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Turkey Day

Social Studies Lesson
for Turkey Day

The students will participate in the voting process.


  • Books and web sites containing information on Benjamin Franklin and the Bald Eagle as the National Bird.  Make sure one of the sources contains the information on Benjamin Franklin and his desire for the turkey to be the National Bird.  Web Site suggestions: Encarta EncyclopediaThe World of Benjamin Franklin, Ben Franklin - The Eagle and the Turkey. The Bald Eagle, or An American Emblem.   Book suggestions:  Meet Benjamin Franklin (Step Up Biographies) by Maggie Scarf or A Picture Book of Benjamin Franklin by David A. Adler.

  • Pieces of paper to serve as ballots.

  • A piece of chart paper or the blackboard.



  1. Ask the students to name the national bird.  Show examples of the bald eagle and where it appears, as on coins.

  2. Share the information from one of the web sites on the eagle and how Benjamin Franklin was opposed to the eagle as the national bird.  He felt the turkey should be the national bird.

  3. If desired, read a book or share web site information on Benjamin Franklin and who he was.

  4. Discuss the voting process and how Americans and government officials vote on issues.  

  5. Have the students cast votes on whether they would like the eagle to remain the national bird, or whether they agree with Benjamin Franklin and want the turkey to be the national bird.

  6. Tally the votes!


Other Lesson Ideas

  1. Conduct a lesson on the first Thanksgiving.

  2. Discuss the history of writing implements and how turkey quills were used in conjunction with ink.  The following link has useful information: Encarta/msn - Writing Implements

  3. Visit the following site for a lesson on how to say "gobble-gobble" in a variety of languages.  Locate the various countries on a map or globe.  Sounds of the World's Animals



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