Celebrate Thanksgiving Day with “The Turkey Dance!”

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Celebrate Thanksgiving with this lively song for children! This song is called “The Turkey Dance.” So use your imaginations and dance like . . . . turkeys!! Get a little silly and have a lot of fun!

Here are the lyrics, which go to the tune of “Turkey in the Straw.” 

The Turkey Dance

Words by Kathleen Kampa and Charles Vilina, music adapted from Turkey in the Straw

copyright © 2013 by Kathleen Kampa

Spoken: It’s Thanksgiving Day.  Let’s move like turkeys.

First, Move your elbows! (Imagine that these are wings!)

Move your elbows, do the Turkey dance

Move your elbows, do the Turkey dance

Stamp your feet and shout “Hooray!”

It’s Thanksgiving Day.

(You can add “Thank You” in any language you know.)

2. Now move your hips. (Imagine that this is your tail.)

Move your hips, do the Turkey dance

Move your hips, do the Turkey dance

Stamp your feet and shout “Hooray!”

 It’s Thanksgiving Day.

(You can add a “Thank You” in any language you know.)

3. Now move your knees. . . .

4. Now move your head . . . .

5. Now move your whole body!

Teacher’s Notes:

In this dance, students are pretending to be turkeys.

Before you put on the music, show students a picture of a turkey like the one in this blog.

I usually start with a little TPR by teaching this part of the song first– “Stamp your feet, then shout ‘Hooray!'” Stamp your feet, then jump in the air on “Hooray.” On “It’s Thanksgiving Day!” put your hands together.

My students added their own ideas between the verses. Some children enjoyed saying “Gobble! Gobble!” while others liked to say “Thank You” in a language they know.

Now teach the body part movements. Say “Move your elbows.”  These are the turkey’s wings.

Repeat with each body part listed below: hips/tail, knees, head, and whole body.

1.  Make turkey wings by moving your elbows.

2.  Make a tail by putting your hands behind your back, and moving your hips.

3.  Move your knees like you’re strutting.

4.  Move your head forward and back.

5.  Choose your favorite movements, or make some new ones.  Dance!

Here’s a video to show you the movements. 

For this wonderful “hoedown” song that children LOVE to dance to, download The Turkey Dance on iTunes! The arrangement is fun and lively.

And if you want to add an art project, check out Marnie’s blog, Carrots are Orange for some autumn Montessori activities focusing on turkeys. I especially like the Zentangle turkeys from Laura Hutchinson.

Have a wonderful day!

Kathy

Here’s a very short clip of my Magic Time students doing “The Turkey Dance.”

 

ms kampa 12-8

Kathy Kampa is a teacher, author, and teacher-trainer who specializes in working with young learners. As a former PYP (Primary Years Program) teacher in Tokyo, Japan, she uses a globally-minded and inquiry-based approach to teaching through which students develop 21st-century skills. She also supports the development of English language skills by creating songs, chants, and TPR/movement activities targeted to young learners’ needs.

Kathy and her husband Charles Vilina are also co-authors of Magic TimeEverybody Up, the ELTon award-winning course Oxford Discover, and Beehive, all published by Oxford University Press.

 

Celebrate Thanksgiving with this silly song --The Turkey Dance! Gobble! Gobble!

Falling Leaves of Autumn

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Autumn is one of my favorite times of the year. Here in Minnesota, we can see red maple leaves, yellow aspen, and brown oaks. When we lived in Tokyo, we witnessed such beautiful autumn leaves. Here’s a photo I took in Japan as the leaves started to change colors. People celebrate the season outside by enjoying picnics, taking hikes, and taking lots of pictures!

Photo by Kathleen Kampa, 2020, Showa Kinen Park

My Kindergarten students delighted in gathering the fallen leaves. Every morning they brought a collection of leaves to school. We sang many songs about autumn leaves, but this one is my favorite. I especially love the incredible instrumentation that Andre DiMuzio created to accompany this.

It’s fun to teach this song with a xylophone or glockenspiel. You can play it by starting at the shortest bar (C) (do), and going step by step to the longest bar. If you turn the instrument on its side with the shortest bar on top, it’s easy to see and hear the melody descending.

Falling Leaves Adapted by Kathy Kampa

Down, down, down, down, the leaves are falling to the ground. 

    do       ti        la       sol             fa              mi        re        do

Whoosh!

Red, yellow, orange, and brown, the leaves are falling to the ground. 

  do       ti        la         sol             fa              mi        re        do

Whoosh!

My students will sing this song over and over again. On the recording, the last time just slows down to signal the end of the song.

When I arranged this song, the children first sing the words to build their understanding of autumn. I also created a section where children can create their own movements. It’s important to give children opportunities to express themselves freely. They can spin fast or slow. They can pretend to blow in the wind.

Children love dancing with lightweight scarves. The color doesn’t seem to matter. They just love the way the scarves float so lightly. As students sing, they float their scarves back and forth (crossing their midline) moving their bodies lower and lower, just like the music. When they sing “Whoosh!” they scoop up the scarves and start again.

My students laugh when the scarf lands on their arm, their head, their shoulder . . . .

Here’s a video of my young learners.

I use small, lightweight hemmed scarves like these. Search for “hemmed scarves” or “juggling scarves.” Check the reviews. I like mine! Young children can practice naming the color, too.

Screen Shot 2020-03-19 at 16.55.57

Check out my Pinterest board for more autumn activities. This song is available on my album “Jump Jump Everyone.” For more kid-tested music and movement activities, check out my music on iTunes.

Jump Jump Everyone
Kathy has produced two music CDs for very young learners, Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays and Jump Jump Everyone, which build English language skills through movement while nurturing creativity and imagination! Grown and loved by real kids!

Kathy Kampa is a teacher, author, and teacher-trainer who specializes in working with young learners. As a PYP (Primary Years Program) teacher in Tokyo, Japan, she uses a globally-minded and inquiry-based approach to teaching through which students develop 21st century skills. She also supports the development of English language skills by creating songs, chants, and TPR/movement activities targeted to young learners’ needs.

Kathy and her husband Charles Vilina are also co-authors of Magic TimeEverybody Up, the ELTon award-winning course Oxford Discover, and Beehive, all published by Oxford University Press.

#AUTUMN #FALLINGLEAVES #KIDSMUSIC #AUTUMNDAYS #AUTUMNCOLORS #NURSERYRHYMES #ENGLISHSONGS #KINDERGARTEN