differentiation is a breeze! Simply assign writing center activities by skill level to ensure everyone gets what they need. Some of my favorite activities for the month include:
- Tracing Cards – Students can practice fine motor skills by tracing thematic vocabulary words.
- Letter Formation Cards – Students can practice fine motor skills by tracing themed letter cards.
- You Pick Story Writing – Students can practice opinion writing by picking an image and writing about their choice.
- Finish and Write Story Writing – Students will look at the image and finish drawing the setting and what else is happening then write about the picture.
Aside from these activities, there are 12 other writing prompts and worksheets to choose from. With over 100 pages of fun, fall-themed activities you’ll have a little something for everyone. These November activities work well in the writing center, but I also like using them in my small groups for a bit of targeted writer’s workshop lessons as well!
2. Shape Games for November
Do you struggle to find engaging ways to help your students master shapes? If so, you’ll LOVE these Thanksgiving Shapes Games! This resource is designed to make learning shapes fun and easy! You won’t have to beg for student attention when you’re using games like these. The Thanksgiving themes make them the perfect addition to your November activities too! Some of my favorites from this resource include:
- Clip Cards – Students will play this activity independently. They will look at the picture and clip the matching shape with a clothespin.
- BINGO – Students can play in small groups. They will cover up the called shapes until one person has a straight line or the entire board covered.
- Count & Graph – Students will play independently. They will look at the collage of shapes and count and graph the number of each shape.
- Match It – Students will play independently. They will look at the code and place the cubes on the shapes according to the color code.
What I love most about these games is how versatile they are. I love using them during centers, in our morning tubs, and assigning them as a partner activity throughout the month. They’re even fun to play in small groups too! If you’re having a party day with parent helpers before the break, these make a great activity to assign to each group!
3. Digital November Activities
As a primary teacher, I believe that hands-on learning is best, which is why center games and manipulatives are always my go to activity. There is truly no way to replace hands-on learning, but as we teach children living in today’s world, I believe it’s also important to give them opportunities to utilize technology. For this reason, I always add some fun, digital activities to the mix when planning my November activities.
I use digital activities in a couple of ways. Boom Cards are great for center time since they’re self-correcting, provide immediate feedback, and use a game-like format that students love!
We use these activities to practice math and phonics skills throughout the month of November. I love that these are a no-prep option to work on missing numbers, counting, beginning sounds, and CVC words!
I also enjoy using Google Classroom activities with my whole group during our morning meeting or anytime we have a few minutes to fill in our day.
These activities feature many of the same lessons but in a format that’s great for projecting up on the screen and working on as a class!
4. Snap Cube Games for November
Are you a fan of snap cubes for classroom learning? Snap cubes are one of my absolute favorite manipulatives, so I always make sure to include them in my November activities! One of my favorite things about them is how great they are for encouraging independence. Once your students understand how to use them in centers, you’ll be able to devote more attention to your small group and rest easy knowing the rest of your kiddos are still learning!
My snap cube game mats are fun for students and easy to understand making them a great choice for center time. Another great thing about snap cubes is that you can target all kinds of skills with them too. Whether you’re looking to focus on literacy or math skills, I’ve gotcha covered!
First up, these Thanksgiving Snap Cube Mats target letter recognition, beginning sound, number recognition, and counting practice. Students will simply use the code on the side of the page to match up colored snap cubes on their mat. When they finish, a Thanksgiving picture is revealed. These are the perfect morning work solution that’s quiet, requires minimal teacher participation, and can be used again and again!
I also love using these Roll, Snap, and Graph Mats to have students work on subitizing and graphing. Students will use dice to roll a colored snap cube. Students will then find a matching snap cube and place it on the mat. Next, they color in one square on the graph recording sheet beside the matching color. Students will keep rolling, matching, and coloring their graph until the mat is full.
Another option are these Roll, Snap, and Frame Mats. This activity is similar but instead of graphing, students will fill a tens frame every time they roll the dice. Either one of these options is a great way to get practice in with using dice, counting, and recording answers.
5. November Pattern Block Activities
When it comes to planning my November activities, low-prep options are always at the top of my list. As we all know, this month is a busy one and I need to be mindful of how I’m spending my time. I love Pattern Block Centers for this reason, since all I need to do is print and laminate and we’re good to go! No cutting out tiny pieces here!
These pattern block activities are perfect for November. To play, students will roll dice and count. Then they will then find and name the corresponding shape, find a pattern block of the same shape, and place it on the mat.
Students will keep rolling and matching until the mat is full. When the mat is complete, the student will count how many of each shape and write it in the box. Each mat reveals a fun Thanksgiving shape to add some holiday flair as well!
We also like this resource that uses the same basic concept, but instead of using dice, you will spin a spinner. Either one of these options is perfect for adding some low-prep shape practice to your November lesson plan. They also both come in a black-and-white version that you don’t even need to laminate!
6. November Lapbooks
I saved the BEST for last, friends! If you’re looking for a fantastic, and highly engaging way to take a deep dive into your November themes, you’ll love lapbooks! In case you’ve never heard of these, think of a smaller version of an interactive notebook. You can use them for every single topic under the sun, and they’re a great way to keep a record of what you’ve covered.
We make our lapbooks out of manilla folders and fill them with foldables, writing prompts, and other fun activities centered around our themes. In November, there are a few lapbooks I always use with my students including:
- Veteran’s Day
Each of these topics is something we spend a fair bit of time studying and lapbooks make this process simple and fun!
If you want to teach your students all about the first Thanksgiving, you’ll love this lapbook. Students will love learning all about Pilgrims, and Native Americans in this hands-on, interactive, activity. Some of my favorite activities from this resource include sorting pilgrim chores vs. my chores and sequencing the First Thanksgiving.
We kick off November with our Veteran’s Day lapbook. It is a great way to introduce students to this holiday and honor the men and women who fight for our country. There are tons of fun activities in this resource like Veteran’s Day facts, Veteran’s Day vocabulary, and describing a hero writing prompt.
And last, but certainly not least, be sure to check out this Turkey lapbook too! I love using the month of November to learn about turkeys! In this activity, we learn vocabulary words, and facts all about turkeys, and even complete a writing prompt about what we’re thankful for. This lapbook is a great activity to work on the day before Thanksgiving break! If you’re interested in checking all three of these resources out, you can find them all in one place in my November lapbook bundle.
Plan Your November Activities
So, which of these November activities looks most fun to you?! Hopefully, there was something in this post that was new or inspiring to you as you prepare your own November lesson plan. You can take a closer look at all of these activities and plenty more for November in my TpT Shop. Happy planning!
Save These November Activities
Pin this post on your classroom Pinterest board to keep these activities handy!