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Thanksgiving and Turkey Class Books and Literacy Activities


Student/Class Books

If You Meet a Turkey

This is adaptation of the Wright Book, “If You Meet a Dragon. Glue a turkey cutout (I used an Ellison die-cut turkey) to each page. Use a real feather to “tickle” the turkey on each page. Make a pocket for the inside cover of the book as a place to store the feather.

NEW ready-to-go printable versions now available for this activity: If You Meet a Turkey Printable Books

If You Meet a Turkey Printable Books {free}

If you meet a turkey,
Tickle his feathers.
Tickle his nose.
Tickle his wattle.
Tickle his toes.
Tickle his tummy.
Tickle his chin.
And that will be
The end of him!

On the last page, cut the turkey in half vertically and glue to the right edge of the page so it appears the turkey is running away.

(adapted from Kim’s classbooks)

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie

Make a class book by doing an interactive writing sentence to illustrate each food the old lady ate. For example, “She ate pie.” (Let the children help compose and sound out the words for each sentence.) Students collaborate to draw food pictures for each page.

There is a storytelling apron that students can wear and feed the food pieces to the old lady. This apron can be purchased from Lakeshore Learning. I used photos from this to illustrate each page of our book.

Karen @ PreKinders has a cute printable set for this book:
Flannel Board Set: I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie

Here is a printable graphing activity for I Know An Old Lady from Pre-K Pages.

I Eat Corn

Cut pictures/labels from a Cornflakes cereal box and a corn tortilla bag. Get pictures of corn dogs, corn on the cob, and corn muffins. Use these pictures to illustrate the sentence on each page:

I eat Corn Flakes for breakfast.
I eat corn dogs for lunch.
I eat corn on the cob for dinner.
I eat popcorn, crunch, crunch.
I eat corn muffins for a treat.
I eat candy corn, how neat.
I think corn is good for you.
I give thanks for corn, don’t you?

The Turkey Trick 

This is a patterned writing activity for practicing nouns, verbs, describing words, and quotation marks. Each turkey disguises itself as another animal to fool the farmer. It goes well with the song “Five Fat Turkeys are We”, a song about turkeys hiding from the farmer and fooling him. Make three columns on the board: Animal Names, Animal Actions, and Animal Sounds and then brainstorm ideas for

This is an example:

I could be a __________. (pig)
I could ____________. (roll in the mud)
“_____, ______,” (oink, oink) said the turkey.
“Oh!” said the farmer.
“It must be a _________!” (pig)

Turkey’s Week

This is an adaptation of the book, Cookie’s Week. Make up a story about a turkey and the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

The children work in groups to illustrate each page.  For example:

On Sunday, Turkey ran away from the farm.

On Monday he flew to Hawaii.

On Tuesday he sat on the beach and ate pineapple,

On Wednesday he…

On Thanksgiving Day, he…

On Friday, Turkey…

Indian, Indian, What do you see?
(from Linda at

Indian, Indian,
What do you see?
I see the Mayflower
looking at me.

Mayflower, Mayflower,
What do you see?
I see Plymouth Rock, waiting for me.
Plymouth Rock,
Plymouth Rock,
What do you see?
I see a teepee close by the sea.

Teepee, Teepee,
What do you see?
I see some Pilgrims standing near me.

Pilgrims, Pilgrims,
What do you see?
We see turkey and cranberries,
Corn and Pumpkin pie,
A Thanksgiving Day dinner is what we spy.

Tell Me About Turkeys

Teacher’s Helper, Nov/Dec/Jan 1998-99)

This is a factual book about turkeys. The booklet is round in shape and you add a few touches to make the cover look like a turkey. Two plastic forks are taped to the back of the book. The prongs hang down at the bottom and look like the turkey’s feet. Adorable!

Other Literacy Activities

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie
(Idea from Mary Martell)

Make an old lady by enlarging a basic shape of a woman. Cut out her mouth and her belly and laminate her. Hot glue a clear garbage bag to the back of her mouth that hangs down to her belly. Make pictures of each food item in the story for the kids to use to feed the Old Lady.  You can also make a word card (pie, rolls, cider, etc.) to feed her after they feed her the food pictures. Later the kids match the food word to the picture. Make enough food pictures (like three pies, three rolls, etc.) so several kids come up when it’s their turn to feed the old lady.

I also made individual “old ladies” for each student by taping a ziplock sandwich bag behind her cut-out mouth. They each had miniature food pictures to feed her for retelling the story at school and at home.

Thanksgiving Book from Kinderlit


Tom Turkey and the Wind

(from Mailbox Companion)

Program cut out feathers with words or letters that need reinforcement. Seat children in a circle on the floor. Fan the feathers in your hand as you strut around the circle chanting, “Tom Turkey  was strutting all around ’til the wind came and blew his feathers down.” On the word “down”, toss the feathers into the air. Each child picks up a feather and returns to his place in the circle. Students read what is on each feather. The game can continue with a student playing Tom Turkey.

Small Group Turkey Game

Give each child a lunch bag with a turkey cutout attached to the front. Program index cards with words or letters that need reinforcement. Place cards in the center of the playing area. In turn, players draw a card. If they can read it, they “stuff” their turkey with the word. Play continues until all of the cards are used. Students count the cards in their bags to determine the winner.

Turkey Toss

Stuff a lunch bag with newspaper and staple shut. Attach a turkey cutout to one side of the bag. Hang the bag turkey by a string suspended from a chart stand. Play a flashcard game and give each child a beanbag to toss at the turkey if he can read the flashcard.

I Am Thankful Turkey

Attach a turkey body to a construction paper background. On the body, write, “I am thankful I can read these words.” Write words on feathers. Students can glue on feathers of words they can read.


It’s Thanksgiving by Jack Prelutsky

This is a book of poems and this website has a lesson plan and pictures of what Pilgrims were grateful for.

Feast for 10 by Cathryn Falwell

This website has a lesson plan and rhyming picture cards of items from story.

One comment on “Thanksgiving and Turkey Class Books and Literacy Activities

  1. Hi and thank you for your wonderful website! I have gotten many great ideas from you. I am wondering if you have the Tell Me About Turkeys book that I could use. I’d love to do this with my kinders this month.

    Thank you!

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