Sometimes I get on such a roll that I don’t always realize what is coming up….like holidays! Last week I realized that Thanksgiving was coming, whether I liked it or not, and started scouring my best friend Pinterest for ideas for upcoming lesson plans. I was lucky enough to find the song “Turkey, Turkey Gobbler” on two separate blogs – Music a la Abbott and Teaching Elementary Music: Tanya’s Blog. Each teacher had a different game to go along with the song. I used a combination of both to come up with something that would work well with my students and my space!
Here is a copy of the song – the picture is from Tanya’s blog post:
Here’s what I did with it:
- Teach the song – I sang it on a neutral syllable first and had the students identify which two lines are the same. Once we’ve talked about that, I teach them each line by rote until they can sing the whole song.
- Play the game – Students sit in a circle around the outside of my rug. I choose one student to be the “farmer” and they sit in the middle of the circle with their eyes closed and head down. The students still in the circle are the turkeys! The turkeys sing “Turkey, Turkey Gobbler” while I walk around the circle looking for the best behaved turkey. By the second line of the song, I tap a turkey on the head and they have to run and hide behind the piano. Once the song is over, the farmer has to open their eyes and figure out which turkey is missing from the farm! Since that can be hard for some students, they get a hint….the turkey that is hiding gets to give them a GOBBLE! The kids LOVE hearing what their classmates come up with!
The game can go on for a while unless you put a limit on it – I let the turkey GOBBLE three times before I press the farmer to give an answer. If they are still stalling, I give them a 10 second warning and time them before asking the turkey to come out of hiding. They are allowed to say “stumped” if they just can’t figure it out….and some of them are tough! I gave 1st grade an extra hint and told them if the hiding turkey is a girl turkey or a boy turkey. However the round ends, the turkey becomes the next farmer and the teacher continues to pick turkeys.
I chose to have students hide in the room because I teach in a mobile classroom – it would be unsafe to have students outside of the classroom. I also was a bit wary of blindfolding a student – thought it might work for some, I had plenty of students in mind that it wouldn’t work with (I think we ALL have some of those)! I also used this song and activity on Parent Visitation Day – they LOVED it! Moms were videotaping their kids behind the piano and were cracking up at the various turkey sounds that were made!
I know it’s a bit late and you may not be able to use this for this school year – but keep it in mind for next year. There are TONS of extension activities that can be done (check out the blogs of the ladies mentioned above) or just use it as a fun game for the last day before break. Either way, it’s sure to get a gobble and a chuckle from everyone!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING – HAVE A RESTFUL BREAK!