Newsletter #520: Thanksgiving Bible Study / Devotionals / Unit Study



Thanksgiving Newsletters Archived Online:

#519: Teaching Our Children To Be Thankful (Character Study)

#520: Thanksgiving Bible Study / Devotionals (Unit Study)

Since 1980 The Teaching Home has provided families information,

inspiration, and encouragement from a distinctively Christian perspective.

Co-Editors: Veteran Homeschool Sisters, Sue Welch and Cindy Short




Bible Study / Devotionals / Unit Study



1.  Praising God for Who He Is

2.  Thanking God for What He Has Done

3.  Ways To Praise and Thank God Throughout the Year

•  Thanksgiving Freebies: Unit studies, ebooks, activities

•  Thanksgiving Day Activities




In this issue we offer you a ready-to-use Bible study which includes learning activities and practical suggestions for how your family can praise and thank God this at this Thanksgiving time – and all year long!

You might use all or parts of this Bible study during your school time, as a guide for your family devotions, or for a family thanksgiving service.

We have also added some ideas for Thanksgiving Day Activities.  They are fun and meaningful ways of expressing thanks that all ages can join in and enjoy.

May your family come to a deeper understanding of who God is and what He has done by studying God’s Word together – resulting in praise and thankfulness to our wonderful Lord for His goodness to us.

May the Lord bless your family for His glory.



The Pat Welch Family, Publishers

Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian

The Teaching Home is a homeschool, family-run business operated in our home since 1980.

1.  Praising God for Who He Is


When we and our children get to know God and what He is like, through His Word, the natural result will be to praise Him!




      A.  Who God Is      


1.  Bible Study and Memory


Read, Discuss, and Memorize Psalm


“Know ye that the Lord he is God:

It is he that hath
made us, and not we ourselves;

We are his people,
and the sheep of his pasture.”


2.  Considering God, Our Creator


•  Read
, consider, and answer the
questions:  “Did God make each of us
individually?  Who knows us, our
character, and our thoughts better than
anyone else?  What does this mean to



3.  Considering God, Our Shepherd


Psalm 100:3 tells us that we are God’s

Psalm 23 gives us a picture of what it
means to have God as our Shepherd.

•  Read
and think of how this description
makes you feel (e.g., safe, loved, etc.).

•  List
things to praise God for from Psalm 23.



4.  Studying the Character of God


What is God like?

In addition to God being holy, loving,
just, and true, older children can learn the
meaning and implications of terms such as
omnipotent, omniscience, omnipresent, and

•  Study the attributes of God.  Combine the sources below for several weeks of study in your Bible class or family devotions.

List of 10 attributes of God with definition, verses, and application.

13 lessons on the attributes of God with definition, verses, and application.

62 attributes of God with verses.

Four videos by Josh McDowell on the attributes of God.

•  Write a
character description of God based on

(See Exodus 34:6, 7; Deut. 6:4; 10:17; Num.
16:22; Ex. 15:11, 33:19; Isa. 44:6; Hab. 3:6;
Ps. 102:26; Job 34:12; Rev. 5:12, 7:12.)


      B.  Praising God      

1.  Bible Study and Memory


Read, Discuss, and Memorize Psalm 100:1, 2.


“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

Serve the Lord with gladness:

Come before his presence with singing.”


2.  Word Study


Study the words “praise” and “thank.”

•  Look up “praise” in a online dictionary and a online thesaurus.

•  Look up “thank” in a online dictionary and a online thesaurus.

•  See Webster’s 1828 Dictionary online and look up praise
and thank.

•  Point
out that there is a difference between:
praising God for Who He is, and thanking Him
for what He’s done.



3.  Further Bible Study


•  Look
up verses that contain the words “praise” and
thank” in a concordance or online at

•  Look
up “praise” and “thankfulness” in Baker’s
Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical
online for discussion and more references.



4.  Nature Study


•  Read Psalm 19:1-6 and answer:  “How does the earth and all creation praise God?”

•  Write a poem (see how-to tips online)
or paint a picture of nature praising God.


2.  Thanking God for What He Has Done


When we and our children get to know God and what He has done, through His Word, the natural result will be to thank Him!




      A.  What God Has Done      


1.  Bible Study and Memory


Read, Discuss, and Memorize Psalm 100:5.


“For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting

And His faithfulness to all generations.”


2.  Lovingkindness


•  See
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary online for
definition of loving-kindness.

•  Read Psalm
and using it as an example, write a family Psalm telling about God’s lovingkindness to your family.



3.  Faithfulness


•  Read about God’s faithfulness in Lamentations 3:22, 23.

•  Sing
Is Thy Faithfulness

•  How has God been faithful to you?  Write one or more verses to the above tune praising and thanking God for what He has been and done for your family.



      B.  Thanking God      


1.  Bible Study and Memory


Read, Discuss, and Memorize Psalm 100:4.


“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,

and into his courts with praise:

Be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”


2.  What To Thank God for


Make a list of things your family is
thankful for and keep adding to your list all
year long (see suggested activities below).  Be sure to include
the following:

•  His
Love and Free Offer of Salvation

“For the wages of sin is death, but the
free gift of God is eternal life in Christ
Jesus our Lord.”
  (Romans 6:23)

•  His

“And my God will supply all your needs
according to His riches in glory in Christ
  (Philippians 4:19)

•  All
Good Things

“Every good thing given and every perfect
gift is from above, coming down from the
  (James 1:17)

You can rightfully thank God for anything
and everything good, including a found
parking space, safety during a near accident
that you avoided, good news from a friend, or
the beauty of the day.

•  Unasked-for

“For He gives to His beloved even in his
  (Psalms 127:2)

“He causes His sun to rise on the evil and
the good, and sends rain on the righteous and
the unrighteous.”
  (Matthew 5:45)

We can thank the Lord for those things we
have received from God without specifically
asking for them.



3.  Studying the Names of God


•  List some of the names of the Lord (e.g., Jehovah Jireh – The God Who Provides).

•  See a list of 948 names of God, many with Scripture references, at

•  What names would you give God, based on your personal or family relationship with Him?


3.  Ways To Praise and Thank God

Throughout the Year


“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”  (Psalm 34:1)



1.  In Private and Family Prayer


•  Private Prayer. Talking to God in prayer throughout the
day is how we can “pray without ceasing” (1
Thessalonians 5:17).  And the majority
of our words to Him should be praise to Him
for Who He is (His attributes) and thanks for
what He has done for us.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything
by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to
  (Philippians 4:6)

“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping
alert in it with an attitude of
  (Colossians 4:2)

•  Family Prayer. Teach your children to begin their prayers with praise and thanksgiving before presenting their petitions.

During your family prayer time, ask your
children to think of one specific thing that
happened that day (especially to them
individually) for which they can thank the



2.  In Song, Singing Hymns and Spiritual Songs


Throughout Scripture, thankfulness to the
Lord is expressed not only in words, but
through music.

“I will praise the name of God with song
and magnify Him with thanksgiving.”

(Psalms 69:30)

“Let the word of Christ richly dwell
within you, with all wisdom; teaching and
admonishing one another with psalms and hymns
and spiritual songs, singing with
thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

(Colossians 3:16)

•  Learn
(memorize) and sing hymns and songs of praise
and thanksgiving. See a list of 300+ songs of
praise at

•  Sing (read about and get various musical arrangements for)
People That on Earth Do Dwell
,” based on
Psalm 100 from the Scottish Psalter and Paraphrases of 1650.

•  Sing alone, either aloud or to yourself, as you work or travel.

•  Sing as a family, before meals, during devotional times, and in the car.



3.  In Public, as a Testimony to Others


Giving thanks to God should also be done
before others as a testimony of His goodness
to all mankind and our appreciation of Him.

•  In Everyday Talk. The phrase “Praise the Lord” is
appropriate many times in our daily
conversations, before our family and in front
of the unsaved or strangers. We should not
tire of using it with sincerity!

•  Corporate Worship and Prayer. Our worship during the song service and public prayers at church should
be meaningful praise and thanksgiving to the

“In the midst of the assembly I will
praise You.”
  (Psalms 22:22)

•  Direct the Praise to God. Teach your children by your own example
that when we are praised by others, we should
acknowledge the Lord’s grace that enables us
to do anything good or praiseworthy.  In
this way we give the glory and praise to Him.

“Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your
name give glory because of Your
lovingkindness, because of Your truth.”

(Psalms 115:1)

•  Ministering to Others. Singing praise and thanks to the Lord at a rest home or rescue mission is a real testimony.


Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
Psalm 106:1


Thanksgiving Freebies


Thanksgiving Unit Studies & Learning Activities

•  Thanksgiving Unit Study. Learning activities, plus printable notebooking and lapbooking pages. 56 pages.

•  Thanksgiving Planner. Printable planning pages, plus tips for a stress-free celebration, recipes, decorations, activities, and “Counting Your Blessings with Corn Kernels (see page 49).” 60 pages.

•  Thanksgiving Holiday Helper. Picture study, copywork, stories, and poems from Sheila Carroll, Living Books Curriculum. 22 pages.

•  Pilgrim/Thanksgiving Unit Study. Includes Internet resources, book recommendations, hands-on activities, art projects, crafts, recipes, games, music, and printable worksheets.

•  Thanksgiving Unit Study Ideas. Includes the Pilgrims, religious liberty, journaling activities, map skills, creative play, Mayflower, Plymouth, Native Americans, crafts, food, and hymns.

•  Thanksgiving from How To Homeschool for Free. Includes the Pilgrims (before America, Smithsonian’s Plimoth Plantation, more), The Mayflower, The first Thanksgiving, activities, and games.

•  Thanksgiving writing prompts and activities from Alpha Omega Publications. 25+ Ideas.

•  Annie’s Thanksgiving Home Page. Arts, crafts, activities, history of Thanks- giving, plus related links. Christian.


eBooks and Audio Books

•  Pollyanna is the story of girl who always tries to find something to be glad (thankful) about in every situation, by Eleanor H. Porter. Read e-book or listen to audiobook (see more ebook formats at the bottom of page). Also the sequel, Pollyanna Grows Up,
audio and ebook.

•  An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott.
234-page ebook. Story of an 1820s Thanksgiving filled with warmth of character and family life.
When Grandma gets sick, Mr. and Mrs. Bassett hurry off to tend to her, leaving their seven children to prepare for Thanksgiving on their own. Audiobook with 12 cast members.

•  Mary of Plymouth. 157 page ebook. This book follows the life of a young girl who arrives with the Pilgrims on the Mayflower and shares in their difficulties and adventures. More formats (including HTML online and Kindle. Get free reading apps for Kindle on tablet, smartphone, or computer at


Information about the Pilgrims

•  Pilgrims with links to more information

•  Read the only two primary sources for the first Thanksgiving:  Edward Winslow writing in Mourt’s Relation and William Bradford writing in Of Plymouth Plantation


Art, Crafts, Activities, etc.

•  Everything Thanksgiving from Martha Stewart. Includes recipes, cooking how-tos, menus, decor, and even leftovers.

•  Printable Gratitude Journal for Children. (Hat tip to Home Educators Association of Virginia.)

•  See The Teaching Home’s Thanksgiving Pinterest page for 65 projects and printables.


Your Home

•  “Organizing for Thanksgiving,” article by Florence Feldman. Take advantage of your special motivation and trash the clutter, and then enjoy a relaxed day with family and friends!


Thanksgiving Day Activities


After your family has enjoyed
your Thanksgiving feast
, the
following activities can help to make
the day a time of giving thanks.

“Count Your Blessings”
Thanksgiving Visuals


Make a poster and cut out objects (see
below).  Then write a blessing for
you are thankful on each cutout and tape
glue them on the poster.  For

•  Poster
of a tree
with leaf cutouts.
a leafless tree on a piece of butcher
or posterboard. (You can also open up a
grocery bag to use as a large piece of

Cut out leaves from
colored paper and write (or
have young children draw) something for
you are thankful on each leaf and tape
or glue them to the tree.

•  Poster
of a cornucopia
with fruit
and vegetable

•  Poster
of an umbrella
or grass with
raindrop cutouts

of blessings)

Basket or Box

Decorate a box or basket to hold notes
(e.g., 3×5 cards) written by family
expressing thankfulness for various
blessings, great or small. Younger
can draw items.

Add more notes throughout the
Review them occasionally or read them

Paper Chain

Make a Thanksgiving
Paper Chain
with blessing written
or drawn on each link. This could also
be added to your Christmas tree!

“What Am I Thankful For?” Games

Charades and/or

Have Ready: a chalkboard, whiteboard,
or a
large pad of paper with markers. The
idea is for everyone to tell what they
are thankful for by using the rules of charades
or pictionary.

•  Everyone gets
a turn as others guess.  This does
have to be a points or winning game –
just fun!

•  The
game can continue after everyone has one
as long as there is interest.

Your Family Thanksgiving Service


After your Thanksgiving feast, gather
family and friends for a time of:

•  Singing
hymns and songs of praise. See words and
the music to many hymns of thanksgiving
at Cyberhymnal.

•  Recounting
to each other the blessings of the Lord.

•  Thanking God
together in prayer.

•  Reading
or quoting Bible verses or passages on
thankfulness and God’s blessings (many
of the
Psalms, including Psalm 100).


Sharing the Gospel. Gospel of John with attractive covers in many languages and Bible translations, even a large print (for older and younger readers). Includes plan of salvation.

Peace with God. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16) See God’s Plan of Salvation.

God’s Word. Immerse your family in God’s truth through systematic reading and study of God’s Word.

•  The Teaching Home’s Unique Bible Reading Schedule

•  Free Bible App from Bible Gateway

Christian Music Online 24-7. Abiding Radio (free app).


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