Skills Building: No Turkey for Thanksgiving (PK-2)

Written by Jacqueline Jules and illustrated by Kathryn Mitter

Pre Reading Questions

  1. Do you and your family celebrate Thanksgiving? 
  2. Who might not celebrate Thanksgiving? 
  3. When you think of Thanksgiving, what do you think of? 
  4. What is Thanksgiving all about? (e.g., being thankful for what we have, spending time with family)

Post Reading Questions

  1. If you celebrate Thanksgiving, what foods do you eat? 
  2. How did Tuyet feel when she knew she wasn’t going to have turkey on Thanksgiving? 
  3. Did she still have a good Thanksgiving even though she did not eat turkey? How do you know? 
  4. What did Tuyet learn from her classmates when she got back to school? 
  5. How do you think Tuyet felt after she learned about what her classmates ate?

Creative Enrichment Activity: Not Everyone Eats Turkey for Thanksgiving (Pre-K-2)

Overview: In No Turkey for Thanksgiving, Tuyet feels out of place because she thinks she is the only one who did not eat turkey for Thanksgiving. Instead of celebrating the delicious duck recipe that was part of her family’s tradition, she felt that she needed to have turkey for a Thanksgiving meal. However, she learned that many of her classmates had other foods at Thanksgiving too! In this activity, we will create and share the traditions and foods that we eat at Thanksgiving or another celebratory meal.


Paper plates
Construction paper
Glue sticks
Tissue paper
Color pencils/crayons

Duration: 30 minutes (for staff: 5-minute pre-activity set up)

5 minutes: Introduce the activity, spend a few minutes discussing personal Thanksgiving traditions
15 minutes: Students create Thanksgiving plates with the foods they eat
5 minutes: Clean up activity
5 minutes: Reflect and share


  1. Introduce the activity. Spend a few minutes discussing students’ personal Thanksgiving traditions and brainstorm what foods they usually eat at Thanksgiving. If they do not celebrate Thanksgiving, brainstorm foods that they eat at another family holiday meal. Use the illustrations in the book as a reference and for brainstorming. 
  2. Students will create the foods that they eat out of construction paper and tissue paper and glue them to their plate to represent what types of food they eat at Thanksgiving.
  3. Clean up.
  4. Reflect and share.

Reflection Questions

  • Share your Thanksgiving plate with the person sitting next to you. Are there any similarities or differences? 
  • What is your favorite food to eat on Thanksgiving? 
  • How can we celebrate and share our differences? 
  • What would it be like if we all ate exactly the same meal on Thanksgiving?