Language Activities with Turkey Feathers
As we continue into fall, we often need to spend some time assessing students. Are they reaching their goals, are changes needed in their accommodations, or perhaps they need more of a challenge. While more traditional means may be needed, start with something a little more hands on. Classrooms all around will be sporting turkey decorations for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday season. Why not embrace the turkey and use some of the features to build on language skills?
Letter Sound Turkey Practice
To begin this activity, you will need to have a general turkey body outline on a piece of paper for students to use. Look around online for clipart that you can implement for teaching purposes, or try drawing one on your own. This template can be used for many different variations of this activity. If the child you are working with is working on the “R” and “F” sound in words, prepare turkey feathers with appropriate pictures for those words. Mix in some that do not have the sound to check mastery of the skill set. Have the child cut out all of the feathers, or do this ahead of time. Then have them begin by saying the word and determining which turkey body the feather belongs to. For additional practice ask the child to put the word in a sentence as they glue the feature onto the turkey.
Categories and Vocabulary Boosters
Younger children may be working on specific vocabulary. This could be seasonal, for Thanksgiving, or other purposes. Think ahead of breaking the words into a few categories. These could be types of clothing, foods, and toys. Using the basics from the activity above, prepare word feathers in advance of your session. If the child can read, have them say the word and determine which category the word belongs with. Should a child be too young to read, use this time to practice “WH” questions. They can ask what the word is, wonder what the word may be, or other variations that you agree to.
Pronoun Boosting Feathers
Another common language goal is using proper grammar when talking. Children often get mixed up with their pronoun use when speaking. Make a turkey with “He” and “Him” on them, or another pair that are often confused. Ahead of time, make a group of feathers with sentences that leave out a pronoun in each. There should be enough for each of the turkeys to have lots of beautiful plumage. For this skill, the child will read each sentence and determine which turkey the feather belongs on. Example: “Mr. Turkey played basketball with ____ during recess.”
The sky is the limit with these turkey shapes. You can use them to work on articulation, fluency, specific sounds, vocabulary acquisition, and beyond. All of the turkey projects can be sent home for more practice and decorations at home. Think about each family and whether writing the words on the back of the feathers in their other language would help. Ask families if this would help them in practicing, or simply try it if you think it will be well received. Often times, something like this can boost communication and lead to the children sharing more with the adults at home.