Family Storytime: Turkeys

Thanksgiving may be over, but you’re probably still working on all the leftovers… So today our preschool/family storytime was all about turkeys!

Everybody got a feather, and we sang a simple song about the colors:

Turkey wore his red feather, red feather, red feather

Turkey wore his red feather all day long

Turkey wore his orange feather… (etc)

We read Over the River by Derek Anderson, an adaptation of the old Thanksgiving song about going to Grandma’s house for dinner.  In this illustrated version, we see a family of turkeys facing great dangers to make it to their grandparents’ house!

We did a flannelboard activity about identifying which things don’t belong, kind of like the old Sesame Street song:

Three of these things belong together

Three of these things are kind of the same

But one of these things just doesn’t belong here

Now it’s time to play our game.  It’s time to play our game!

Then we segued into singing Old MacDonald with felt piece cues.  After that, we read another book called I’m a Turkey by Jim Arnosky.  It’s a book about the lives of turkeys in the wild, with a fun bluegrass kind of rhythm to the words.

We sang Gobble Pokey:

Put your right wing in, put your right wing out

Put your right wing in, and you shake it all about

You do the Gobble Pokey and you turn yourself around

That’s what it’s all about!

We read Five Silly Turkeys by Salina Yoon and used the felt board to illustrate the counting:

We sang the song “Baa Baa Black Sheep”:

Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?

Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full

One for the master and one for the dame

One for the little boy who lives down the lane

Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?

Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full

Then we listened to Raffi’s version which includes the many contributions of other animals for our food and clothing!

Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?

Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full

One for your sweater and one for your rug

One for your blanket to keep you warm and snug

Cluck cluck red hen, have you any eggs?

Yes sir, yes sir as many as your legs!

One for your breakfast and one for your lunch

Come back tomorrow, I’ll have another bunch

Moo moo brown cow, have you milk for me?

Yes sir, yes sir, as tasty as can be

Churn it into butter and make it into cheese

Freeze it into ice cream or drink it if you please

Buzz buzz, busy bee, is your honey sweet?

Yes sir, yes sir, sweet enough to eat

Honey on your muffin and honey on your cake

Honey by the spoonful as much as I can make

Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?

Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full

We sang “Row Row Row Your Boat” and danced and wiggled to the song.  Then we did a fingerplay called Mr. Turkey and Mr. Duck, to the tune of “Yankee Doodle”:

Mr. Turkey went out one day in bright sunshiney weather

Met Mr. Duck along the way and they stopped to talk together

They said:

Gobble gobble gobble, quack quack quack

Gobble gobble gobble, quack quack quack

Gobble gobble gobble, quack quack quack

And then they went away

(But Mr. Duck came back and said Quaaaaaaaaaack!)

We watched a video that is an animated version of the award-winning book Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback.

The video is well done and includes traditional Yiddish songs and funny Yiddish jokes, as well as an additional animated song which we didn’t show.  You can view it on the DVD Strega Nona and More Caldecott-Award-Winning Folk Tales.

I picked this story because it actually features a turkey prominently, as well as many other farm animals… But primarily I picked this video because it is about being thankful for what we have, which is truly the meaning of Thanksgiving!  Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

AnnMarie Kolakowski

I'm a youth services librarian currently working at the Lamanda Park Branch Library while Central Library is closed for seismic repairs. I purchase juvenile fiction for grades 2-8, and some foreign languages. I do a lot of programs with school-age kids, including 3 regular book clubs (Windows and Mirrors, Read Around the World, and Lucha Libros), as well as writing workshops and STEAM/science programs. I also Infant/Toddler Storytimes and Preschool Storytimes, and outreach to local area preschools. I love what I do, working with kids of all ages to inspire them to learn and use their curiosity and imaginations. Outside of my work at the library, I am also the author of a book on creative writing activities for kids.

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