Talk Turkey To Me!

How many of y'all are in scramble mode right now?! Scrambling to get things planned and prepped for your Thanksgiving festivities...and I don't mean your homebound celebrations.  I thought I'd throwback to some old things I've done in my classroom for Thanksgiving and share a couple of new things with you as well.  If you're still not done planning and prepping, maybe these ideas will help!

First up, here are my favorite Thanksgiving books!

Before I throwback, here's a little something new for this year.  I created this supplemental math & literacy resource full of printables and writing craftivities to get you through the week.  There's a fun little non-fiction reader all about the very first Thanksgiving, too.  I love any chance I can get to incorporate non-fiction elements into my instruction.  

Here's a peek at the writing craftivities...

Now let's throwback, shall we?!

These little whimsical turkeys are from last year and they turned out SO great!  This was one of those fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda activities that I came up with as I was reading to my kids.  As they were completing their writing, I was cutting out all the parts.  I know I'm not the only one who's done this before ;)

If you wanna snatch this craftivity up and use it in your own classroom this week, just click on the pic below.

After reading The Great Turkey Race a couple of years ago, my kids extended their thinking by writing about the beginning/middle/end of the story and then we displayed their writing on these darling little turkeys.  And they made me laugh every time I looked at them.  I would LOVE to share a template with y'all, but I don't have one that I can find.  I mean, I know I have one, but heck if I know where it is!!  Shoved in a box at the bottom of a pile in storage, I'm sure.  SO sorry!!!!

Let's go back to 2011 for this one.  We created these little old lady's after reading I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie.  Again, no template....SADSVILLE...but these would be pretty simple to recreate.  I just cut out a face...then some hair...and a big black mouth...we used googly eyes and then had the kids draw glasses around them.  The writing prompt was "If I were the little old lady, I would swallow....." and then they had to write about a Thanksgiving food they would eat.  Then they drew the picture of that food item, cut it out, and glued it in the old lady's mouth.  TOO funny!!!

Here's a little share from 2011.  We were working on character traits/details at the time and this little follow-up activity was the perfect way to reinforce that skill.  We read "The Littlest Pilgrim" (one of my favorites!!!) and then the kids made their own and wrote complete sentences describing the main character.  When I displayed their work, I included the anchor chart we created to keep as a learning visual/reminder.

These were always a favorite to hang up in the room during November.  My kids loved showing off their work when their families visited the room for VIP day the Friday before our long week off.  

This giant class graph was so much fun, too!!!  A perfect little activity from Deanna Jump's Thanksgiving packet.
This is usually how my room looked in November, too.  Excessive.  And fantastically exciting for the kids.  

And can you spot First Grade Blue Skies pilgrims in the back there?!?!?  LOVE THOSE!!!

We'll go back all the way to 2010 for this one.  These are the little Mayflowers you see sitting on the desks above.  We made these out of grocery sacks.  I'd share the template with you, but they're not my idea and I don't want to share someone else's creation :)  However, they were super simple to create!  We attached a pencil to the back of the sack to hold up the sail and then filled the inside with facts about the Mayflower.

Of course, before we could write about the Mayflower, we had to read as many non-fiction stories about it as we could.  And then we kept up an anchor chart to which we continually added facts.  

And if you're going on the Mayflower, you have to pack for it, too.  Here are our suitcases filled with all the things we would take if we were pilgrims.

Speaking of pilgrims, this was my most FAVORITE project EVER!!!  I absolutely LOVED the way each of these turned out.  First we created a Venn diagram comparing Pilgrim boys and girls to boys and girls today.  Then I had the kids write about something they would do if they were a pilgrim boy/girl.  They used their computer time to draw a picture of themselves as a pilgrim boy/girl on KidPix.  I absolutely ADORED the way they all looked!!!  SO cute!!!

We also made little pilgrims to hang up with a little writing that compared what the kids can do today (or have today) that the pilgrim boys and girls couldn't do (didn't have) back then.  

Now let's stay in 2010 and talk about another one of my favorite projects.  My little symmetrical turkeys.  I absolutely LOVED how different and unique each one turned out.  I cut out a simple peanut shape for the turkey body and then had the kids cut their own beak, wattle, and feet.  They had the option to cut out or draw on their eyes.  I cut out the pattern block shapes on our school die cut machine, but I'm pretty sure you can donwload pattern block templates online (free), too!  I had the kids start with their pattern first...building onto the yellow octagon...and then going out from there.  Then they glued the little turkey bodies to the top of that.  These were always a class favorite!

While we're talking about turkeys, let's talk about these little placemats we made.  The turkey body was created from tracing their feet and the feathers, of course, their handprints.  Then we read the poem together and used this as a handwriting activity...letting the kids print the poem onto a piece of writing paper then gluing it next to the turkey on a large piece of construction paper.  We laminated these and used them at our Thanksgiving feast then sent them home with the kids as a keepsake. So sweet.

If you're working on fact families, this might be a fun little something to squeeze in this week, too!  I don't have a template, but this can easily be recreated.  You can read more about this HERE.

Hope your week is as full of fun as possible!!!  You will definitely earn your break!!!  


  1. Your little walk through time is AMAZING. It's incredible how many INCREDIBLE and genius ideas you've done and shared over the years!!!!!!!!! WOW.

  2. Seriously!! SOO many fabulous ideas!!! :)

  3. I never knew a turkey could have so many different looks! Loving all of the ideas.

  4. LOVE all your ideas! You are so creative and so willing to share!

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    This post is a lifesaver with awesome ideas all in one place! I especially appreciate the book suggestions - I'm digging the Thanksgiving non-fiction (and learning SO much about turkeys). Thanks, Jen

  6. Crazy how I did at least 2 of these things this week! Love all your ideas!

    For the Love of First Grade

  7. Thank you so much for the template! Our turkey craft came out super cute! Your classroom ideas are always our favorite! Thanks again!

    A is for Adventures of Homeschool

  8. Thank you so much for your blog full of inspiring ideas! Im one year away from being a first year teacher and your blog is just one more thing that gets me so excited to be in my own classroom. Thank you for all the hard work and love you put into your blog :)

  9. I love all of your ideas and crafts! I discovered you on teachers pay teachers last year and have been following you on instagram and TPT ever since. I'm planning my wedding now, so budget is tight, but I so appreciate that you include freebies, too! You're amazing!

  10. Girl, you are such a talented blogger and creator!!! I just go gaga over your blog posts all the time!!
    Mrs. Richardson's Class

  11. These are such great ideas! And so many Thanksgiving books--I don't think I realized there were so many! :-) Thanks so much for adding them to my linky party--it's great to learn about so many and I appreciate you linking up. Happy Thanksgiving!

    The ESL Connection