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Kindergarten Teaching Unit on Turkeys & Thanksgiving: Lesson One

By ARobin

This series begins the week before Thanksgiving week with harvest-themed lesson plans created for a kindergarten classroom. In this installment, the class will be learning about Thanksgiving turkeys. The children will learn holiday facts through games, art projects, math and language skills

Circle Time Discussion

A Turkey for Thanksgiving Teach turkey vocabulary:

  • tom - a male turkey
  • hen - a female turkey
  • poult - a baby turkey

Demonstrate the different sounds of a turkey by using the turkey calls. Important -- Do not allow children to try the turkey calls, due to the fact that germs can easily inhabit the calls.

Read the book, A Turkey For Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting. Discuss the events in the story.

Materials Needed

Gather the following items that you will need for presentation of this lesson plan on turkeys:

  • Colored photos of turkeys--male, female and young turkeys
  • Turkey calls (can be found in the hunting section of sporting good stores)
  • Paper plates
  • Washable brown paint
  • Colorful craft feathers
  • Brown construction paper
  • Red construction paper
  • Small tubs or containers (one for each child)
  • Colored tiles

Art: Make a Turkey Platter

Instruct the children to paint the underside of the paper plate brown.

Allow children to choose the feathers that they wish to put on their turkey.

Fold plate in half, brown side facing out.

Use hot glue to adhere the feathers to the rim of the paper plate. Place dots of glue randomly around the opening of the plate, instruct children to hold plate firmly together until dry. Note: To avoid burns, do not allow children to use the hot glue themselves.

Cut out the shape of a turkey's head from the brown construction paper: A turkey's head should look like a small peanut.

Cut out a triangle and a small peanut shape from red construction paper. This will be the beak and the gobbler of the turkey.

Math Skills

Tub Manipulatives: Patterns of 10

  • Colored tiles, in this math skill, are reminiscent of the colorful feathers of the turkey.
  • Give students small tubs or dishes.
  • Fill each dish with colored tiles.
  • Children should arrange colored tiles in patterns of 10.
  • Teach children to count by tens.

Language Skills

Creative Writing

  • T-H-A-N-K-S-G-I-V-I-N-G
  • Write the word Thanksgiving vertically on a chart.
  • Ask the children to think of a word or words describing Thanksgiving by using the letters of the word.

Additional Suggested Reading

Over The River and Through The Woods by Lydia Maria Child

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving by Charles Shultz