I was inspired by Mindy Byrnes' Thankful Jar but instead of a jar, I turned it into a turkey instead of using a jar. This turkey (as with pretty much any hand drawing you see in this blog - everything else was printed off a Google Images search or from a chorister's blog) was my own creation, not copied from anywhere. I'm glad I finally have a good excuse to draw because it's so much fun. I sketched the turkey out onto the poster board, then colored it in with markers. I only had six colors to choose from, but fortunately, they were appropriate colors for a turkey. Since this is a poster board, keep in mind that this is a big turkey. It made it fun for the children to pick giant feathers to add to the turkey. I could only fit two feathers per sheet of paper when I was cutting them out.
I cut the poster board along the top of his wings, up his back, and around his head. I put velcro stickers on the backs of the feathers and on the poster board so that children could tuck the feathers in behind the turkey, then velcro them to the board.
I told the children that Tom the Reverent Turkey was getting ready for Thanksgiving, but he was missing something (feathers!). I used the Helping Hands jar to select names. Children came up and picked a feather. Each feather had a theme on it, for which they were supposed to share something for which they were grateful. Some feathers also had a corresponding song, which we then sang. One example, is that they sang, "Families Can Be Together Forever," after they answered a question about sharing someone in their family they were grateful for, and why.
I tried to remind the children about what the song had to do with gratitude either before or after we sang each song. I also made sure to add some reverence-related gratitude songs to fit the theme for the month.