Need an engaging song to sing with your primary students this Fall? Five Fat Turkeys is a popular one and here’s a little game I came up with to keep the kids interested while providing plenty of opportunities to sing as a class. I’ve also just added an adaptation for COVID-19 at the end.
After teaching the song, I wanted to make it the focal point of my lesson by reinforcing the song through repetition. I still had a drawing of a tree on the whiteboard from an earlier activity and this is the game that developed out of that.
- Draw a tree on the white board and stick 5 turkeys on it with tape or magnets. I used die-cut turkeys.
- Tell the class that they need to close their eyes so the turkeys can hide because, they think some of you are cooks!
- With their eyes closed, take the turkeys off of the board and place them out of sight. Tell the class to open their eyes.
- Choose a student to be the cook. While the class sings the song, the cook walks around and tries to guess where the turkeys are hiding.
- Little do they know that you’ve hidden another set of 5 turkeys under their seats/sit spots before they came to class.
- When the song is over, the cook gets 1-3 guesses as to where a turkey may be hiding by pointing to another child’s seat.
- The seated child checks underneath for a turkey. If a turkey is found, that child becomes the cook, and the game repeats until all of the turkeys are found, or you run out of time. If all of the guesses are used up and no turkey is found, you can appoint a new child to be the cook.
- Use a recording of “Five Fat Turkeys” if you are unable to sing, and have the kids pat or clap to the beat. They could also play instruments.
- Instead of hiding the turkeys under their sit spots, have the cook turn their back and close their eyes while the kids do a “drumroll” on their knees. Then, give an imaginary turkey to the student to hide in their lap. You can also give a paper turkey, but you’d have to make many copies so that you can dispose of them after each round.
- If doing this virtually, have the “cook” turn around, then write the name of the chosen child on a small whiteboard or Google Slide presentation.
- If you’d like to try a digital activity, here’s a fun one called Find the Five Fat Turkeys where kids move a flashlight around the screen to search for turkeys.
Hope your students enjoy this fun, fall song!