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Teaching in November: What Elementary Teachers Need to Know in 2022

If you are an elementary teacher looking for November teaching ideas, then you found the right spot! The secret to teaching in November and keeping students engaged and learning is integrating holidays and special days into your instruction. There are so many holidays and special days in November to celebrate with your elementary students. Some of the more popular ones are Native American Heritage Month, Thanksgiving, Veterans Day, World Kindness Day, and National STEM/STEAM Day. You’ll find the full list of November events, holidays, and special days teachers can celebrate and use as teaching topics and themes below! You’ll have lots of November teaching ideas swirling around your head after reading this post!

November Holidays and Special Days

As you starting brainstorming November teaching ideas, add these November holidays and special days to your teacher planner.

Month-Long November Events

Below are month-long November events you can use as topics and themes for teaching in November. You’ll get tons of November teaching ideas from this list!

Native American Heritage Month Activities

Native American Heritage Month is celebrated during the month of November every year in the United States. President George H. W. Bush declared this month-long event in 1990. It is a time for Americans to appreciate and recognize the amazing and important contributions made by Native Americans. November is the perfect month to teach and explore geography, history, and culture specifically focusing on Native Americans!

If you need resources to celebrate Native American Heritage Month in your classroom, check out the book companions we have for the following books: Fry Bread, We Are Water Protectors, The Rough-Face Girl, and Bowwow Powwow.

Fry BreadWe are Water Protectors book companionThe Rough Face Girl book companion coverBowwow Powwow book companion

Week-Long November Events

Below are week-long November events you can use as topics and themes for teaching in November. You’ll get tons of November teaching ideas from this list!

El Día de Los Muertos Activities

El Día de Los Muertos is also commonly referred to as The Day of the Dead. It is celebrated mainly in Mexico or by people with Mexican heritage. Some celebrate it just 1 or 2 days, while others celebrate it longer. Typically people cleebrate this holiday sometime between 10/31-11/6. People celebrate it as a remembrance for friends and family members who have died. This day is a perfect opportunity to explore Mexican culture, and to celebrate this holiday meant to celebrate life, family and friends which is a great celebration to have in your classroom!

If you need resources to celebrate Día de Los Muertos in your classroom, check out the book companions we have for the following books: Gustavo and The Dead Family Diaz.

Gustavo book companionThe Dead Family Diaz

November Holidays

Below are November holidays you can use as topics and themes for teaching in November. You’ll get tons of November teaching ideas from this list!

Election Day Activities

Election Day happens on November 8th and is the day where the American election is held. This day is an important day for American governments. That’s because it’s when the citizens get to elect their leaders through voting. It’s when the people choose the president of the United States! This is the perfect day to explore and explain the importance of voting along with teaching the history of the presidents of the United States.

If you need resources to recognize Election Day in your classroom, check out the book companions we have for the following books: If I Were President, Grace for President, Sofia Valdez Future Prez, Duck for President, and If I Ran for President. You may also find our elections reading comprehension activities helpful as well!

If I Were PresidentGrace for PresidentSofia Valdez
Duck for PresidentIf I Ran for Presidentelection reading activities

Veterans Day Activities

Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11th in the United States every year. This holiday was created to honor all veterans for fighting for our country and risking their own lives just so we can have our freedom. This is a great day to educate your students on the United States Armed Forces and to come together as a class to show appreciation for our veterans through cards, gift boxes, or a filmed video message!

If you need resources to celebrate Veterans Day in your classroom, check out the book companions we have for the following books: The Wall, America’s White Table, The Poppy Lady, Rolling Thunder, and Twenty-One Steps. You may also find our Veterans Day reading comprehension activities helpful as well!

The Wall book companion activitiesAmerica's White Table book companionThe Poppy Lady book companion
Rolling ThunderTwenty-One Steps book companionveterans day reading activities

Remembrance Day Activities

Remembrance Day is celebrated every year in the U.S. on the Monday of the week in which November 11th falls. This day was created at the end of the First World War in 1918. It is a memorial day in honor of our veterans and soldiers who died in the line of duty. Remembrance Day is the perfect time to take a moment of silence and to think about the freedom these fallen soldiers have provided us with. It’s also a great time to teach students about the history and the importance of this day. If you need resources to celebrate Remembrance Day in your classroom, check out our Respect Unitl!

Respect SEL Unit

Thanksgiving Activities

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November every year in the United States and Canada. For Americans this day signifies the feast that the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags shared together. It’s also a day of thankfulness and feasting! Thanksgiving is the perfect time to explore history, while also teaching the SEL of giving thanks and being grateful. A class Thanksgiving feast sharing what each student is thankful for is a great way to celebrate this holiday. This also creates a positive classroom community!

If you need resources to celebrate Thanksgiving in your classroom, check out the book companions we have for the following books: Thanksgiving at the Tappletons’, Bear Says Thanks, A Turkey for Thanksgiving, Balloons Over Broadway, One is a Feast for Mouse, Cranberry Thanksgiving, Turkey Trouble, A Plump and Perky Turkey, and Turk and Runt. You may also find our turkey and Thanksgiving reading comprehension activities and Turkey in Disguise project helpful as well!

Thanksgiving at the Tappletons'Bear Says Thanks book companion coverA Turkey for Thanksgiving
Balloons Over BroadwayOne is a Feast for MouseCranberry Thanksgiving
Turkey TroubleA Plump and Perky TurkeyTurk and Runt
turkey reading activitiesthanksgiving reading activitiesTurkey in Disguise

Hanukkah Activities

Hanukkah is a Jewish celebration that lasts 8 days. The dates fluctuate but it always falls in November or December. A great way to recognize and celebrate this holiday is by reading aloud the book Latke the Lucky Dog and conducting a holidays around the world unit.

Latke the Lucky DogHanukkah activities

November Special Days

Below are special days in November that you can use as topics and themes for teaching in November. You’ll get tons of November teaching ideas from this list!

National Author’s Day (11/1) Activities

National Author’s Day is celebrated on November 1st and is a day dedicated to appreciate and honor our amazing authors! These individuals create amazing pieces of literature such as chapter and picture books which helps educate students around the world! Authors deserve recognition for their hard work. November 1st is the perfect day to read aloud, have a silent reading moment and to appreciate our favorite authors… especially the little writers in your very own classroom!

If you need resources to recognize National Author’s Day in your classroom, check out the book companions we have for the following books: Dear Mrs. Larue: Letters from Obedience School, Eraser, Click Clack Moo, Rocket Writes a Story, Diary of a Worm, and Can I Be Your Dog?.

Dear Mrs. LarueEraserClick Clack Moo
Rocket Writes a StoryDiary of a WormCan I Be Your Dog?

National Stress Awareness Day (11/2) Activities

National Stress Awareness Day is celebrated on November 2nd. It brings awareness to the common and horrible feeling of stress! This day helps us to help reflect on our stress levels and brainstorm ways to reduce it. This is the perfect day to take a moment to breathe and to discuss the importance of mental health and brain breaks along with helping students understand that everyone experiences stress because we’re all human, but we all need to take breaks to help us calm down and persevere!

If you need resources to recognize National Stress Awareness Day in your classroom, check out the book companions we have for the following books: The Good Egg and The Couch Potato. You may also find our Mindfulness Unit helpful as well!

The Good EggThe Couch PotatoMindfulness SEL Unit

National Sandwich Day (11/3) Activities

National Sandwich Day is celebrated on November 3rd and is a day dedicated to… sandwiches! This day is all about the variety of sandwiches and to celebrate the history of the beloved food item we often all have for lunch! This would be the perfect day for a class lunch party where every student brings their favorite sandwich to eat and show the class!

If you need resources to recognize National Sandwich Day in your classroom, check out the book companions we have for the following books: Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun and The Sandwich Swap.

Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun book companionThe Sandwich Swap

National Candy Day (11/4) Activities

National Candy Day is celebrated on November 4th each year. Students likely still have lots of Halloween candy at home, so this holiday does feel very timely! Consider practicing math skills like modeling addition, graphing, and creating arrays using leftover Halloween. You can also use this special day as an excuse to read one of these high quality picture books: Big Red Lollipop and Love Monster and the Last Chocolate.

Big Red LollipopLove Monster and The Last Chocolate book companion resource

National Redhead Day (11/5) Activities

World Redhead Day is celebrated on November 5th and is a day dedicated to the beautiful hair color… red! This specific day in November is for the redhead community to shine and show off their unique and gorgeous hair color! This is the perfect day to celebrate our redhead students and explain to the class how amazing and rare red hair truly is!

If you need resources to recognize National Redhead Day in your classroom, check out the book companions we have for the following books: Bedhead and Decibella and Her Six Inch Voice.

BedheadDecibella and Her Six Inch Voice book companion

Daylight Savings Activities

Daylight Savings is on the first Sunday in November. It is when everyone changes their clocks! On this day, the clocks are adjusted. The purpose of this is to help us adjust to the weather and the time during specific months of the year. When the weather is warmer and the sun sets later that means the clocks were set forward one hour meaning we “spring forward”. Then when the weather starts to get colder we want the sky to get darker earlier and so in November we “fall back’ in time. This is the perfect day to explore and learn about weather and clocks!

National Nachos Day (11/6) Activities

National Nachos Day is celebrated on November 6th and is a day dedicated to… nachos! The crunchy chips covered in warm melted cheese and other yummy toppings is a day worth celebrating! This is the perfect day to learn about the history of nachos and maybe even have a class nacho party! If you need resources to recognize National Nachos Day in your classroom, check out our book companion for the book Chicks and Salsa.

Chicks and Salsa

National STEM/STEAM Day (11/8) Activities

National STEM/STEAM Day is celebrated on November 8th and is a day to celebrate science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics! All these subjects are so important in the world and it’s so important to encourage students to enjoy and take STEM/STEAM education programs and find their passion! This is the perfect day to explore these important subjects and to make them fun in your classroom.

If you need resources to recognize National STEM/STEAM Day in your classroom, check out the book companions we have for the following books: Ada Twist Scientist, Rosie Revere Engineer, Iggy Peck Architect, The Most Magnificent Thing, The Little Red Fort, and What Do You Do With a Problem. You may also find our Perseverance and Growth Mindset Units and STEM Journal helpful as well!

Ada Twist, ScientistRosie Revere, EngineerIggy Peck Architect
The Most Magnificent ThingThe Little Red FortWhat Do You Do With a Problem?
STEM journalPerseverance SEL UnitGrowth Mindset SEL Unit

World Kindness Day (11/13) Activities

World Kindness Day is celebrated on November 13th and is a day dedicated to being kind! This holiday was first observed and introduced in 1998 from the World Kindness movement in multiple countries spreading the importance of kindness! This is the perfect day to explore kindness as an SEL topic through videos, activities and read alouds. It will help you create a positive and happy classroom family!

If you need resources to recognize World Kindness Day in your classroom, check out the book companions we have for the following books: Each Kindness, The World Needs More Purple People, Be Kind, The World Needs More Purple Schools, Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Dead, The Jelly Donut Difference, and The Speed of Compassion. You may also find our Kindness Unit helpful as well!

Kindness SEL UnitEach KindnessThe World Needs More Purple PeopleBe Kind
The World Needs More Purple Schools book companionOrdinary Mary's Extraordinary DeedThe Jelly Donut DifferenceThe Seed of Compassion

America Recycles Day (11/15) Activities

America Recycles Day is celebrated on November 15th in America. This day celebrates the importance of recycling plastic and harmful waste that can be reused and repurposed! This is the perfect moment to teach students about the impact they have on their own environment. Teach students about the phrase: reduce, reuse, recycle!

If you need resources to recognize America Recycles Day in your classroom, check out the book companions we have for the following books: Michael Recycle, One Plastic Bag, Milk and Juice and Greta and The Giants.

Michael RecycleOne Plastic BagMilk and JuiceGreta and The Giants

International Day for Tolerance (11/16) Activities

International Day for Tolerance is celebrated on November 16th in America. UNESCO declared this day in 1995 to spread awareness on the dangers of intolerance and to educate people on the harmful effects. This is the perfect day to explore this topic with students and to teach them what it means to be a tolerant person and to accept or understand other people’s views and opinions. Check out this inclusion unit to help guide your class lessons and learning experiences!

Inclusion SEL Unit

National Take a Hike Day (11/17) Activities

National Take a Hike Day is celebrated on November 17th, started by President Lyndon B Johnson in 1965. This day is dedicated to hiking and exploring the outdoors. It has helped create more hiking trails for people to admire! National Take A Hike Day is the perfect day to teach students about all the incredible hiking trails they could adventure on. It could also be a good time to take a class field trip to a nearby trail to celebrate and get some exercise outside! Check out the book companion below for Trouble With Trolls, which is a great way to pull in this holiday into your classroom in an academic way.

Trouble With Trolls

National Princess Day (11/18) Activities

National Princess Day is celebrated on November 18th. The Nest Family Entertainment and Rich Animation created this day in 1994 to celebrate princesses! The intention was for people of all ages to be able to celebrate princesses and have a magical day! This is the perfect moment to appreciate favorite movie princesses, real life princesses, and could even be a fun day to have a magical class movie day exploring some classic princess films! If you need resources to recognize National Princess Day in your classroom, check out the book companions we have for the following books: The Paper Bag Princess and Not Quite, Snow White.

The Paper Bag PrincessNot Quite Snow White book companion

Future Teachers of America Day (11/20) Activities

Future Teachers of America Day is celebrated on November 20th heavily involving the Future Teachers of America organization! This is an appreciation day for the profession of teaching. It helps celebrate our student teachers and education majors learning to become a teacher! November 20th is the perfect day to celebrate all educators, specifically student teachers and to show appreciation towards their hard work and dedication towards becoming an educator! If you need resources to recognize Future Teachers of America Day in your classroom, check out the book companions we have for the following books: The Teacher from The Black Lagoon and A Letter to My Teacher.

The Teacher from the Black Lagoon book companionA Letter to my Teacher

National Gingerbread Cookie Day is celebrated on November 21st. It’s a day to celebrate the festive cookies known as gingerbread! Gingerbread cookies are associated with the Christmas holiday and are often shaped into trees, men/people, and other little cookie cutter shapes. This is the perfect day to explore holiday traditions, the history of gingerbread, and to enjoy yummy gingerbread cookies as a class! If you need resources to recognize National Gingerbread Cookie Day in your classroom, check out the book companions we have for the following books: The Gingerbread Cowboy, The Gingerbread Pirates, Gingerbread Baby, and The Gingerbread Girl.

The Gingerbread Cowboy book companion coverThe Gingerbread Pirates book companion coverGingerbread BabyThe Gingerbread Girl

Special Shopping Days

Black Friday

Black Friday is celebrated on the Friday after Thanksgiving in the United States every year! This day is dedicated to saving money and marks the start of the chaotic process of shopping for Christmas! It’s the perfect day to start buying presents for family and friends. You are sure to find some bargains and special Black Friday deals!

Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in the United States every year! This day is dedicated to encourage people to shop small and to support their local small businesses! It’s the perfect day to go check out that little shop you would always drive by with curiosity and explore! These small businesses often have great deals and really appreciate their customers so go shop small on Small Business Saturday!

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is celebrated on the Monday after Thanksgiving in the United States every year! This day is dedicated to shopping online and encourages people to stay home and explore stores through their phone or computer! Cyber Monday is the perfect day to get some Christmas shopping done in the comfort of your own home, while saving money with the amazing Cyber Monday deals!

The days leading up to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, are a great time to discuss gratitude using the read alouds Those Shoes, A Bike Like Serigio’s, and Last Stop on Market Street. Our Gratitude Unit is a helpful resource as well!

A Bike Like Sergio'sThose Shoes book companionLast Stop on Market Street book companionGratitude SEL Unit

Giving Tuesday Activities

Giving Tuesday is celebrated on November 29th or the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the United States every year. This day is dedicated to the action of giving and encourages people to be generous. This has led to many organizations raising money and others fundraising to help give back to their community! It’s the perfect day to perform an act of generosity and help make a difference in your community and world! Consider reading aloud Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed and using our book companion to make the most of your interactive read aloud.

Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed

Popular Topics in November

Turkeys, scarecrows, gratitude, and generosity are all great topics to teach in November. These topics will help you generate November teaching ideas for your classroom.

Turkeys

Turk and RuntTurkey TroubleA Plump and Perky Turkey
A Turkey for Thanksgivingturkey reading activitiesTurkey in Disguise

Scarecrows

scarecrow activity packetscarecrow reading activitiesThe Scarecrows Wedding
The Scarecrow's HatThe Little Scarecrow BoyThe Scarecrow

Gratitude

Gratitude SEL Unit

Generosity

The Jelly Donut DifferenceOrdinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed

November Book Bundles (Coming Soon)

Below are our November book bundles that include activities and lesson ideas for picture books that are perfect for this month.

We hope you found this post with information and resources for teaching in November helpful! There are tons of November teaching ideas you can get from this list. If you enjoyed this post, you may be interested in these other posts related to November teaching ideas:

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