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A Turkey
Takes a Stand

By Lois Lewis

Grade Level: 3-6

Story Preview: A turkey proposes a new law that would change a Thanksgiving tradition.

Roles: Narrators 1-2, Senators 1-4, Trevor, Tonya, and Teddy Turkey, Reporters 1-2, Spectators 1-2, Television Reporter

Setting: Present day, a few weeks before Thanksgiving.

Additional Resources

* The Meal Must Go On!-A Lesson in Cooperation This ThinkQuest skit highlights conversations by a family celebrating Thanksgiving and foods in a refrigerator and. The activity includes suggestions for costumes, makeup, and staging the play.

* How do we really create laws? Explore How Laws are Made from Kids in the House, a section of the United States government's Office of the Clerk Web site. This resource provides step-by-step explanations of the law-making process.

* Share with students some fascinating turkey trivia from Factmonster's Turkey Facts and Turkey FAQ for classroom fun!

Theme: Holidays


  • abolish: to end, stop, or get rid of
  • gavel: small hammer or mallet used to signal for attention or order
  • official: allowed, approved, recognized
  • plight: usually a troublesome or unfortunate situation; a problem
  • proposal: plan, suggestion, request
  • senator: an elected representative; a lawmaker
  • spectator: viewer, watcher, observer

Props: (Optional) long table or several desks placed next to each other in row; chairs; a gavel or something to represent a gavel, such as a toy hammer, for Senator 1; toy microphones or student-drawn paper microphones for Reporters 1-2 and Television Reporter; store-bought or student-drawn feathers for Trevor, Tonya, and Teddy Turkey.

Follow-Up Questions:

  • Why did Trevor Turkey want to change the way Thanksgiving is celebrated?
  • What did Trevor do to try to change a Thanksgiving tradition?
  • What reasons did Trevor give to make his point known to the lawmakers?
  • Why do you think the senators voted the way they did?
  • Suppose you were one of the senators on the panel. How would you have voted? Explain your answer.
  • What do you think happened next? Write another scene for the play.

Follow-Up Activity:
Explain the meaning of the term "point of view." Ask students to find examples of a turkey's point of view about Thanksgiving in the play. Then organize students into small groups to complete the Education World Writing Bug A Turkey's Last Plea. Print and distribute a copy of the writing activity to each group. When completed, invite groups to read their stories to the class.

Additional Notes:
The Education World Holiday Center: Thanksgiving page contains a feast of activities, site reviews, and book suggestions related to Thanksgiving.

Click here for a printable script.

Article by Lois Lewis
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