If there was ever a perfect children’s book to introduce to your students at this time of year it’s Gobble, Gobble.
The main character, Jenny, is a young backyard naturalist who follows a flock of “funny-looking birds with big strong feet”—Wild Turkeys! She learns about these amazing birds through simple rhyme and colorful illustrations.
LESSON PLAN: Four Seasons of Turkeys
Turkeys are usually connected only with Thanksgiving, but Gobble, Gobble takes a look at turkeys throughout all four seasons. In this lesson students will learn about wild turkey behavior and become “naturalists” exploring animals in their own neighborhood.
Suggested Grade Level: K-3
- The book Gobble, Gobble by Cathryn Falwell
- KWL chart, on paper or the board
- Pie chart, on paper or the board
- Activity Kit created by the author, provided as a pdf download
- Art materials listed in Activity Kit
Teacher Prep: Create a pie chart with 4 quadrants. Label the quadrants: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.
- Create a KWL chart. Ask children what they know about wild turkeys, and fill in the “K” column of the chart.
- Read Gobble, Gobble and in the “L” column list the facts that students learned about wild turkeys from the story.
- Referring to the book’s illustrations, ask children how turkeys change in appearance and behavior during different seasons. Write their responses in the appropriate sector of the pie chart.
- Ask students what more they want to know about turkeys…what do they wonder about turkeys? List their questions in the “W” column. You may be able to answer some of their questions with the facts from Turkey Trivia and National Geographic.
- If at all possible watch the PBS video “My Life as a Turkey” (available online). It chronicles a naturalist’s remarkable and moving experience of raising a group of wild turkey hatchlings to adulthood.You may never think of turkeys the same way again! If you can’t show all of the video, choose some clips during the various stages of turkey development. (Spoiler alert: not all of the baby turkeys survive.)
- Choose one or more activities from the Gobble, Gobble Activity Kit, which contains an animal tracks identification game and other nature observation activities for indoors or outdoors.
Common Core Standards (ELA K-3)
- Reading: Literature:
- Key Ideas and Details: K.1, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3
- Craft and Structure: 1.7. 2.7, 3.7
Next Generation Science Standards (DCI K-3)
- LS1-A: Structure and Function
- LS1-B: Growth and Development of Organisms
- LS1-C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms
- LS3-A: Inheritance of Traits