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It's Turkey Time!

Baby Turkey

Turkey Chick

Turkey Chick

What Time is it? It's Turkey Time!

Wild Turkeys nearly became extinct in the 1930's but times have changed and turkeys have benefited. Now turkeys are often found in fields and on the edge of the woods.

In this unit you will learn about Wild Turkeys, read turkey facts and stories, play some turkey games and do some turkey projects.

The turkeys will also help you learn to tell time. Turkey time, seasons, clocks, and the time to eat turkey.

So put on some feathers and practice your gobbling because it's Turkey Time...

Turkey Flock

Flock of Turkeys

Flock of Turkeys

Turkeys throughout the Year

Turkeys in all Four Seasons

The four seasons can be observed in turkeys. Did you notice that the male and female turkeys are together in the spring? They get together at this time in order to mate. Later on the female will lay eggs in an open field or on the edge of the woods. It would not be safe for turkey chicks to be born in a tree since turkeys are not adept at flying.

Can you tell what time of the year it is by observing turkeys?

During the fall you will see some flocks of turkeys are grouped by age and sex. The turkeys will be eating seeds in preparation for the long winter when food can be scarce. In winter one can often find Turkey tracks in clearings or on the edge of the woods.

A Nest of Turkey Eggs

Wild Turkey Eggs and Nest

Wild Turkey Eggs and Nest

Non-Fiction Turkeys - Time for Turkey Facts

Reading about Turkeys

Learn all about turkeys. When you see a turkey in the wild can you tell what time of year it is?

Jim Arnosky is one of my favorite authors and his book, All About Turkeys is no exception. I like to read books about turkeys with the children, write down lists of everything they know about turkeys and then try to spend so time outside watching the wild turkeys that nest and feed in our field. In winter we watch for their tracks and in early summer sometimes find turkey nests.

Wild turkeys were once abundant. They were hunted to near extinction but are now making a comeback.

Read all about wild turkeys.

Turkeys in the Wild

Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey

It's Time for Wild Turkey Facts

Did you know that turkeys make many different sounds? If you listen carefully you may be able to decipher what the turkeys are trying to communicate. Listen to the recording made by the National Wildlife Foundation. Can you imitate those calls? During circle time, play What's the Turkey Talking About? Everyone closes their eyes and one child at a time imitates a certain call. Whoever guesses correctly is the next player.

Listen to Wild Turkeys

  • Listen to Turkeys
    I never realized that turkeys made so many distinctive sounds. Listen to turkey chicks, gobbles, and more...

Turkey Time in Maine - Turkeys have come back to Maine

A Flock of Wild Turkey Pick Over a Corn Field in Williston, Vermont

A Flock of Wild Turkey Pick Over a Corn Field in Williston, Vermont

Wild Turkeys are Back

Throughout North America wild turkeys are making a comeback. More and more people are experiencing the pleasure of seeing wild turkeys in their fields. It is a sight we look forward to each time we go home to New England.

Scroll to Continue

A Flock of Turkeys - Have your seen Wild Turkeys?

Vintage Thanksgiving with Turkeys and Pilgrims Post Cards

Vintage Thanksgiving with Turkeys and Pilgrims Post Cards

Start Your Own Flock of Turkeys

Anytime would be a great time to read about turkeys and when you do you need to have a plush turkey to share the experience with.

These turkeys are for snuggling with when reading turkey stories. Having a flock of turkeys in the reading nook encourages children to read with their turkey friends.

It's time to pick out a flock of turkeys.

Spin the Feather. Tell the Time, - A Turkey Chanting Game: Learn to tell Time



Make a Turkey Clock

Draw an outline of a turkey with a large round belly. Make a clock face on the belly. For the hour hand, make a feather shape as a spinner. This should be big enough for the whole class to see.

Turkey Time Song

Spin the feather as you sing and chant:

It's Turkey Time! It's Turkey Time!

Spin the Feather. Tell the Time.

It's Turkey Time! It's Turkey Time!

Spin the Feather. Tell the Time.

Now chant the hours by saying "Gobble for each hour."

Then say the time and start the chant again.

Telling Time

Time Thematic Unit - Turkeys learn to Tell Time

Skip Counting around the Clock

As Thanksgiving time approaches, children are learning to tell time. We practice counting by fives on the clock as we point to each number using a turkey feather. Five, ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty .... fifty-five; The Turkey says it's Ten O'Clock!

Then we go around the clock again for Eleven O'clock etc. until we have chanted two or three hours more.

Turkey Patterns

Coasters can be used to make patterns. Look for Turkey and corn coasters or ask parents for donations of coasters.

Children use the coasters to make repeating patterns and then record their patterns using letters such as: AABA or ABBA

Turkey Time Family Traditions

One year we ran across a very funny recipe for stuffed Camel in the local newspaper. We cut it out and read it at the table on Thanksgiving Day. It was so funny that everyone was in tears. We put that clipping away with the Thanksgiving place cards at my Grandmother's house and each year we bring it out and read it again.

As the turkey is cooking, snuggle up with your children for some story time. Talk about other Thanksgivings and the traditions you have in your families.

Make up some new stories and invent some new traditions to pass on in your family.

Read some old favorites like the following fairy tales.

Roast the Turkey or the Camel?

  • Baked Camel Recipe | Recipezaar
    Ingredients * 1 large camel * 2 large lamb * 4 large turkey * 20 large carp * 200 medium seagull eggs * 400 large dates * banana leaves, as needed

Time to Take a Turkey Walk - Time to Take the Turkeys to Market

The Great Turkey Walk is a story about a boy who resolved to walk 1000 turkeys from Missouri to Denver, Colorado 900 miles down the road. In Missouri they cost 5 cents a piece but in Denver they cost $5. Will the 4th grade dropout become rich? My children loved listening to this story.

Turkey Egg Time - Egg Timer to Time all your Turkey Events

How long does it take to:

1. Count to ten

2. Tie your shoe

3. Jump 10 times

4. Draw 10 turkeys

5. Line up for recess

6. Write the numbers from 0-100

7. Write your name

8. Write all the spelling words

9. Put ten words in ABC order

10. Put the Encyclopedia in order

Use the Turkey Egg Timer to measure time.

This is an important skill needed to understand the concept of time and reading clocks.

Turkey Habitat

Set the sensory table up with some potting soil, Bird seed, some plastic turkeys and spray it with a little water. The bird seed will begin to grow as the children play with the turkeys in the meadow.

You might also add grass and weed seeds collected on a field trip to a nearby field.

Roosting Turkeys

Turkeys Roost at Night

Turkeys Roost at Night

Months of the Year

To stay with the Turkey Time Theme you might write the names of the months on each of the feathers, the hours on the clock or go for the Thanksgiving Theme and write things that you are thankful for.

Turkeys at Thanksgiving Time

Wild Turkeys in your Neighborhood - What time of year did you see the turkeys?

Wild Turkeys are making a comeback. In the 1930's they had become almost extinct. Now they are being seen more and more in fields and on the edge of the woods.

Have you ever seen wild turkeys?

Wild Turkey Time Song

by Evelyn Saenz

(To the tune of: The Old Gray Mare She Ain't What She Used to Be)

In the night turkeys sleep in the trees,

Up in the branches,

Hidden by the leaves.

In the night turkeys sleep in the trees,

Until the daytime comes.

In the day turkeys eat in the fields,

Munch on the insects,

Scratch up the seeds.

In the day turkeys eat in the fields,

Until the twilight comes.

Listen to the Sounds of Wild Turkeys - Time to Listen to the Turkeys

Set up a computer as a theater to watch this film of Wild Turkeys. The children can draw or write down their observations and add them to a class book.

Wild Turkeys in the Spring - Turkey hen and chick

Wild Turkeys are no longer Endangered

Wild turkeys are dependent on a varied habitat consisting of hardwood and mixed forests. In the 1800s, Vermont's wild turkeys were pushed to extinction due to extensive clearing of these forests and the spread of agricultural lands.

They were first reintroduced in 1969 and fortunately have made a tremendous come back. They are now widespread in deciduous forests.

It's Time to be Thankful

It's time to take a moment and think about all the things you are thankful for. Help the children write their thoughts on feathers and add them to the turkey's tail.

Children in an older classes love to come in to brainstorm and help write these words of thanks.

Where do you like to see turkeys?

Turkey Vocabulary

Time for Turkey Vocabulary

Caruncle - brightly colored growths on the throat region. Turns bright red when the turkey is upset or during courtship.

Gizzard - a part of a bird's stomach that contains tiny stones. It helps them grind up food for digestion.

Hen - a female turkey.

Poult - a baby turkey. A chick.

Snood - the flap of skin that hangs over the turkey's beak. Turns bright red when the turkey is upset or during courtship.

Tom - a male turkey. Also known as a gobbler.

Wattle - the flap of skin under the turkey's chin. Turns bright red when the turkey is upset or during courtship.

Scientific genus and species: Meleagris gallopavo

  • Wild Turkey
    Take a A Walk in the Woods and find nature items to make this Thanksgiving pal.
  • Knitting Iris:
    One day a hawk killed a wild turkey and strewed feathers all over the field. Observe the feathers carefully and then use them for a craft project.

Roast a Turkey

t's Time for: A Traditional Turkey Dinner!

Adult turkeys consume mostly acorns, nuts, leaves, buds, seeds, and fruit. Young birds tend to eat mostly insects, snails, and spiders

Thanksgiving Theme

Though Turkey Time could be anytime, we generally associate it with Thanksgiving so here is a Thematic Unit with lots of ideas, some of which could easily be added to the Turkey Time Literacy Bag.

Wild Turkey Song - Turkeys running away from Thanksgiving

Here is a delightful singalong from a songwriter in Maine. As you watch the video you will see pictures of wild turkeys of all ages. The tune is easy to pick up. Soon you will be singing along, encouraging the turkey to run...

Turkey Talk

GEMNITYA5 on June 25, 2014:

Good turkey-time

(Also shared on Facebook :)



Mohan Babu from Chennai, India on November 23, 2013:

Interesting facts about Turkey and how even the seasons influence their behavior.

traveldestinations on November 21, 2013:

Love all this turkey stuff

TedWritesStuff on December 02, 2012:

And here I came expecting a lens about yummy, yummy bourbon (Wild Turkey) and instead I get yummy,yummy turkey. Very informative.

rawwwwwws lm on November 22, 2012:


Michey LM on November 22, 2012:

Happy Thanksgiving!

"May your stuffing be tasty

May your turkey be plump,

May your potatoes and gravy

Have never a lump.

May your yams be delicious

And your pies take the prize,

And may your Thanksgiving dinner

Stay off your thighs! "

Georgene Moizuk Bramlage from southwestern Virginia on November 19, 2012:

I haven't had any adventures with turkey, just the thrill of seeing nd hearing them in the wild. I did visit a turkey farm once in N.Z. and saw a turkey race ;+]

Bill Armstrong from Valencia, California on November 17, 2012:

I will never forget the day my Aunt came in through the door with a sack wriggling all over the place, I was just a lad, and very curious, until she emptied the sack out and a wild Turkey started chased me around the room! Yikes! Thank you for reminding me of this hehe

Tony Bonura from Tickfaw, Louisiana on November 11, 2012:

Turkeys are hard to hunt. I have yet to get one by hunting them. I have to go to the supermarket for my turkey.


John Magee from Brisbane on November 09, 2012:

great..oh got to go... its 6.00 turkey time...time for bed..

bossypants on November 09, 2012:

All things turkey! Enjoyable read!

octopen on November 09, 2012:

WOW, what a detailed and well-written lens1

Traveller579 on November 09, 2012:

Wonderful lenses, Nice picture turkey.....

Skinluvz on November 09, 2012:


Tom on November 08, 2012:

Wow, what a lens! You put a lot of work into this one.

Fantastic Voyages from Texas on November 07, 2012:

Really great info on all things turkey! Now, if you could fix the module that says "text with big picture" it would be perfect! :-)

Bob Zau on November 07, 2012:

Great lens. I'm glad turkeys made a come back . They taste Yummy!

anonymous on November 06, 2012:

Charming. I just wondered reading this lens. It's Turkey Time!

Erin Hardison from Memphis, TN on November 06, 2012:

Very thorough, fun and informative lens about turkeys.

JoshK47 on November 05, 2012:

Can't wait to gobble up some turkey in a few weeks - wonderful lens! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

Nicole Pellegrini from New Jersey on November 04, 2012:

Wow, such an extensive page on turkeys! My mother raises heritage breed turkeys and we have a lot of wild ones about, too. I've become very fond of turkeys since getting to know them better.

Lora Riley on November 03, 2012:

I like the turkey quiz

VspaBotanicals on October 19, 2012:

Very nice and informative lens.

BuckHawkcenter on August 27, 2012:

The Squid Angel Fall Bus Tour stopped by to say how much we enjoyed our turkey time.

Evelyn Saenz (author) from Royalton on August 25, 2012:

@designsbyharriet: Thanks for visiting the Turkeys:)

Harriet from Indiana on August 25, 2012:

A great thought out and carefully composed lens. Blessings.

DonD LM on January 26, 2012:

The reason I love turkey more than beef and pork because of the taste of its meat. Such a great information about turkey. Nice lense

WriterJanis2 on December 13, 2011:

Wonderful lens.

Srena44 on November 25, 2011:

great lens

RobinDM on November 24, 2011:

fabulous lens! I hope this stay up forever! I will be using this next year for our unit study in November! Thank you very much

jgelien on November 23, 2011:

Well you've managed to personalize the turkey enough that it will be difficult to eat it tomorrow... but I'll manage :) I enjoyed your lens and I learned quite a bit about turkeys that I never knew.

Johanna Eisler on November 22, 2011:

My mom always had big turkey dinners several times a year. The family would all come and create wonderful memories. I treasure the memory of those times.

JoleneBelmain on November 20, 2011:

Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, etc have always been my favourite holiday meal. When i was a growing up, my grandma would always make Perogii's and Cabbage rolls to boot! So good, my mouth is watering. ~~~~BLESSED~~~~

NicholasLore on November 15, 2011:

I'm already in the mood.

watchdog1920 on November 14, 2011:

waw! this was a great lens, i enjoyed it. i know now more about turkeys than i ever thought i'd know in my entire life. good job!

E L Seaton from Virginia on November 08, 2011:

Nice Vid. Always enjoy pictures of wild life with no people in the shot. Great gobbler bat squid.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on November 06, 2011:

Really enjoyed this lens.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on November 06, 2011:

Really enjoyed this lens.

Lisa Auch from Scotland on November 05, 2011:

We have printed out the 3D turkey and are going to make these today! thanks for the links!

anonymous on November 01, 2011:

Great lens on turkey time, enjoyed this fun lens.

anonymous on October 31, 2011:

What a fascinating and colorful Lens, I learned a lot. Congrats on being featured in the new Thanksgiving magazine!

Joan Haines on October 30, 2011:

Thanks very much. I can use some things on this lens with my fifth graders. Wow. you sure have a lot of resources in one place!

slotowngal on October 28, 2011:

What a wonderful Turkey lens! Who doesn't love this most American of birds? Great job, angel blessed.

anonymous on October 24, 2011:

Wow! I think you've thought of everything; very nice lens. Happy Holidays!

aliciamaggie54 on October 06, 2011:

Interesting information. Thank you.

dvpwli on September 22, 2011:

I like this lens most so I have Blessed this lens as Squidoo Angel. I really appreciate your efforts

punkgrinder on September 04, 2011:

I got three out of five, could be worse. Great Lens and a big thumbs up!

Paula Atwell from Cleveland, OH on August 16, 2011:

Still my favorite Thanksgiving lens.

anonymous on August 14, 2011:

I found this lens very interesting because I have wild turkeys in my back yard. I see them throughout the summer. Usually taking their morning or afternoon stroll in a groups of three. Probably a family. I have woods behind my house and I learned from your lens that this is were they are, so it makes sense now. Thanks.

pimbels lm on June 26, 2011:

You done a great job. A lot of information, thank you.

akumar46 lm on May 19, 2011:

Wild Turkeys - beautiful birds to see.Its fun to know more about them.Nice lens...Thanks.

Francis Luxford from United Kingdom on March 21, 2011:

Loads of great information. Enjoyed learning about turkeys.

BrickHouseFabrics on January 14, 2011:

Great lens!pigriff

anonymous on December 19, 2010:

A wonderful lens and lesson~I missed "all of them"!

Evelyn Saenz (author) from Royalton on December 05, 2010:

@EditPhotos: Thank you, SquidAngel.

Evelyn Saenz (author) from Royalton on December 05, 2010:

@JoyfulPamela2: Thank you, Pamela.

JoyfulPamela2 from Pennsylvania, USA on December 05, 2010:

Very creative and educational ideas, as usual, Evelyn!! =D

David Lawrence from United States on November 25, 2010:

Blessed for Thanksgiving!

anonymous on November 23, 2010:

Congratulations for being included on the Best of Lists, 75 Lenses You Shouldn't Miss This Thanksgiving by SquidTeam, and Happy Thanksgiving! - Kathy

Joan4 on November 22, 2010:

What a super turkey education! Wonderful!

CherylsArt on November 21, 2010:

Awesome lens on turkeys; it's great seeing them out in nature.

Darla Dixon on November 19, 2010:

You have everything about turkeys here! Awesome lens!

anonymous on November 17, 2010:

As always, tons of creative ideas! I have never seen so many variations of a Turkey before!

RinchenChodron on November 08, 2010:

It's now 5:46 and it's time for my dinner. Reading this lens makes me hungry! Lots of great fun turkey ideas here.

Coffeebreak9am on October 28, 2010:

You have lots of information here..thank you.

Mart903 on October 19, 2010:

Specially in this time as Thanksgiving Day approaches and many are talking about turkeys, this wonderful educative lens comes in handy for the entire family. Congratulations, Evelyn, for this great work that also enables one to contribute, to conversations with family and friends in the following days.

Thanks for sharing, and as you say: "Happy Squidooing!!"

Asinka Fields from Los Angeles, CA on October 19, 2010:

What a comprehensive lens on Turkeys! It's like a reference wiki :). Keep it up!

WriterBuzz on October 04, 2010:

I just found your lens. I like it a lot. Thanks for building it. Gave you a thumbs up.

Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on May 17, 2010:

Once again you have come up with a fascinating subject and interesting groups of related games, books, activities and adventures for teaching children. I am featuring Turkey Time and your themes on my Thanksgiving Themes lens.

norma-holt on May 10, 2010:

Fabulous lens with so much information. Blessed and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust

JoyfulPamela2 from Pennsylvania, USA on March 24, 2010:

So much fun!

Evelyn Saenz (author) from Royalton on January 07, 2010:

@ZenandChic: Thank you so much, SquidAngel.

Evelyn Saenz (author) from Royalton on January 07, 2010:

@rockycha: Anytime is the right time to be thankful. Thank you so much for visiting and lensrolling.

Patricia on January 04, 2010:

This is a wonderful lens! Blessed by an angel!

rockycha on December 23, 2009:

Time for thanks is right! (a little late for this year, sorry) Lensrolled to my thanksgiving decorations and ***** :)

Evelyn Saenz (author) from Royalton on December 11, 2009:

@anonymous: Thank you so much for visiting.

anonymous on December 11, 2009:

Wow... you know so much about them, lovely lens and great job here. 5***** and favorited!

lasertek lm on November 12, 2009:

Nice! This is something our family can talk about during our Thanksgiving meal.

Great job! Hope you could visit my lenses as well. Thanks

Jennifer Sullivan from Chicago, IL on November 12, 2009:

Wow, who knew that much about turkeys?! Great ideas!

eccles1 on November 11, 2009:

Another great lens ! how beautiful

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Dianne Loomos on November 05, 2009:

Another exceptional lens! My aunt had a big black Tom Turkey. He would display and rustle his feathers and charge us! I think he ended up on the table. Blessed and featured on Angels Unaware!

anonymous on November 05, 2009:

What a fun, informative interactive lens!

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on November 01, 2009:

This is practically an encyclopedia. I made a lens on this topic, but not nearly as thorough.

Laniann on October 20, 2009:

Any child would be very lucky to have you as their teacher. So many wonderful things to do. I enjoyed your images and videos.

Treasures By Brenda from Canada on October 14, 2009:

Another great resource lens.

I won't tell you what I was thinking when I saw the title.


monarch13 on September 01, 2009:

What Fun, I'm SO ready for fall! Rolled to Proud American Symbols.

ElizabethJeanAl on May 19, 2009:


My name is Elizabeth Jean Allen and I am the new group leader for the Nature and the Outdoors Group.


VBright on April 23, 2009:

Wow, what an extensive lens. Great job! You've been blessed by an angel.

HorseAndPony LM on February 19, 2009:

Your lenses are amazing. We welcome your 5* Turkey lens to the Backyard Birding group.

anonymous on December 23, 2008:

Can I just say wow, what a fantastic lens Evelyn, I just loved it! I never seen so much information about turkeys in one place that was so much fun - Kathy

GregGiordano on November 28, 2008:

What an extraordinary lens. Ben Franklin would be proud. Great job!

ElizabethJeanAl on November 22, 2008:

Great unit!

5* and lensroll to Wild Turkeys.


Cheryl Kohan from England on November 19, 2008:

This is a wonderful lens, visiting my daughter over Thanksgiving and will do a couple of these projects with my grandchildren. I really appreciate all the work you put into this page.

greenerme on November 16, 2008:

Excellent work! Fun projects, I like it!

Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on November 16, 2008:

Very nice detailed lens, lots of ideas for things to do and great pictures. Perfect for Thanksgiving. 5*****

Yvonne L B from Covington, LA on November 15, 2008:

Love your Turkey unit. Welcome to the Naturally Native Squids group. Don't forget to add your lens link to the appropriate plexo and vote for it.

MSBeltran1 on November 12, 2008:

Evelyn, great lens! Nice work. 5 stars.

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on November 12, 2008:

Great lens with some fun learning projects. Thank you.

WritingforYourW on November 08, 2008:

Great job on covering all things turkey. :) We have turkeys roaming with some cows in the field down the street from my house. Country living, heh heh.

David Gardner from San Francisco Bay Area, California on November 06, 2008:

Well, you've produced a great lens on turkeys that makes me want to gobble it up. I hope you don't mind, but I'm linking to it from my turkey lens as well: I see you've already visited... but I think I've added more videos and bigger/more pictures from when you last saw it. Again, thanks for producting such an interesting lens... great for teachers and kids alike! 5-stars!

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