How do I Disguise a Turkey?
Thanksgiving art projects for kids tend to be a lot of the same ol’, same ol’. Tissue paper rolls dressed up with construction paper turkey feathers. Native American headbands with glitter feathers. Corn printmaking projects using bubblewrap to make a corn texture. Simple pilgrim hats affixed to a headband.
You know, the same Thanksgiving art projects you did as a child. And if you’ve been teaching for more than a few years, you know what I mean. You’ve no doubt seen all of the above.
This Thanksgiving art project is a fresh take on a standard idea, a turkey in disguise, but with a twist. It’s painted with markers!
Design a Turkey in Disguise
Here’s how it works: the students are given a game board with various patterns on it. Some are line patterns, others are shape patterns. They roll the die to collect the parts required to make the Thanksgiving turkey. They are also given a tracer for the turkey. Students draw the patterns inside the fan tail of the turkey. The order in which they draw them is completely up to the students. I’ve drawn mine so they are symmetrical. Then they select Fall colors to outline all the parts of their design. Lastly, they use small brushes to “paint” it in.
What I love about these marker painting projects is that it gives students the opportunity to use different tools other than just crayons, colored pencils, and markers. In the art room, and accordingly to the national standards for art education, using various tools for art is important.
Learning to find, make, and implement tools for art making is important in understanding how an artist works. As a classroom teacher, this is a wonderful way to support that your art teacher is doing in his or her classroom.
Also, what kid doesn’t love to paint! When I tell my students that they can paint at home using only markers, water, paintbrushes, and drawing paper, they get excited. There are parents who simply won’t let their kids paint because “it makes a mess.”
And let’s be honest, there are many teachers who feel the same. This is the best of both worlds. It’s fuss-free fun that isn’t messy. The kids get to paint and you get to focus on grading and passing out papers.
But yes, just like with my other art games, if you don’t have the time to allow the kids to paint, you can always use the tracer as a printable and just let them draw their ideas on that sheet.
Watch it in Action!
Turkey in Disguise Projects
These were done by my 4th graders. They had such a blast learning how to paint with markers that they were eager for another art project like it.
Thanksgiving Art Projects
- No prep, fuss-free!
- More than a coloring worksheet
- Interactive and engaging
- Hands-on learning
- Low cost, minimal materials
- Easy to implement
Yes, you can “paint” on a budget in your classroom and not want to pull out all your hair by the end of the class period. And these turkeys looks great on your bulletin board, too!
If you’re liking this idea, you can grab a copy of this turkey in disguise here. It comes with the game board, tracer, and step-by-step picture directions so your students can see how it’s put together. Just photocopy the game to the back of the directions and let them work independently. The sound of independent workers is wonderful, amiright?