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Make a Thankful Turkey

Updated: Jan 30

Hi, CMBC members! Gobble, gobble — Thanksgiving is almost here! On Thursday, November 23, 2023, Americans gather with their families and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Whether your favorite part of Thanksgiving is the food, fellowship, or getting out of school for a week, this holiday has deep cultural significance and a long history. So, before you ask for seconds of pumpkin pie, learn the history behind your favorite Thanksgiving dishes and the holiday itself!

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 when the European settlers (later called Pilgrims) of Plymouth, Massachusetts, and the Wampanoag Tribe feasted for three days to celebrate a successful harvest. Thanksgiving was unofficially celebrated over the next two hundred years, but it wasn’t until 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving. His proclamation was in response to the brutality of the Civil War and the need for prayer for “all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife.”

Now that you know more about Thanksgiving, dig into these fun facts about your favorite Thanksgiving dishes!

  • Pumpkin and pecan pies weren’t on the menu in 1621 due to diminishing sugar supplies on the Mayflower.

  • Mashed potatoes weren’t on the table either, as potatoes hadn’t yet debuted in North America. Instead, the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people ate vegetables, fruits, seafood, and poultry.

  • Whether or not a turkey was served in 1621 is up for debate, but regardless of its historical accuracy, today it’s a Thanksgiving staple.

  • According to the National Turkey Federation, 90 percent of Americans serve turkey at Thanksgiving.

Before you sit down with your friends and family for a Thanksgiving feast, you can celebrate Thanksgiving ahead of time by making a Thankful Turkey to show others what you're grateful for!

Thankful Turkey

What You Need:

  • Scissors

  • Pencil

  • Tape

  • Glue stick

  • Construction paper in a variety of colors

  • Googly eyes

  • Markers


1. Trace your hand on a piece of brown construction paper. Cut it out.

2. Use a small, round object to trace a circle on the same piece of brown construction paper. Cut it out.

3. Cut out a small rectangle. Fold the two ends and glue them together to make a hollow tunnel. Tape it to the back of your circle. This will make the turkey's face look three-dimensional.

4. Attach the googly eyes to the front of the circle.

5. Cut out a small triangle from an orange sheet of paper; this is the turkey's beak. Glue the beak onto the turkey's face. Next, cut out a small oval from a piece of red paper; this is the turkey's wattle. Glue the wattle next to the beak.

6. Fold a strip of tape and attach the ends together. Adhere the tape to the rectangle on the back of the turkey's face

7. Stack five sheets of colored paper together and cut out a long oval (this way, all pieces are the same size and shape). These are the turkey's feathers.

8. Glue a feather on top of each of the fingers.

9. Write "I'm thankful for" above the turkey's head. Next, write something you're grateful for on each of the feathers. This can be your family, dog, or best friend — whatever you want to show gratitude for!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!



"Who Were the Pilgrims?” Plimoth Patuxet Museums,'Pilgrim'%20became%20. Accessed 28 October 2022.

“Thanksgiving 2022.” HISTORY, 4 October 2022, Accessed 26 October 2022.

“First Thanksgiving Meal.” HISTORY, 18 November 2021, Accessed 26 October 2022.

“Thanksgiving 2022.” HISTORY, 4 October 2022, Accessed 26 October 2022.

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