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Keeping Them Curious: Turkey Edition

(This turkey facts email was sent on November 5, 2023.)

Good Monday morning! If you’re in a place that participates in daylight-saving time, I hope you got to enjoy our extra hour this weekend! (Though, will the weekend EVER really be long enough?! 🤣)

As November initiates the frantic approach of the holiday season, I’m back with a new edition of the “Keeping Them Curious” email series. I’m writing these emails with the hope that they will help busy teachers plan for thematic teaching in a way that supports inquisitiveness and delight in young students. This week’s topic is turkeys! 🤎

You can find the previous editions all in one spot over here so you can refer back as needed!

keeping them curious: turkey edition - turkey facts and more

Keeping Them Curious is an email series for teachers who are passionate about actively engaging students in thematic learning. I’m posting the email content here for those who might like to have a place to revisit each theme. If you would like to receive this content by email, please let me know below!


Did You Know? Turkey Facts for Your Class

I’ll start with some fascinating facts about these Thanksgiving birds that you can use to impress your students and spark their curiosity. 

🦃 Wild turkeys are big and heavy birds, but they can move surprisingly fast! These birds can run in short bursts up to 25 miles per hour and fly about twice that fast! Here’s a clip of a group of turkeys moving quickly to cross a busy road. (Why did the turkey cross the road, anyway?!)

🦃 Turkeys have excellent vision that is different from that of humans. One feature of turkey eyesight is the ability to see certain ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths of light that we can’t. Some laundry detergents accentuate these UV wavelengths, making people very visible to turkeys.

🦃 This one is gross 💩, but some kids will love it! It’s possible to tell if a turkey is female or male by looking at its scat (poop). The excrement of a Tom turkey is usually shaped like the letter J, while a hen’s poop is more of a spiral.

🦃 Turkey hens lay up to 13 eggs over two weeks. They then sit on those eggs in a nest on the ground for three more weeks! This is a perilous time for mother turkeys, which is why it’s essential that their feathers blend into the forest floor.

🦃 Historians think Abraham Lincoln was the first US President to pardon a turkey (that was destined for Christmas dinner—Thanksgiving wasn’t nationally celebrated yet at that time). Lincoln’s 8-year-old son Tad took a liking to the turkey (who he named Jack), so the president agreed to let the bird stay on as a pet.

turkey joke for kids: Can a turkey jump higher than a house? Of course! Houses can't jump!

Here’s a new post with a collection of turkey videos you can use to spice up your lessons this month! Like all my video roundups, this one is categorized into various subjects to help you quickly find what you need.

turkey videos for kindergarten - turkey video roundup

Here’s another new post! I recently discovered an adorable Thanksgiving book called Five Little Thank-Yous by Cindy Jin. This little book is perfect for sparking conversations about gratitude. I put together a post and added an accompanying freebie to the My Happy Place Free Resource Library.

Five Little Thank-Yous by Cindy Jin Thanksgiving picture book activity

I also have several ready-to-go turkey resources on TPT and in my website shop. Take a look if you’re wishing to save time on your planning! (I’m linking to the bundle for simplicity’s sake, but you can purchase any of the included resources separately.)

Thanksgiving Activities Bundle: turkey activities and Thanksgiving placemat

I hope you’ve enjoyed the turkey facts and resources in this edition of the “Keeping Them Curious” series! I’m looking forward to continuing this series with more exciting themes. What topics do you have coming up? As always, please feel free to comment below or send me an email—I’d love to hear from you!

Find more “Keeping Them Curious” posts here!

Turkeys Unit with PowerPoint


This “All About Turkeys” thematic unit includes materials to help you integrate learning about turkeys into science, social studies, literacy, and math in your primary classroom. You will download a zipped folder containing a PowerPoint File and a PDF.

Read more…

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