Children's Games for Thanksgiving
Gobble, Gobble, Cook Me!
This is a Thanksgiving adaptation of Duck, Duck, Goose. Players sit on ground in large circle. One player is chosen as the turkey. The turkey must then select a cook who will try to catch him or her and roast him or her for Thanksgiving dinner. The turkey walks around the circle, patting each student lightly on the head and calling each student either "Gobble" or "Cook me!" As long as the turkey says, "Gobble," he or she is safe. When the turkey calls "Cook me!," however, the player tagged must jump up and chase the turkey around the circle. If the cook catches the turkey, the turkey must go sit in the center of the circle (the roasting pot). If the turkey sits in the cook's spot before the cook tags him or her, the turkey is safe, and the cook becomes the next turkey.
To use this game in an ESL or EFL setting . . .
- Teach the vocabulary phrases, "What sound does a turkey make?" / "A turkey says, 'Gobble, Gobble." Discuss sounds made by other animals.
- Explain that in the United States many people cook turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.
- Teach or review basic game terminology (i.e. Make a circle. Sit down. Eun-soo, you begin. Eun-soo is walking around the circle. Eun-soo is patting Min-kyung on the head. Eun-soo says, "Gobble." Min-kyung was not chosen. Eun-soo is patting Gyu-ri on the head. Eun-soo says, "Cook me!" Eun-soo runs around the circle. Gyu-ri jumps up and chases him. She is not fast enough. Eun-soo sits down in Gyu-ri's spot. Eun-soo is safe. Gyu-ri is now the turkey.)
Fill a cornucopia with all sorts of fruits and vegetables. If a cornucopia is not available, fill a basket. One student mentally chooses an item from the cornucopia and whispers the item to the teacher. The remaining students ask yes/no questions to determine the item. The first student to correctly guess the item selects the next item. (Note: No one should have a second guess until all players have had an opportunity to guess once.)
Make a list of several kinds of fruit (one fruit for every three players). Assign a fruit name to each player. (At least three players should have each name.) Choose one student to be the chef. The chef names one or more types of fruit, and all players with the name(s) called must jump up and exchange places. If the chef calls, "Fruit salad!", all players must exhange places. While they are moving, the chef tries to steal a seat. Whoever is left without a seat becomes the next chef.
Stick the Feather on the Turkey
Cut out one feather for each player. Put a piece of tape or sticky-tack on the back of the feather. Blindfold one player at a time. Spin the player around a couple of times. (Be careful not to make players sick!) Remaining players then verbally direct [left, right, up, down, behind you, in front of you, etc.] the blindfolded student to the correct placement of his or her feather. To make this more competitive, you may ask each player to write his or her name on his or her feather, then divide students into teams. Take turns choosing players from each team. Only a player's teammate(s) can offer directions. The winning team is the team with the most feathers successfully placed. For turkey and feather patterns, click here.
The object of this simple review game is to spell out the word "turkey." Divide students into teams and assign a task. The first student to complete each task correctly earns a letter for his or her team. The first team to spell out the word turkey wins the round. For longer play, establish in advance how many rounds will be played. Suggested uses include ...
- Thanksgiving vocabulary review -- place picture cards face up on the floor. Say or show a word. The first student to touch the correct picture earns a letter.
- Thanksgiving spelling review -- call out thematic spelling words. The first student to write the word correctly on the board earns a letter.
- Vocabulary drill -- call out vocabulary words. The first student to use the word correctly in a sentence earns a letter.
- Phonics drill -- call out words and have students race to write the first sound they hear, the last sound, the vowel sound, etc. The first student to write the correct letter earns a letter.
- Math drill -- give basic math facts or story problems. The first student to solve correctly earns a letter.
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