Jul 2, 2014

"Stuffing Turkeys" during a Social Studies and ELA Literacy Block

I must admit, I did not come up with this name.  A sweet student started calling one of our small group activities "STUFFING TURKEYS," and because I'm a bit crazy like that, I asked her why?.  Here's the answer I got...

"You are always making us pull the facts out of one side of the paper and stuff them into the other.  When we don't have enough facts, you tell us to keep stuffing our work space until we have addressed every single fact from the article. So we have to keep re-reading it until we have stuffed enough facts into the box to make you happy with our PLUMP TURKEYS, so we call them TURKEYS!"  WORKS FOR ME!

Here's a sample of a PLUMP TURKEY!

A few things to notice:
BLACK ARROW: The kids must draw lines to separate the sections or paragraphs to show me where exactly they are pulling the facts from.  That way I know if they pulled each and every fact!

RED ARROW:  The kids are allowed to use texts, but it shouldn't be the text from the article.  Someone already wrote that.  It has to be something in their own words that reiterates the facts.  

BLUE ARROW:  The kids may use pictures.  This particular child drew Sputnik in outer space and a very happy member of the Soviet Union celebrating.  I bet she will never forget which country had the first visit to outer space!

We often "stuff turkeys" at the beginning of each unit using our GUIDING TEXT.  Once my students have pulled all the facts out of our overview of the unit, they are ready to dive deeply into exploration of the topics related to that unit!  It's a win-win for all of us.  I get CLOSE-READING from my students, they get a great preview and background knowledge at the beginning of our unit!

Follow on Bloglovin


  1. This is awesome! I love to have my kids draw pictures too as they read- it really does help "cement" that learning! :)
    ideas by jivey

  2. Brandee, I love that your sweet student came up with the idea of "stuffing turkeys". That's just brilliant and something that will stick with you forver. She might have even created a new education term...a new "buzz word"!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  3. How funny!! I was wondering why you were talking turkeys in the middle of all this heat! I thought it was some weird throwback to Thanksgiving. I'll have to use that phrase when we get back to school. Thanks for sharing!

    Don't Let The Teacher Stay Up Late

  4. At first I was like....is this a throwback post? It's a great idea and the name is to cute!
    A Tall Drink of Water


Please leave a comment and let me know you stopped by. :)

Copyright © Creating Lifelong Learners | Blog Template by Lilipop Designs