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Turkeys Gobble Up Bulletin Board Space



  • Arts & Humanities
    --Language Arts
    --Visual Arts
  • Social Studies


  • Pre K
  • K-2
  • 3-5

Brief Description

We’re “talking turkey” bulletin boards -- times two -- here!



  • give thought to what they are thankful for this Thanksgiving season.
  • follow directions as they create colorful feathers for a bulletin-board turkey.


Thanksgiving, turkey, thanks, bulletin board

Materials Needed You will find several ideas below. See each idea for easy-to-find material requirements.

Lesson Plan

We're talking turkey in this lesson -- turkey bulletin boards, that is! Maybe one of these lesson ideas will appeal to you and result in a nice bulletin board for your classroom or hallway.

Both of these bulletin board ideas begin with a simple outline of a turkey's body -- without tail feathers -- drawn on a bulletin board background of white or tan paper. You can create a simple turkey head and body outline by

  • drawing a large perfect circle (the turkey's body) in the lower center of the bulletin board.
  • hanging two simple legs (strips of brown paper with small crossed strips at the bottom to represent the turkeys' claws), and
  • adding a neck and head shaped like a large letter "p" (the lower end of the descending line of the p is stapled to the center of the body/circle and the rounded part of the p pokes just above the top of the circle/body).
For more guidance on creating a turkey's body, you might refer to this turkey outline. Draw your turkey's body without the tail feathers.

Once you have the body of the turkey, you are set to add feathers

Our "Giving Thanks" Thanksgiving Turkey
Traditionally, Thanksgiving has been a time to give thanks for the bounty of food that comes from gardens at harvest time. Our modern Thanksgiving has become a time to give thanks for that, and for many other things. So what are your students thankful for this Thanksgiving? You might pose that question to students one day. Let them share ideas. Write down some of their ideas. Then give each student a tail feather cut from colorful construction paper. Have each student decide what he or she is most thankful for; they should write that information on the tail feather and sign their name to it. Add each feather to the outline of the turkey's body on your bulletin board.

A "Tail of Ties" Turkey
Whose father (or brother or uncle or grandfather) has the ugliest old tie stuffed in the back of his closet? Who has the most colorful one? Have students approach the adult men in their lives to collect the ugliest and most colorful ties they can find. (You might go to a used-clothing store and pick over their selection of ties to find some more; those stores often sell ties for a quarter or 50 cents.) Vote for the ugliest and most colorful ties and award special prizes to the students who brought them in. Fold the ties in half so the wider half of the tie (the part that would be seen if a person was wearing the tie) is on top. You're looking at a turkey tail feather! Place the folded edge of the tie behind the body of the turkey body drawn on your bulletin board. Extend it outward so the point of the tie serves as the end of the feather. Staple in several places to hold the tie-feather in place. You'll have the most unique turkey ever spotted in your neck of the woods!

Al-TURK-nate Ideas
Alternatives for making turkey tail feathers include

  • Give each student a sheet of bright-colored construction paper. Have them place their hand in a corner of the paper and trace the outline of their hand (palm and fingers). They should trace as many hand outlines as they can on their paper, then cut them out. Have students use a pencil to curl the fingers on their paper hands. Staple one student's hand immediately above the turkey body outline on the bulletin board, then slip another of that student's hands behind that one, and another behind that one, and so on, to create a row of hands extending from the turkey to look like a feather. In the same way, make another feather from another student's collection of cut-out hands.
  • Go to a local building supply store (for example, Home Depot) or a design center and ask if they have any wallpaper sample books that are no longer used. Create unique feathers from those colorful, patterned wallpaper samples.

More Ideas for Thanksgiving Fun
See more fun ideas in these Education World resources:



Lesson Plan Source

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

FINE ARTS: Visual Arts
NA-VA.K-4.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
GRADES 5 - 8
NA-VA.5-8.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes

NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

See more Lesson Plans of the Day in our Lesson Plan of the Day Archive. (There you can search for lessons by subject too.)

For additional holiday lessons, see our Holiday Archive.

For additional lessons in the arts, see these Education World resources:

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Originally published 11/09/2005
Last updated 10/20/2010