Thanksgiving Sing-A-Story

My idea is based on the Thanksgiving Sing-A-Story found in The Children’s Songbook Companion book but I’ve changed quite a bit so I’m going to post all of it here…
Download and print The First Thanksgiving book I created.  You can download it using the access button at the bottom of this post.

I printed the first page (the cover) on red card stock then all the rest on white card stock.  I did add a blank red piece of card stock for the back cover as well but there’s nothing to print for that ;).

Put all the pages in sheet protectors with all the picture pages and their corresponding song titles with page numbers back to back:
Front sides:

Back sides (I’ve updated a few of the songs since this picture was taken – so some of them have changed):
Here’s what goes back to back:
  • Boat (Mayflower) / Nephi’s Courage
  • Log cabin (home) / The Wise Man and the Foolish Man
  • Cornucopia (fruits and vegetables) / The Prophet Said to Plant a Garden
  • Fall tree (fall)/ Autumn Day
  • Pilgrim feast / For Health and Strength
  • American Indians / Book of Mormon Stories
  • Turkey / Give Said the Little Stream
  • Pilgrim and American Indian praying / I Pray In Faith
If you want to add some actions or something to do as you sing each song, I’ve got some ideas from other lesson plans you can pull in:
  • Nephi’s Courage – Puppets & actions on chorus found HERE
  • The Wise Man and the Foolish Man – actions or blow these houses HERE
  • The Prophet Said to Plant a Garden – pass around a whole bunch of fake (or real) food to the beat of the song that would be found in a garden as you sing
  • Autumn Day – actions using die cut leaves found HERE
  • For Health and Strength – sing as a round, details HERE
  • Book of Mormon Stories – actions
  • Give Said the Little Stream – wands like I’ve done HERE
  • I Pray in Faith – Review Cards HERE or actions found HERE
Or you can do something like Primary Yoga HERE to easily shake things up as well.  If you have more ideas, leave a comment!
The actual words of the story go into their own sheet protector with nothing behind them:
When the book is completely put together, you’ll have the cover page, then the first line of the story “The pilgrims came to America on a…” When you turn the page, the next page will be the picture of the boat:
which will have the song Nephi’s Courage right behind it:
And so on.  If you keep all the pages in order as they are printed, everything will fall into place where it should go.
Then put your book in a 3-ring binger.  That way it will be able to be propped up on a table as you sing:
Then you’ll also need 8 magnets and words to post for any unfamiliar songs.  See how I post words to songs by clicking on the “Posting Words” tab at the top of the page.
Before Primary starts put all the picture/song titles pages on the chalkboard using magnets.  Have the song titles facing out and the pictures hidden.
Tell the kids you are going to read them a Thanksgiving story and that each of the pictures of the book are on the chalk board under a song. They have to figure out which song corresponds to the correct picture.
So, for instance, read to them the first page “The pilgrims came to American on…”  Then go over to the chalkboard and decide on a song that would answer that phrase.  The answer would be Nephi’s Courage (because who else traveled on a boat?).  Sing Nephi’s Courage (we’ll probably only sing the 2nd verse that talks about the boat) and then remove the page to reveal the boat (Mayflower).  Remove the picture from the board and put it into your story book.
Continue on until all the pictures are removed, the songs are sung and your story book is put together in order.  If you have time, read the completed book with all the pictures.
For Junior Primary, I may or may not use the Sr. activity.  If I don’t, I’ll just read the book (it will be all put together) and we’ll sing the corresponding song to each picture.  Or, I’ll post the pictures on the board with the pictures facing out and the song on the back, that way they can just pick the correct picture to place into the book.
Make sure to check out all of my Thanksgiving singing time lesson plans HERE.
Camille's Primary Ideas Singing Time Lesson Plan for I Am Glad for Many Things using a Thanksgiving Turkey

Check out this quick tutorial video for accessing the Resource Library:

These printables are filed on my Resource Library page under Category Title > Thanksgiving.


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24 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Sing-A-Story”

  1. I am so EXCITED! You have saved me! I wanted to do the Children around the world activity, but ran out of time. This is most excellent. I think I will put the pages in a 3 ring binder to make the book instead of using the rings. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. (This Thanksgiving I am thankful for the Singing in Primary Blog! {I just might make a construction paper turkey and that will be one of the feathers!})

    1. Just to update: this was GREAT! I read it in Jr.and did the activity in Sr. and it was a success both times. I think putting the sheets in a binder worked well for us because I was able to stand the binder up on edge and use it as a flip book, basically. The kids in Sr. enjoyed putting the pages in. Thank you so very much!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Thank you SOOO MUCH for this most excellent post! You saved me from giving a boring singing time. Because of time constraints, I taped the pages to the chalkboard, just told the story and we sang the songs in order. I was going to flip the pictures over so only the song titles showed and then mix them up for senior primary, but when you only have 15 minutes…. It worked well anyway, and the sharing time lesson was worth it.

    1. This sounds like a great idea. I am a new chorister and I can’t wait to try it. How long does this activity take? Does it fit into the 20 minutes? I was wondering about asking the primary presidency is they wanted to take the whole 40 minutes with this activity instead of having classes. Would that work? Thanks for all of your great ideas!

      1. Hi Alicia!

        I’ve done this every year and I manage to fit it all in in 20 minutes. I do have to move it along to finish. It’s mostly just singing. Reading the pages in the book don’t take very long. I hope that helps.


  3. Thank you so much! I shared this with my Primary yesterday and it was AWESOME!! I used the picture side for Jr. Primary and the Song side for Sr. Primary. The kids were so engaged! I am so grateful for your site!!

  4. Thank you so much for all you do to help other primary music leaders. You are a lifesaver! I am so grateful for you and very appreciative of this activity. Can't wait to try it out tomorrow!

  5. Hi Sandy — As Told By Mommy,

    I post the words to all the songs. If I'm really concerned, sometimes I'll bring the song in on CD so the kids can sing along as well as read the words. If you check out my "Posting Words" tab at the top of the page, that will have more information. Hope that helps.


  6. Do you anticipate having time to sing all verses to these songs, or do you stick to one verse? I'm SO bad at estimating how much time singing songs will take up!

  7. Hi Cassidy,

    I usually don't sing all the verses. For Nephi's Courage we'll just do the one about building the boat, we'll sing everything for The Wise Man and the Foolish Man, only the 1st verse for Faith, the 1st and 2nd verses for Book of Mormon Stories and for the 2 short songs at the end, we'll sing all the verses as the other verses pertain to the items in the book. Hope that helps! If you find you have extra time at the end, go back and sing all the verses to everything.


  8. I tried this activity last week, and the kids loved it! We followed your lesson plan pretty much as you have it outlined, I just added activities for three of the songs. For Autumn Day I brought several apples, since the song mentions them, and a child from each class came to the front and tried to balance one on their head while we sang the entire song. If their apple fell off they just picked it up and put it back on, and we didn't bother keeping track of who won. For Give Said the Little Stream I used the blue scarves you suggested for teaching this song in Nursery, and the Sunbeam class came up and waved them like water. For the Sr. group, I had one child from each class come up and try to juggle 2-3 of the scarves while we sang the song. And for The Prophet Said to Plant a Garden, I brought a toy from when my daughter was a toddler–wooden fruits and vegetables that are in 3-4 pieces and held together with velcro, and a wooden knife to chop them apart with. One child tried to chop up all the fruits/vegetables while we sang the song, while another child tried to put them all put back together as fast as they could. We sang through each of the songs once before I let them try the activities because I thought they'd get very distracted, but the kids were great and participated really well.

  9. I am a brand new chorister and am feeling quite intimidated! I love the idea of this activity, but am wondering how to make it work when the children do not know the majority of these songs? I know that you post words to the songs (which is such a great idea), but do the kids lose interest when they have to sing songs that they don’t know? Do you do anything to engage them during each song, or do you just stand and lead as they sing? I wish I could come watch you! Thank you for all that you share!

    1. Hi Tara!

      If you want to add extra things for the kids to do as you sing, you definitely can. But really, just singing is fun. And yes, make sure to post the words. You could also have them do Primary Yoga cards (search my blog for that) which are really fun.

      I do like to add actions for Book of Mormon Stories and The Wise Man and the Foolish Man. Nephi’s Courage I have some simple actions for the chorus and some puppets for the verses. For Health and Strength, I’ve divided the primary into 2-4 groups and we sing it as a round. I Pray in Faith I use my Review Necklaces and divide the primary in half so each side sings the verses. Autumn Day I have die cut leaves that are fun to sing too. For Give Said the Little Stream, I have wands and we create water movements with them.

      But with so many songs to get through, you might not have enough time to do everything with each song so maybe pick and choose.

      I’ll update the post and link my lesson plans to each song that have more detail with each song if that helps.

      Just don’t overthink it and it will be great ;).


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