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It’s Time for “The Turkey Dance”

Male of a turkey


If you teach young learners, check out this simple song and dance.  It’s called The Turkey Dance, and as you can imagine, it gives children a chance to dance like . . . . turkeys!!


This is a wonderful way to celebrate Thanksgiving Day in your home or school.  The Turkey Dance is a catchy tune and easy to do.


Here are the lyrics, which go to the tune of “Turkey in the Straw.”


The Turkey Dance

Words by Kathleen Kampa and Charles Vilina, music adapted from Turkey in the Straw


copyright © 2013 by Kathleen Kampa


Spoken: It’s Thanksgiving Day.  Let’s move like turkeys.


First, move your elbows!


Move your elbows, do the Turkey Dance.


Move your elbows, do the Turkey Dance.


Stamp your feet and shout “Hooray!”


It’s Thanksgiving Day.


2. Now move your hips . . .


Move your hips, do the Turkey Dance.


Move your hips, do the Turkey Dance.


Stamp your feet and shout “Hooray!”


It’s Thanksgiving Day.


3. Now move your knees . . . 


4. Now move your head . . . 


5. Now move your whole body!


Teacher’s Notes:


In this dance, students are pretending to be turkeys.


Before you put on the music, show students a picture of a turkey like the one in this blog.


Say “Move your elbows.”  These are the turkey’s wings.


Repeat with each body part listed below: hips, knees, head, and whole body.


Then practice, “Clap your hands and shout ‘Hooray!'”


Finally practice, “It’s Thanksgiving Day!” by putting your hands together.


My students also enjoy saying “Gobble! Gobble!” between verses.


1.  Make turkey wings by moving your elbows.


2.  Make a tail by putting your hands behind your back and moving your hips.


3.  Move your knees like you’re strutting.


4.  Move your head forward and back.


5.  Choose your favorite movements or make some new ones.  Dance!


Here is a short clip of young learners from my English class enjoying The Turkey Dance.  It’s easy to do.


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! No matter where we live, we all give thanks this season for the blessings we have.





The Turkey Dance is one of 15 great songs for kids on Kathy Kampa’s Special Days and Holidays. The CD includes a handy attached booklet with lyrics, and is available for teachers in Japan at ETJ Book Service.  For teachers residing outside of Japan, the songs are available for download through iTunes.


Kathy’s second children’s CD, Jump Jump Everyone, is also available at ETJ Book Service.

Kathy Kampa
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