Make a Turkey

By Anastasia Suen
Illustrations by Kurt Nagahori

Focus: Concepts of Print

  • one-to-one matching
  • using the picture clues
  • knowing where to read first and where to go next

Supportive Text Features:

  • familiar words and concept
  • picture-text match

High-frequency Words: you, will, a

Getting Ready to Read

  1. Introduce the concept and vocabulary by asking open-ended questions:
    • Tell me how to make a handprint.
    • Tell me what you might be able to make out of your handprint.
    • How do people make handprints?
  2. Connect children’s past experiences with the story and vocabulary:
    • Hold the book, calling children’s attention to the title. Read: “Make a Turkey.”
    • Ask them to predict what they would expect to see happening in the story.
    • Show the back cover and read the copy. Ask children what kind of project they might do with the materials shown.
    • Have children predict some words they might read in the story.
    • Give children the book and have them look at the pictures.
    • Ask them what the pictures tell about the story.
  3. Remind children of the strategies they know and can use with unfamiliar words:
    • Ask them, “What will you do if you come to a word you don’t know?”
    • Encourage children to look at the pictures and the beginning sound of the word.
  4. Be aware of the following text features:
    • The book contains familiar words: need, pan, paint, paper, markers, dip, press, wash, draw, turkey.
    • The text on each page is a one-word imperative sentence used for giving directions.
    • There is no sentence pattern but the pictures provide support for understanding the text.
    • There is a colon on the first page after the heading “You will need:” followed by pictures with labels.

Reading the Book

  1. Set a purpose by telling children to find out how to make a turkey.

  2. Have children read quietly, but out loud. Each child should be reading at his or her own pace. Children should not read in chorus. Listen to children as they read by leaning close or bending down beside each child.

  3. Look for these reading behaviors during the first reading:
    • Do the words they say match the printed words in the book? (voice to print match)
    • Do they look at the pictures before they read the text or after they read?
    • What do they do if they encounter an unfamiliar word? (appeal to you, try a strategy)
    • Do their eyes go up to the picture before reading the new word in the pattern?
    • Are they saying the initial sounds of words before saying the whole word.
    • Are they saying the individual letter sounds /p/ - /a/ - /n/ or blending the sounds?
    • Do they reread if they come to an unfamiliar or unknown word?
    • Have they self-corrected any mistakes?
    • Is there any inflection or speech-like sound to their reading?
    • Have they responded with a laugh or other sound as they read the text?
    • Do they make comments as they read?
  4. As children read, suggest a reading strategy if they are struggling: “Try looking at the picture to make sense of the print.” Encourage children to take a guess after looking at the pictures.

  5. Possible teaching points to address based on your observations:
    • Review using the picture together with the beginning sound when figuring out a new or unfamiliar word.
    • Show children how to read from left to right on the first two pages.
    • Encourage children to use what they know about the subject to figure out any unknown words.
    • Call attention to the apostrophe in the word “It’s” on the last page and explain its purpose
    • Point out the exclamation point on the last page.

After the First Reading

  1. Retell the story by listing the directions for making a handprint turkey.

  2. Review the sequence of steps and add words to each direction. For example on page 4, “Dip.” might become “Dip your hand into the paint.

  3. Discuss what other things the boy could have made from his handprint.

  4. Generate what a teacher might say to the boy as he makes his turkey.

Second Reading

  1. Have children reread the book in a whisper voice or to a partner.

  2. This is a time for assessment. While they are reading, watch what children do and what they use from the teaching time. Alternatively, you might take a running record on one child as an assessment of the child’s reading behavior.

Cross-Curricular Activities

Language: Read the big book Hands, Hands, Hands by Marcia Vaughan. Have children join in as they pick up the rhyme. Talk about all the helpful things our hands can do.

Art: Use finger paint to make handprints. Let the paint dry. Have children add things to the hand to make turkeys or other animals or objects.

Science: Have children make fingerprints. Rub a pencil point lengthwise on a piece of paper, making a spot about the size of a quarter. Have children press their index fingers against the pencil mark so that some of the pencil rubs off onto their fingers. “Catch” the fingerprint by pressing a piece of tape against children’s fingers. Then press the tape onto a piece of white paper. Have children sign their names under their fingerprints. Use a hand lens to look at the details and compare fingerprints.

Math: Show children how to use a handspan to measure. Have children estimate how many handspans it would be to measure across a desk, table, door, and so on. Then have them measure the same objects with a ruler or tape measure and compare these measurements with their estimates.    

Social Studies: Go for a walk around the school and observe how different people use their hands. Make a list of what was seen. For example, the school secretary might use her hands to put mail into mailboxes. Discuss what is means to be “handy.”

Writing: Talk about what it means to “lend someone a hand.” Then have children write about a time they lent someone a hand. How did they help out?

Hacer un pavo

Guided Reading™: C        DRA: 3        Reading Recovery®: 4

The Spanish edition also uses familiar words: pintura, papel, mano, en, la, pavo. Because many children speak dialects or may mix Spanish and English they may use other words or variations of the words used in the story. Help children understand that “book language” does not always match the words we use every day.
The book introduction and guided reading lesson follow the outline for the English edition. Children need exactly the same support and strategy instruction as their English-speaking classmates.
If children have difficulty with the concepts or words in the story, see the article “Guided Reading with Emergent Readers” for suggestions.


About This Title

Guided Reading:


Interest Level:

Grades PreK - 1

Reading Level:

Grades K - 1


Colors, Classroom Activities, Holidays/Traditions, Childhood Experiences and Memories, Art, Asian/Asian American Interest, How To


Early Emergent Dual Language, Early Emergent English , Bebop How-to Grades PreK-2, Bebop English Guided Reading Level C, Bebop Asian American English Grades PreK-2, Dual Language Levels A-C Collection, Asian American Collection English 6PK, Reading Recovery Bebop Books collection, Bebop English Nonfiction

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