November Teaching Ideas for the Primary Classroom

November is one of my favorite months of the year for many reasons. Between the crisp autumn air, warm sweaters, and Thanksgiving, November brings a special fall coziness that I absolutely love. Aside from the seasonal wonder found throughout November, it's a pretty fun month in the classroom, too! If you're looking for some fall lesson plan inspiration, come along to check out some of my favorite November teaching ideas for the primary classroom!

Use these fun and educational November teaching ideas for the primary classroom this fall.

What Should be Taught In November? 

November is an excellent month in the primary classroom. I love this time of year because, by this point, my students have mastered our routines and learned some foundational skills. We're usually cruising right along smoothly in our lessons. If you work with young students, you know this rhythmic flow that occurs after a few months of instruction is what dreams are made of! 

With this in mind, I'm usually able to plan more involved activities and challenge my firsties, which is always fun! In my classroom, the exact material we focus on in November varies slightly from year to year based on the skill level of my students. However, there are a few things I'm always sure to include, no matter what! 

November teaching ideas for the primary classroom can include a lot of review activities and foundational skills review from the previous months.

If you've been around here a while, you probably know that every month includes daily math activities and seasonal centers. We typically also explore a new social studies topic and learn some new grammar rules as well. Finally, I always round out the month with engaging, no-prep activities for ELA and math.

This tried and true formula is what I use to build my lessons all year. Keeping this framework in mind makes lesson planning simple and easy month after month. 

Are you ready to dive into the specifics and see what I like to use in my classroom? Check out some of my tried and true favorites for a fun month of learning in November! 

1. Daily Math for the Win! 

My first November teaching idea is a total game changer if your students are struggling with number sense skills. Are you using some kind of daily math activity in your classroom? If not, you're missing out on an opportunity for continued growth in number sense! We use hands-on place value activities every single day in my classroom.
Daily math activities like these are a great addition to your November teaching ideas because they give your students the opportunity to practice key math concepts every single day.

Every month, we progress to a new level in our lessons, but the activities follow a familiar, predictable format to help encourage independence over time. These daily math worksheets for month 3 (November) make a great addition to your morning routine! We use these pages with base ten blocks to practice numbers 50-75 in November. The worksheets prompt students to work with equations, place value, expanded form, sequencing numbers, the hundreds chart, skip counting, and more. 

This resource also includes place value counting mats and center activities that can be used in various ways. I love using them for small-group teaching and intervention, but they're also great for math centers. These activities help my students master place value for numbers 1-120 and beyond by the end of the year in a fun and engaging format. 

2. Plural Nouns Activities 

If you teach in the primary classroom, you know there are plenty of new grammar rules to learn. We're focusing on new grammar concepts every month, and it can get monotonous if I'm not switching up our activities regularly. Because of this, I like to use all-in-one grammar units that focus on specific skills throughout the year. Each unit uses different games, sorting activities, and worksheets to help facilitate learning a new skill in a fun way. 

In November, my students focus on mastering the difference between plural and singular nouns. By this time of the year, my kiddos have learned about singular nouns in-depth, so it's time to discover what happens when we add the letter "s" to these words. 

Use plural nouns activities like these in your November teaching ideas to help your students practice new grammar concepts.

I love using this resource to help introduce this grammar topic and get plenty of practice using it throughout the month. We start out with definition posters and anchor charts to define these terms. I also provide students with a black and white mini chart for them to color and add to their grammar notebooks. 

After our intro, we move on to sorting games, mini booklets, practice worksheets, and center games. This Plural Nouns resource is jam-packed with more than enough activities to help my students practice this grammar skill throughout November! I also like using some worksheets for homework and continued practice. 

3. Fall Phonics Centers 

In my opinion, center time is very important in the first-grade classroom and absolutely cannot be skipped! Centers offer an opportunity for students to practice what they've learned in small groups and an opportunity to use hands-on learning materials, too! 

Include fall phonics centers like these in your November teaching ideas for hands on fun your students will love.

Beginning Blends Poke Cards

During November, I like to use a variety of fun fall phonics centers to help strengthen key skills we're working on. One of our favorites is Beginning Blends Poke Cards. In this activity, students will look at the picture on the card and identify the word that correctly identifies it. Poke cards are fun for firsties because they use straws to make their choice and flip the card to see if they answered correctly! 

I love that this independent center can be used several times throughout the month to practice this skill. Recording sheets are included, along with some no-prep worksheets for continued practice. 

No-Prep Fall Phonics Worksheets

Speaking of no-prep activities, these Short Vowel Fall Worksheets are another one of my go-to's during November. Students will look at the pictures on these pages and add the beginning sound to reveal a secret code. When the word is shown, they color it with the correct color on their picture. When they're finished, they will have a beautiful fall picture.

Use no-prep fall phonics worksheets like these in your November teaching ideas for fun short vowel practice with a little extra creativity.

These pages focus on words with short vowels. There are a few pages for CVC words, beginning, ending, and mixed blends to differentiate them as necessary among your group. I love to have these on hand for a super-quick, no-prep center activity that I can grab at a moment's notice!

Turkey Trot Write the Room 

If you're looking for a fun, Thanksgiving-themed center activity this year, I've got you covered! This Turkey Trot Phonics Write the Room center is a fun way to practice short vowels, digraphs, and consonant blends. 

November teaching ideas for the primary classroom wouldn't be complete without a fun get up and move around the classroom activity like this Turkey Trot Write the Room activity.

This resource comes with two sets of cards to allow for differentiation. One set of cards has a missing phonics pattern, and students will fill in the missing sound on their recording sheets. On the second set of cards, the whole word is missing. The words used in this resource have phonics and spelling patterns typically covered in November in first grade. Start with the first set and move up to the second, or use a blend of each card to switch it up! 

Write the Room always comes in handy, but this is especially true during November when students are getting just a tad restless before the holiday break. Bring this game out when your kiddos need an opportunity to stretch their legs or play it as a "Scoot" game for extra engagement! 

4. Continents and Oceans Social Studies Unit 

Social Studies is by far one of my favorite topics to teach. There's always such high engagement among my kiddos when we learn about new topics, which always helps make these lessons fun. In November, we focus on Continents and Oceans. This topic helps my students grasp our planet's vastness and discover new things about each continent. 

Add some extra fun to your November teaching ideas with this map skills unit.

The unit I like to use helps give a broad overview of this topic with a variety of teaching tools. We use vocabulary cards, sorting games, mini-readers, worksheets, and a 3D continent map. We use these activities throughout the month during our social studies block. 

As a final follow-up to these activities, my students create a Continents and Oceans Lapbook that helps them reflect and retain everything we've learned in the unit. The interactive lapbook activity features cut-and-paste foldables that include definitions, facts, a map, and more. These make a great keepsake to send home at the end of the month!

5. 10 More and 10 Less Fall Math Activities 

Next, I always include a fun fall math activity focusing on finding 10 more and 10 less. This topic can be tricky to teach, but this silly, turkey-themed mini-unit helps keep engagement high! 

In this resource, we use a counting strip center game with a hundred chart. This is a great activity to use to introduce this activity to students. I like to use it during small groups to work with students one-on-one and provide plenty of examples.

Get your students excited about learning and practicing 10 more and 10 less with this fun November teaching activity.

After the students have had a chance to practice finding numbers with 10 more or 10 less, we move on to no-prep worksheets for continued practice. This lesson is rounded out with a super cute turkey craft that the students absolutely love! I love that this activity also makes the perfect festive bulletin board display! 

If your students need even more opportunities to practice this skill, be sure to check out the digital option as well! These Google Slides are perfect to help cement this skill during your introduction and technology centers. They also work well when assigned as homework or used in distance learning. 

6. No Prep Worksheets for November 

Due to the holiday break, November is shorter than many other months in the classroom. While the holiday break is a welcome occurrence, it also means I need to be very strategic with my time and planning to ensure we touch on essential standards. For this reason, I always lean into no-prep worksheets to help balance my time. 

No prep worksheets like these are a smart addition to your November teaching ideas giving you a little more free time this fall.

No-prep math, ELA, and social studies activities mean I can get back some of my prep time while ensuring that my students will be practicing meaningful concepts and skills. The November worksheets we use focus on skills like CVC words, ending blends, teen numbers, graphing, using maps, and more! 

I love using these to help balance out high-prep center activities and easy homework assignments. I also like to make small, optional practice packets for my students to work on over the holiday break. They can earn a prize on the first day back if they complete their packets. I don't get too crazy with these, since it is a break after all. Just a page per day to encourage some mental work over the break is perfect for my students!

7. Thanksgiving BINGO 

Last but not least, I had to include a student favorite - Thanksgiving BINGO! Like most first graders, my students love playing BINGO, so we use these games throughout the year for a variety of skills. In November, I love learning new vocabulary words with this BINGO game. 

Incorporate this fun Thanksgiving themed BINGO literacy activity into your November teaching ideas this year.

This game uses fun fall words like turkey, pumpkin, and football. It comes in both color and black and white, so you can choose whichever option works best for your group. I like to laminate the full-color version and play it with turkey-shaped mini erasers as a fun game on our last day before the holiday break. There are 30 different cards included, so you can even play this game as a whole class!

I also like to use the black and white version with bingo dauber markers as a center game. I have students hang on to their BINGO cards after playing and use the vocabulary words on the pages as inspiration to write a Thanksgiving story in their journals as an extension activity!

Even More November Teaching Ideas 

I hope these November teaching ideas helped to inspire your lesson planning for the month! Even though it's a short month in the classroom, there's plenty of time to focus on important skills and fun lessons! You can find all these activities in my TPT Shop and more ideas for November and Fall. Have fun planning your lessons! 

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Use these fun and exciting November teaching ideas for math, ELA, and social studies learning your students will love. From BINGO to map skills, to write the room activities, these November teaching ideas will keep your kids engaged and ready to learn this fall. #thechocolateteacher #novemberteachingideas #novemberlessons #novemberela #novembermath

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