Thanksgiving can be tricky in today’s classroom. While it’s fun to make turkey crafts and learn about the Pilgrims, there’s a more nuanced story behind this holiday. These Thanksgiving videos can help you share a variety of viewpoints with your students. Learn about the traditional stories and indigenous perspectives, plus find fun songs, facts, and read-alongs. (Be sure to view these videos in advance to make sure they’re appropriate for your audience.)

1. Thanksgiving for Kids

Best for: Pre-K to Early Elementary

This is one of the longer Thanksgiving videos for kids, and it’s full of interesting facts. It touches lightly on the Pilgrims, but also includes information about Thanksgiving in other countries and the lengthy history of days of giving thanks.

2. Turkey Facts for Kids

Best for: Pre-K through Early Elementary

Want to learn a whole lot of turkey facts? Try this video from Homeschool Pop. The narration can get a little silly, but younger kids will love it.

3. History of the Holidays: History of Thanksgiving

Best for: Middle and High School

Starting with a brief overview of the Thanksgiving celebration at Plymouth and following through to the first parades and football games, this video takes a very traditional look at the holiday.

4. The First Thanksgiving: What Really Happened

Best for: Middle and High School

Ready to take another look at the first Thanksgiving? This well-researched video provides a dispassionate look at the interactions of the Puritans and local indigenous people.

5. Why These Native Americans Observe a National Day of Mourning …

Best for: High School

If you’re ready to expose your students to a very different point of view, try this honest and plain-spoken explanation of the Day of Mourning. It’s sure to spark conversation in your classroom, which is a good thing.

6. National Day of Mourning

Best for: Middle and High School

Get more details on the National Day of Mourning, and learn stories kids likely haven’t heard before, including the time in 1969 when a group of indigenous people took over Alcatraz island to make their voices heard.

7. Thanksgiving: One Word

Best for: Middle and High School

As you have continuing conversations with your students about Thanksgiving’s true history, watch this video of indigenous people sharing their thoughts on the holiday. While many celebrate the idea of giving thanks, they know that for those of their ancestry, Thanksgiving itself is a complicated day.

8. Bet You Didn’t Know: Thanksgiving History

Best for: Upper Elementary through High School

Did you know the Plymouth thanksgiving celebration lasted three days and didn’t include turkey or potatoes? Or which president was the first to pardon a turkey? Find out in this fun video.

9. Turkey Hokey Pokey

Best for: Pre-K through Early Elementary

“You put your right wing in, you put your right wing out. …” You know the rest! Add this to your list of Thanksgiving videos to play when kids need to get up and move.

10. Gobble Gobble Turkey Wobble

Best for: Pre-K through Early Elementary

Here’s another fun one when your class is ready for a brain break! We bet your students will beg to do this one more than once.

11. 10 Little Turkeys

Best for: Pre-K through Kindergarten

Count down as each turkey flies away to hide on the advice of the little red hen. This is a cute one to have kids act out as they sing.

12. Thanksgiving Would You Rather?

Best for: Elementary

Here’s another quick brain-break video. Kids choose between options like eating turkey or salad, then perform the motions that match their choice.

13. A Turkey for Thanksgiving

Best for: Pre-K to Early Elementary

Mr. and Mrs. Moose are preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving, but where’s the turkey? The sweet ending will surprise little ones!

14. Sesame Street: Thanksgiving Apple Pie

Best for: Pre-K

The Monster Foodies are ready to make apple pie for Thanksgiving, but they’ve only got one apple! Take a trip to the orchard with them to learn more about this favorite fruit.

15. Kids Try 100 Years of Thanksgiving Dishes

Best for: Elementary and Middle School

For many, Thanksgiving is all about the food! These kids try old Thanksgiving favorites from the last 100 years, like pickled walnuts and oyster shooters. Giggle as you watch them try the foods, then talk about what foods your students eat on Thanksgiving.

16. Baby Shark’s Thanksgiving Day

Best for: Pre-K and Kindergarten

You didn’t really think you could get through a list of Thanksgiving videos without a Baby Shark entry, did you? This one’s actually pretty cute, we promise! The members of Baby Shark’s family prepare different dishes for their celebration and give thanks together.

17. Deconstructing History: The Mayflower

Best for: Middle and High School

Looking for some facts about the Mayflower? This video is full of them. Watch it, then see how many of them your students can remember.

18. American Experience: The Pilgrims

Best for: High School

Find out exactly who the Pilgrims were, and why they chanced their lives on such a very dangerous voyage. This is a preview of a longer series, available on PBS.

19. Who Were Samoset, Massasoit, and Squanto?

Best for: Upper Elementary through High School

Find out more about three of the Native Americans who met the Pilgrims upon their arrival. Their true stories don’t exactly match up with what you think you know.

20. The Pilgrims and the Mayflower Compact

Best for: Upper Elementary and Middle School

Learn more details about the Pilgrims, their Mayflower journey, and the early settlement years. This sticks pretty closely to a lot of the traditional Thanksgiving story, but does add a few interesting new details.

How do you teach about Thanksgiving in your classroom? Come share ideas and ask for tips on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, if you liked these Thanksgiving videos, don’t miss our list of 29 Diverse and Thoughtful Thanksgiving Books for the Classroom.

20 Best Thanksgiving Videos for the Classroom