"Gobble, gobble, gobble...." Increase your students' knowledge and skills when you use TURKEYS as a teaching theme.
"The return of wild turkeys to appropriate habitats is truly a success story in the field of wildlife conservation," say wildlife biologists from the State University of New York in The Return of the Wild Turkey.
And that success in New York State has been echoed in many other states.
About a century ago, wild turkeys all but disappeared -- their habitats destroyed when forest areas were cleared. Now, wild turkeys are back. They can be found in 49 states -- all but Alaska. Many states have conservation programs to reintroduce wild turkeys and to relocate turkeys in new habitats.
Benjamin Franklin, an admirer of the wild turkey, was disappointed when the bald eagle was chosen as a symbol of the United States of America. He felt the wild turkey should have been the chosen bird. Franklin called the wild turkey a "...more respectable Bird..." and "...a true original native of North America."
Turkeys (scroll down for list)
Language Arts (vocabulary development). Help children learn the meanings of turkey-related words: wattle, tom, hen, poult (a young turkey). Make up "turkey rhymes" using those words.
Nutrition/Cooking. Many people eat turkey leftovers. Ask students to list as many ways as they can think of to use turkey the day after. (turkey sandwiches, soup, salad, casserole, potpie)
Arts/Crafts. Make turkeys for holiday centerpieces, gifts, or greeting cards.
Turkey Games. Play one of these turkey games with your students.
Social Studies/History. Encourage students to read what Benjamin Franklin had to say about the national seal of the United States of America on the Thanksgiving Turkey Web page. Ask students to explain Franklin's reasoning about the appropriateness of the turkey over the bald eagle. Then students can debate the merits of both birds (and other birds) for that purpose. Invite students to design a new seal -- using a turkey instead of the eagle.
Nutrition/Cooking. Read about the proper handling and cooking of turkey on the Turkey Basics: Handling Precooked Dinners Web page. Prepare a presentation or create a brochure about handling and storing food safely for parents and teachers.
"Thanksgiving on the Net"
This site is fun! It contains a bounty of information about the Thanksgiving holiday (in addition to the great turkey information). The site contains background music too.
The National Wild Turkey Federation
Read about the Federation's research and conservation efforts to benefit the wild turkey. The site includes information about conservation, and hunter safety.
Article by Anne Guignon
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