Our Thanksgiving Turkey-An A to Z Poem

Our Thanksgiving Turkey poem is a big hit because it involves food.

I haven’t found a kid yet who doesn’t have something to say about food.  Nor have I had a writing camper give me any resistance yet to prompts about food.  Kids love food!  This ABC poem titled, “Our Thanksgiving Turkey” creates chuckles and giggles each time.  It’s a fun one!

Common Core State Standards

NOTE:  This lesson can address the following Common Core State Standard:  CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.1.1.E, L.2.1.D and L.5.1.C

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Animal Crackers by Jane Dyer

I got the idea from the book, Animal Crackers* written by Jane Dyer.

Animal Crackers book of poems, our thanksgiving turkey, a to z poem


There’s a poem titled A Was An Apple Pie on page 13.

A Was An Apple Pie Poem

It’s short, sweet and humorous.  I wanted my students to write a similar version of this poem about a food of their choice.  Since Thanksgiving is a holiday with endless feasting, I thought it would be a fun time to write it.  It’s important to note that this poem is in no way limited to Thanksgiving time.  It can be used for any food on any occasion.


The entire poem consists of verbs so this lesson lends a great opportunity to teach, practice or review irregular past verbs or past verbs that end in ED.

Now For Our Thanksgiving Turkey

  1. Show your students the ABC template
  2. Tell them that they’re going to write an ABC poem about a specific Thanksgiving food.
  3. Give them time to rattle off their favorites!
  4. Now, explain to them that in this ABC poem, each letter of the alphabet is a little person. Each letter is going to do something to the Thanksgiving food.  The action has to begin with that letter.  For example, an easy way to start the poem is to write A ate itB bit it. Etc.
  5. Stop and make sure the children understand step #4.
  6. Tell the children that the letters can do ANY VERB to the food. When my 1st Grade son wrote his poem, he wrote M mailed it.  He loved his idea to MAIL the sweet potato pie and he got a good laugh out of it!

our thanksgiving turkey, a to z poem


  1. Leave the top line blank. Explain to the children that they’re going to title their poem “OUR ___________”.  The name of their food will go in the blank.  Some examples are, OUR THANKSGIVING TURKEY, OUR MASHED POTATOES, OUR SWEET POTATO PIE.  (The child can write the title with ABC stickers* or markers when they’re finished writing.)
  2. Remind the children that each letter is a little person. Each letter is the subject or noun in the short sentence.  Make sure they leave a space between the letter and the actual verb like this:

A    ate   it.

B    bit    it.

Younger or Struggling Writers

  1. For younger writers, talk about the verb ideas with them and write an example for them on the board. Here’s a sample you can use.
  2. The students can copy the sample or write independently.  If they write independently, expect them to write phonetically.  That means that they will write the letters of the sounds that they hear.  For example, they might write  J    jugld   it.   for “J   juggled it.”

Older or Advanced Writers

5.  For older writers, let them fill out the ABC poem independently.


Once they’re done writing they can complete their title with ABC stickers* or with a marker.

The students can also draw their food somewhere on their poem or paste an image of it.

Give Students Time to Share

Be sure and give your students time to share their poems. They will enjoy making their classmates laugh!

An A to Z poem about mashed potatoes, our thanksgiving turkey

Print the Lesson

Here’s the full lesson for you to print out and use.


How many words?! (using the word THANKSGIVING)

A list of words

Past Verbs that End in ED-Levels 1-4

Spin. Describe. Guess.  (a food)

A student describing a food


AND, at all of my Thanksgiving workshops, I bring my super easy to use popcorn popper.  It’s another great add on to the lesson that the kids REALLY ENJOY!

Students watching popcorn pop