children's writing, creativity, interactive story ideas, puppets, story box, teacher, Uncategorized, visual scanning activites

Tommy The Tailless Turkey

With a short school week this week and the U. S. holiday of Thanksgiving to celebrate, I’m talking turkey today. Not one that gets eaten, or one that runs away. It’s one that gives a shout out to the slightly newer celebration of Friendsgiving. Have I piqued your interest? I hope so.

The story is loosely based on one from The Everything Book, an accumulation of early childhood educating materials. I’ve had this book so long that I’ve lost its cover and although I tried looking it up online to give credit to the creators I could not find it. Many of the authors of the stories in The Everything Book are unknown. But I do want to acknowledge The Everything Book as the source of my interpretation of the story of Tommy Turkey as well as the templates I used to create the puppet characters.

Now let me introduce the lovable, at least I think he is, main character of my story. Say hello to Tommy.

Lovable isn’t he?

Tommy’s flying is a little wobbly but he definitely can gobble with the best of them. What he can’t do is fan his tail feathers. He doesn’t have them. Because of that the other turkeys shun poor Tommy. Tommy is a lonely little gobbler until . . .

Some friends Tommy meets along the way.
And some more friends.

. . .he meets some friends. First Tommy meets Purple Duck. He’s the prettiest duck Tommy’s ever seen. Tommy tells the duck how he’d like to be purple like him. The friendly duck shares a feather with Tommy.

As Tommy makes his way farther along he meets more and more friends all who share what they have with Tommy.

Green Snake, in particular, is so pleased to be called pretty that he gives up enough scales to form a shimmering feather for Tommy. Similarly, Blue Horse gives a length of his mane. Soon Tommy has the most colorful tail feathers of any turkey you’ve ever seen.

When he returns to his flock the turkeys, who shunned Tommy, now all want to be his friends. This turns Tommy’s head, for a moment.

But after he thinks about all the different friends he met on his journey and how they all liked him just as he was, enough to share all they had with him, he knows what he has to do. And so he flies the flock, so to speak, and heads back to be with his real friends.

When I come into classes its to involve a particular student with a visual impairment in the classroom activities and to encourage him and his peers to use certain visual skills they need to develop. The student in the class who’s going to hear Tommy’s story needs to practice using a left to right scan of his surroundings in a more consistent way in order to move more safely through his surroundings. In order to foster that he, along with his peers, will take turns as the story is being told, hiding and then seeking the colorful feathers shared by the new friends Tommy meets. It should be loads of fun.

Are there interactive stories you like to share with students or children you know? Please share them I’m always looking to find new stories to share with my students. In fact after the break I’m planning on having a snowflake search in the classroom, so if you have any snowflake stories that might go along with it please share them!

Happy Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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