Turkey Rhythms |

Turkey Rhythms

A few weeks ago, I found a pin on Pinterest that I thought was really cute for classroom teachers:

I wondered if there was a way I could adapt this idea to rhythm. I was excited when I found foam turkeys on Oriental Trading. When they came in the mail, each set looked like this:

They actually came with one more smaller paper plate, but I discovered that overlapping and then gluing paper plates together was much harder than it looked, so I turned it into a one-paper-plate craft!

After gluing all the parts on, the turkeys looked like this:

Turkey rhythms: Fun rhythm activity for Thanksgiving in the music room

Each turkey came with six feathers, but I only used five. For the "Miss White" turkey above, I wrote out each 4-beat pattern of the chant on four feathers. On the fifth feather, I wrote a trick pattern that didn't belong to the chant. I made five turkeys for each of the five songs/chants: Miss White, We are dancing, Apple Tree, 2, 4, 6, 8, and Bee Bee. Then after singing/speaking each song/chant with the first grade class, I split the class into five groups, and each group got a turkey with five feathers. I told them to figure out which patterns went in which order, and to fan them out. They had lots of fun writing! They simply placed the feathers where they thought they should go--no glue needed!

Turkey rhythms: Fun rhythm activity for Thanksgiving in the music room

Turkey rhythms: Fun rhythm activity for Thanksgiving in the music room

After each group was done, I had them stand up so I could check their work. If a group got done earlier than other groups, I told them they could then put the feathers into whatever order they wanted. One student suggested that they take turns clapping rhythms, and the members of the group would have to figure out which feather they clapped. Love it! I used this for ta and ti-ti, but with my leftover turkeys and feathers, I still have enough to make another set for next year for a different rhythmic concept!

I apologize that I'm telling you about this activity the day before Thanksgiving...probably too late to use this year! Hopefully if you like the idea you can bookmark the page and remember it for next year. I'm in the process of looking for foam Christmas trees with ornaments to do a similar activity! I'll let you know if I find something.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Hope you are all able to spend some quality time with your family and friends. Enjoy!


  1. Love the turkey rhythms! Will have to give that a try next year!

    Congrats to Amy and Amy! :)

  2. I really like this idea! :) So cute... Just out of curiosity, do you do winter concerts? I would love to do this sort of thing, but just can't seem to find time with winter concert preparation. I definitely might adapt this for an activity later on in the year, though. :)

    1. Hi Brittany! Sorry I'm just now responding! I only do a choir winter concert, and a school-wide singalong that only takes two weeks to prepare. Otherwise, I would have a hard time fitting things like this in too!