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We love a good turkey lesson in November. They’re festive, they’re fun, they’re cute,…but much like apples and pumpkins, our kids are seeing similar content Pre-K to around 2nd grade when it comes to some thematic units. What if we can keep the turkeys, but offer them a bit more?
Enter: Not Your Average Turkey Unit! We wanted to keep the turkeys, but ditch the basic turkey crafts and coloring sheets. Here’s what we came up with:
We planned a week of meaningful activities under the umbrella of social studies. We kept the turkeys, but went deep with the content!
Do you students know what it takes to raise a turkey? They’ll have the opportunity to learn all about being a turkey farmer through this fun STEM project! They’ve inherited a friend’s turkey farm and they need to keep the place in business.
We read the Raising Turkeys eBook with our students. At the end of the book, we let them know they will be taking over a turkey farm and running it themselves! They will be able to use the information provided in the eBook to fill in some parts of the book. They will get to use math skills to make a budget for their farm.
How did the turkey get its name? From Turkey, of course! No, really! It’s true. Turkeys, however, are indigenous to the United States and Mexico. When European colonizers came to North America in 1519, they saw a bird that reminded them of birds they saw in Europe that came from Turkish merchants. They thought they were the same bird and the rest is history!
When turkeys aren’t living on a farm, where can you go to find them? Boom, now we have a geography connection! Did you know that wild turkeys can be found in swamps, grasslands, and forests? These are the perfect habitats for them because they are full of seeds, fruits, nuts, insects, and small lizards to eat.
Why does turkey cost less around Thanksgiving when it is in high demand?
We read The Cost of Turkeys eBook and find out why turkeys cost less even when the demand goes up!
Starting in 1947, turkeys in America have been taking a trip to the White House to visit the president. It has become a special tradition. While other presidents have pardoned turkeys, this didn’t become an annual occurrence until George. H. W. Bush pardoned a Thanksgiving turkey in 1989.
After we learn all about this tradition, we let our students pretend to be the president and choose whether or not to pardon a turkey. They also pretended to be a turkey trying to get pardoned!
We hope you enjoyed these ideas!
We have many units that follow a similar format!
Have fun teaching!
Naomi & LaNesha