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Elementary Thanksgiving Turkey Glyph Math Lesson Plan

Published by Gordon Privado

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Published by Ronny Stutes

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Elementary students need to be able to follow a legend to create a math glyph and interpret the data it represents. A glyph is a non-standard graph that uses a picture to display information. Students can use the specific characteristics found in the turkey glyphs to make determinations about the other students in the class.

Elementary Turkey Glyph Math Lesson Objectives

  1. The students will read and follow a legend to create a turkey glyph.
  2. The students will read the glyph to analyze and interpret data about their classmates.
  3. The students will write conclusions about classmates using the turkey glyphs.

Turkey Glyph Math Lesson Plan

Teachers can make turkey glyph graphs with students during November as part of a Thanksgiving thematic unit. The teacher begins the lesson by reviewing the types of graphs the students have already learned. The students talk about the characteristics the graphs have in common and how to read the information displayed on them.

The teacher shows the students a finished turkey glyph that she created. She tells them that the turkey glyph she made tells readers information about her. The teacher shows the kids the turkey glyph legend and walks them through the process she used to create her final product. She explains to the students that they can use the glyph to learn information about the person or group that created it.

The elementary teacher places the turkey glyph legend on an overhead projector for all of the students to see. The teacher reads through the legend with the students and shows them the materials they will use to construct their turkey glyph graphs. The kids use the turkey glyph legend to construct their graphs.

Turkey Glyph Legend

The Body

  • I like Thanksgiving = brown body
  • I don’t like Thanksgiving = gray body

The Eyes

  • We eat Thanksgiving dinner at our house = googly eyes
  • We go somewhere else for Thanksgiving dinner = button eyes

The Feathers (may have more than one answer)

  • I eat turkey = brown feather
  • I eat mashed potatoes = red feather
  • I eat cornbread = orange feather
  • I eat cranberry sauce = yellow feather
  • I eat salad = green feather
  • I eat sweet potatoes = blue feather
  • I eat bread = purple feather
  • I eat pumpkin pie = white feather
  • I eat macaroni and cheese = black feather
  • I eat stuffing = pink feather

The Wattle

  • I watch football = red wattle
  • I don’t watch football = pink wattle

After the students have completed their turkey glyphs they share their graphs with the class. The teacher demonstrates how to use the colors displayed on the turkeys to determine information about the person who constructed it. The teacher tells the students that they can write about someone else’s Thanksgiving dinner based on what his turkey glyph looks like.

The teach passes out a turkey glyph graph to each of the students making sure that no one receives their own graph. The teacher tells the students to use the glyph legend to make an outline of their graph maker’s Thanksgiving experience. The teacher instructs their students to use the turkey glyph to write a paragraph about that person’s typical Thanksgiving.

The teacher collects the paragraphs and checks them for accuracy, re-teaching if necessary. The turkey glyphs and paragraphs are displayed on a bulletin board in the classroom and students and visitors to the class can read to match the paragraphs to the correct turkey glyph graphs.

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