The Turkey in Disguise Project
One of my favorite classroom projects year after year is our November Turkey in Disguise Project. Each year, I’m amazed by the creativity of families as they work together on this fun assignment. I introduce the project with a letter from Mr. Turkey pleading for help!
Then, I send home a letter to families so they know exactly what to expect. I like to be clear about project expectations, the deadline, and all the little details. I also send home a blank turkey template on white card stock so families can get started with their Turkey in Disguise project right away!
I let parents and students know right away that their Turkey in Disguise is a family project. I don’t want to see mom or dad’s work alone. Families need to work with their children…and include siblings in the process! The more the merrier.
I also encourage families to be as creative as possible. I suggest that they scour Pinterest for ideas, but I also encourage them to get ideas from the world around them….popular TV shows, children’s toys, etc.
One year, when Duck Dynasty was so popular, one of my students disguised his turkey as Uncle Si and it was one of the funniest and most unique Turkey in Disguise projects I’ve ever seen! It also happened to win an award when the children voted using their secret ballots!
Great Books to Kick off Your Project
When introducing the project, I also like to read some fabulous turkey books. There are many wonderful Thanksgiving books that fit the theme of a turkey trying to avoid being eaten. These books really help children empathize with the turkey, and then they are all the more eager to disguise him well!
Here are some of my favorite Turkey themed books. I’ve included Amazon shopping links for your convenience. Please read my full DISCLOSURE about affiliate links!
- Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano
- Run, Turkey, Run by Diane Mayr
- A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman
- A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting
- How to Catch a Turkey by Adam Wallace
- Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dave Pilkey
Turkey in Disguise Project Ideas
Disguised turkeys trickle in over the next few weeks until the final due date. (I usually give families about 3 weeks to complete the project!) I am always amazed by how creative and unique all of the turkeys are.
Some families go all out; others create a simple disguise. But each turkey is special and beautiful because it means a family spent time together! Here are some of my favorite Turkey in Disguise ideas from past years:
Batman, Clown, Santa Claus, A Native American in a Teepee
Girl Scout, Snowman, Sheep, Easter Bunny, Statue of Liberty, Uncle Si, Santa Claus, a Leaf Pile, Christmas Tree
The Most Memorable Turkey in Disguise Project
Of course, my very favorite was this turkey that was supposed to be ME! If only I were that young and pretty! See the little number in the bottom left corner? I number each project, and then students get to vote on several categories like Most Creative, Most Unique, and Best Disguise using a secret ballot.
Students love voting, and they really surprise and impress me by cheering for their friends and not getting hard feelings. We also take the time to discuss how honorable it is NOT to vote for yourself. The voting process is a great character lesson for the children!
Finally, we award blue ribbons to the winners. All children get to take home a certificate for saving a turkey’s life! They also get to take home a bag of Turkey Toes (candy corn!).
On this particular year, Uncle Si won Best Disguise, The Girl Scout won Most Unique, and the Easter Bunny won Most Creative.
Wrapping Up Your Turkey in Disguise Project
I love to integrate lots of reading response and writing activities into our project. One of my favorite activities is the Turkey Opinion writing. Even Kindergarten children can participate with this fill-in-the-blank template. Plus, there’s a more challenging template for older students. I just love hearing their reasons for eating something other than turkey!
Are you ready to do the Turkey in Disguise Project with your learners? I’ve put together a packet of ideas and printables that’s perfect for Preschool through Second grade. It includes a poem, parent letter/instructions, secret ballots, certificates, blue ribbons, literature extensions, writing responses, and more!
You’ll definitely want to grab the Turkey in Disguise packet to do in November! You can check it out by clicking the image below.
Looking for more November fun? Check out these ideas!
- Thanksgiving Story Bracelets (FREE Printable)
- 5 Favorite Turkey Crafts
- 10 FUN Thanksgiving Ideas
- Mayflower Mini Books