Thanksgiving Unit

Poems, Songs, Fingerplays

I'm A Little Pilgrim

(tune: "I'm a Little Teapot")


I'm a little pilgrim on the go,

Here is my knife, here is my gun.

When I go out hunting, hear me shout,

Deer and turkey, better watch out!


I'm a Little Indian

(tune: "I'm a Little Teapot")


I'm a little Indian on the go,

Here is arrow, here is my bow

When I go out hunting, hear me shout,

Bears and buffaloes, better watch out!


I Eat Turkey

(tune: "Frere Jacques")


I eat turkey (point to self)

I eat turkey (point to self)

Yes, I do (nod head)

Yes, I do (nod head)

Turkey in my tummy (rub tummy)

Yummy, yummy, yummy (rub other way)

Good for me, (point to self)

Good for you! (point to someone else)


Turkey Pokey

(Hokey Pokey)


You put your right wing in

you put your right wing out

You put your right wing in

And you shake it all about.

You do the turkey pokey

And you turn yourself around.

That's what it's all about.


Add'l verses:

Left wing

Drumsticks (legs)

Stuffing ( tummy)

Wattle (head)

Tail feathers (bottom)

Turkey body (whole self)

Thanksgiving Colors


Orange is a pumpkin.

Yellow is the corn.

Brown is the turkey

With stuffing to adorn.


Red are the cranberries.

Green are the beans.

Five delicious colors-

In a feast of my dreams.


Turkey and Dressing

(Are you sleeping?)


Turkey and dressing,

Turkey and dressing.

Pumpkin pie! Pumpkin pie!

Everyone is humming.

Thanksgiving Day is coming!

Yum, yum, yum!

yum, yum, yum!


Gobble, Gobble


A turkey is a funny bird,

His head goes wobble, wobble.

And he knows just one word,

Gobble, gobble, gobble.


I'm a Little Turkey

(I'm a Little Teapot)


I'm a little turkey,

My name is Ted.

Here are my feathers

Here is my head.

Gobble, gobble, gobble,

Is what I say,

Quick! Run! It's Thanksgiving Day!


Gobbly, Wobbly Turkeys

(Ten Little Indians)


One little, two little, three little turkeys,

Gobbly, wobbly, bobbly turkeys,

Hurry, scurry, worry turkeys.

It's Thanksgiving Day!


Five Fat Turkeys


Five fat turkeys are we.

We slept all night in a tree.

When the cook came around,

We couldn't be found... and

That's why we're here, you see!

Have You Ever Seen a Turkey

(tune: The More We Get Together)


Have you ever seen a turkey, a turkey, a turkey?

Have you ever seen a turkey with feathers so bright?

There's red ones and brown ones, and yellow ones and orange ones

Have you ever seen a turkey with feathers so bright?


Five Little Pilgrims


Five little Pilgrims on Thanksgiving Day,

The first one said, "I'll have cake if I may."

The second one said, "I'll have turkey roasted."

The third one said, "I'll have chestnuts toasted."

The fourth one said, "I'll have pumpkin pie.'

The fifth one said, "oh, cranberries I spy."

But before the Pilgrims ate their turkey dressing

They bowed their heads and said a Thanksgiving blessing."


Turkey on the Farm

(tune: Wheels on the Bus)


The turkey on the farm says,

"Gobble, gobble, gobble

Gobble, gobble, gobble

Gobble, gobble, gobble"

The turkey on the farm says,

"Gobble, gobble, gobble."

Thanksgiving day is near.


The farmer on the farm goes

Chop, chop, chop

Chop, chop, chop

Chop, chop, chop

The farmer on the farm goes

Chop, chop, chop

Thanksgiving Day is here!


The turkey on the farm says, 

"Please help me!!

Please help me!!

Please help me!!"

The turkey on the farm says 

"Please help me!!"

Thanksgiving Day is here!


The children on the farm say,

"Come and hide.

Come and hide.

Come and hide!"

The children on the farm say,

"Come and hide."

Thanksgiving Day is here!


The wife on the farm

Looks all around

Looks all around

Looks all around

The wife on the farm
Looks all around

Thanksgiving Day is here!


The people on the farm eat

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Kentucky Fried Chicken

The people on the farm eat

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Thanksgiving Day is here!


The turkey on the farm says.

"Gobble, gobble, gobble

Gobble, gobble, gobble

Gobble, gobble, gobble"

The turkey on the farm says,

"Gobble, gobble, gobble."

Thanksgiving Day is passed!





My First Thanksgiving  by Tomie dePaola

Seasons of the Circle: A Native American Year by Joseph Bruchac

The First Thanksgiving by Jean Craighead George

'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dave Pilkey

The Very First Thanksgiving Day by Rhonda Gowler Greene

A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman

Many Nations An Alphabet of Native Americans by Joseph Bruchac

Samuel Eaton's Day by Kate Waters

A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting

Sarah Morton's Day by Kate Waters

Arthur's Thanksgiving by Marc Brown

Thanksgiving Mice! by Bethany Roberts

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson

Oh, What a Thanksgiving! by Steven Kroll

Franklin's Thanksgiving by Paulette Bourgeois The Legend of the Bluebonnet by Tomie dePaola
The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie dePaola  


    Math Activities 


Counting Feathers

Make copies of a turkey picture, place on number on each turkey. Around the turkey, place artificial feathers for the students to put onto the turkey picture to correspond to the number. Students could also make their own turkey picture and draw the correct number of feathers on the turkey body. 



Turkey Glyph

Give each child a cut out of a turkey body.

Provide them with paper feathers in the following colors.

Children can add feathers to their turkey according to the foods they plan to eat for their Thanksgiving Dinner:


Green - beans or peas

Yellow - corn

White - potatoes

Orange - pumpkin pie

Red - cranberries

Purple - gravy

Blue - dressing

Brown - turkey

Black - roll



Turkeys in Disguise


  Balanced Literacy 


Shared Writing

Predictable Charts


Create a predictable chart:

I am thankful for...

When I meet a turkey I will...

On Thanksgiving, we will ...




Max's Turkey


This Little Pilgrim


Patterned sentences, "This little pilgrim brought ______."

November Monthly Reproducibles, Kindergarten, TEC963


Journal Topics


Draw the Mayflower

What would you have taken with you on the Mayflower, if you had been a pilgrim

My favorite food is . . . 

On Thanksgiving, my family will . . . 

For Thanksgiving, my family will . . .

I'm thankful for. . . 




Turkey Letter Matching


Using 4 or 5 paper plates, glue a turkey head onto the middle of each plate. Then using colored dot stickers, program each dot with a lowercase letter of the alphabet. Write the capital letters on clothespins. The students will need to match the capital letter clothespin to the corresponding dot with the lowercase letter.


Art - Cornucopia


I found a picture of a cornucopia that I copy onto brown copy paper and let the students color the picture. After they finish, they can glue some Trix cereal onto the opening of the cornucopia to make it look like it is full of fruits! The kids get a real kick out of this project. The pictures do need to dry overnight, so the cereal does not slide off of the wet glue!


Turkey Feather Letter Match


Cut out 26 turkey shapes on brown construction paper. Write one uppercase letter on each turkey. Cut out different colored construction paper feathers. Label them with lowercase letters. To play this game, the children place the matching lowercase letters onto the turkey.


Beginning Sounds


Photocopy, color, and cut out several Thanksgiving pictures. (turkey, pilgrims, Indians, corn, cornucopia, etc) Glue onto large index cards. Label the picture but omit the initial consonant:

__urkey    __ilgrims



Write the word THANKSGIVING on a piece of paper and laminate. Print out the word again and cut out each letter (or use letter tiles). Laminate. Have the children use the letter pieces to match onto the written word. You could do this with any of the words on your Thanksgiving word list.


Corny Counting!


Photocopy a picture of an ear of corn, color, and cut out. Program each one with a number from 1 -10. To play the game, the children place the correct amount of popcorn kernels onto each ear of corn.


Pattern Necklaces


Color ziti noodles with rubbing alcohol and food coloring. Have the children string the ziti onto a piece of yarn by making a pattern with the colors. Wear them a a necklace!


Thanksgiving Patterns


Photocopy several pictures of Thanksgiving symbols such as turkeys, pilgrims, Indians, pumpkins, etc. Color, cut out and laminate. Have the children use the pictures to make patterns. 




  Art Ideas 

Grocery Bag Vests


Turn bag upside down and cut up the middle and around the bottom of the bag to make a hole for the neck. Cut out the sides to make armholes. Turn inside out and decorate with Indian symbols. Fringe the bottom by cutting approximately 4 inch slits about one inch apart. 


Hand and Footprint Turkeys


Trace both feet on brown paper and glue one over the other. Trace hand 6 times on a variety of colored paper. Draw orange feet, yellow beak and red wattle. Glue on wiggle eyes. 

Coffee Filter Turkeys


Color a coffee filter using watercolor markers or paints. After the filter has dried, use an eyedropper to put drops of water on the filter. The colors will all start to blend together. Then allow to dry completely. Cut out a turkey body, head, wiggle eyes, wattle, beak and feet. Glue onto filter after it has dried. 


Pilgrim Art


This idea was found on the Learning Leap Thanksgiving unit. 

Boy Pilgrim                              Girl Pilgrim

What you need:                                 What you need:

1-5x5 pink square                              1-5x5 pink square 

1-4x5 black rectangle                        1 large white triangle

1-1x7 black rectangle                         2-2x3 white rectangles

1-2x2 yellow square                           scraps for hair

1-1x1 black square 

scraps for hair


Directions can be found at Learning Leap Thanksgiving.

Indian Art


This idea was found on the Learning Leap Thanksgiving unit. 

What you need:

1-5x5 brown square

3-3x6 black rectangles

1-1x6 green rectangle

1-3x4 red rectangle

1-3x4 yellow rectangle


Directions can be found at Learning Leap Thanksgiving.


Mayflower Ship


Students will need to save their empty milk carton, wash it out and lay it on its side. 

Glue brown paper cut-outs of the Mayflower ship to each side. Use a pencil to poke one or two holes into the top side of the milk carton. Insert a straw or two and thread a white paper sail on to the straw mast. 

See example at: Little Giraffes


Indian Headbands


Decorate a sentence strip with geometric shapes. Fit to child's head and staple. Glue craft feathers to paper feather cutouts and then staple these feathers to the band. For a more realistic look, cut two index paper rectangles approximately 2 inches wide by 5 inches long. Glue feathers the length of the rectangles. Staple these to the bottom of the headband on each side of the face. 





Cut two canoe shapes from a grocery bag or index paper. Punch holes along the side and bottom edges. Sew with yarn. Glue Indian figure cut-outs inside the canoe.

See example at: Little Giraffes

T is for Turkey

(Mailbox magazine, Kind. Oct/Nov 1998)


Duplicate the turkey head patterns for each student. Also have a large construction paper T. To make a turkey-T, use craft items--such as markers, wiggle eyes, and tissue paper--to decorate both the turkey heads, leaving the tabbed ends undecorated. Then fold the tabbed ends out, and glue the turkey heads together, leaving the tabbed ends free. Next glue the opened tabbed ends to the T. Then encourage each child to top his T with colorful paper or craft feathers. 






  Favorite Links

Virtual Vine - Giving Thanks

Little Giraffes - Thanksgiving

Mrs. Sirois' - Turkeys

Teaching Heart - Thanksgiving

Kindergarten Treehouse - 

A Time to Give Thanks

Kinderthemes - Turkeys

The K-Crew -- Pilgrims and Indians

KinderTeacher - Pilgrims & Indians

KinderTeacher - Turkeys

Mrs. Williamson's - Pilgrims

Mrs. Williamson's - Native Americans

Learning Leap - Thanksgiving

The Teacher's Room - Thanksgiving

Virtual Tour of Plimoth Plantation

Apples for a Teacher - Thanksgiving

Mrs. Griffin's - Thanksgiving 

Mrs. Alphabet - Let's Talk Turkey

Primary Teacher's Thanksgiving