Beginning symbols

Save the Turkey Set 1

Save the Turkey is a fast and easy turn-over-the-card game. It only takes a few minutes of lesson time. It is a great game for teacher and student, but it can also be modified for groups. We have a few more weeks before Thanksgiving and I hope someone can use it.

The purpose of this game is to review music symbols and guide notes, so it is perfect for beginning students. Later I will add cards for more advanced students.

How to play

I tell students that whoever draws the turkey will save it from being turned into Thanksgiving dinner!

Shuffle the cards and put them in a stack on the table. Be sure the Turkey card is not near the top. The Skip a Turn cards should be evenly distributed. Player one draws a card and identifies the symbol.  As long as they answer the card correctly, they continue to draw until they draw a Skip a Turn card. Then the teacher (player 2) does the same thing. Whoever draws the Turkey card has “saved the turkey” and is the winner. The game is short, so the cards can be shuffled and played again.

For a variation,  I tell the student that if I make a mistake or “forget” the correct answer and they correct me, they take my turn. That keeps the student on his toes and it helps to keep the teacher from answering all the questions. I love to hold up the bass clef card, pretend to think really hard, and call it a treble clef. They giggle and bounce up and down and generally have fun. Feel free to make up your own rules and post them in a comment here.

I like the fact that even a beginner can win. All they have to do is draw the turkey card! However, along the way, they will be learning or reviewing important musical concepts. Let your younger children win most of the time.  They love it and it really helps make lessons more fun.

How to print

Download the PDF. In the PDF printer setting, set Print Range to  page 1. You do not want to print 2 pages right away because page 2 is the back of the cards. Set Page Scaling to None.

Print the first page on sturdy card stock. I used yellow card stock and below you can see how it looks.  Re-insert the page back into the printer (so you can print the reverse side) and set Print Range to page 2. If the front and back do not line up correctly, you either do not have page scaling set to “none” or you are not using 8.5″ x 11″ paper.

Alternately, if you don’t want to print on the back, put some cute Thanksgiving stickers on the backs of the cards.

After printing, cut the cards out along the dotted lines.

Please make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Reader. If your printed copy has odd black lines or boxes, or if some parts are missing, it is probably because you are using an old version of Adobe Reader.

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9 thoughts to “Save the Turkey

  • Pingback: Friday Finds #154 | Piano Pantry

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the great ideas. It’s always nice to do something new!

  • Heidi N

    My students are loving this game! A couple even asked if they could take it home to play throughout the week. Thank you for the great resources!

    • susanparadis

      Wow, that’s great! Who thought my little turkey game would be such a hit!

  • Roxane Lee

    Dear Susan,
    This looks like the perfect game for my November group class! Thank you so much!

  • Katie Merritt

    Thanks so much! This is really good! One of my new students’ absolutely loves the games we play together thanks to you! She loves the competition and winning. Will definitely use this game the coming week and weeks to follow up to Thanksgiving. You are the best!

  • Jennifer-Anne Podolec Creekmore

    This is so cute. Thanks for posting. Going to use tomorrow with some of my students.

  • carol dawn

    Thanks much, Susan, this looks like a great game for the beginners! Will let you know how they like it.

    • susanparadis

      Thanks, Carol!


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