Tom the Turkey Family Home Evening

I had previously posted this FHE idea on my other blog, but we did it again tonight and it was a huge hit! I thought I would repost it here in hopes it can give some of you some fun thanksgiving themed ideas. This is a great lesson because there are so many fun things you can do with turkeys, but the content is the best part.

To prepare for this lesson I printed off the story, "The Turkey with the Terrible Temper", and printed off several turkeys. You need a brown, red, blue, green, purple and yellow turkey and then one white one that you can color brown with a feather in each of the above listed colors. As I read the stories to my children I show them the different colored turkeys to go along with the story. I can't remember where I initially found this story, so I typed it up here for you. I did make a few changes to the original, just a little different wording for my younger children.

The Turkey With the Terrible Temper

Once there was a little BROWN TURKEY who had a TERRIBLE TEMPER. He often flew into rages and ranted around until he was a nuisance in the farm yard. One day he lost his temper about some little thing and got so angry he flew into a rage and went RED as a beet. The other turkeys laughed at him and said: You're RED, RED RED as a BEET: RED from your head to the tip of your feet. Tom Turkey didn't like anyone or anything so he ran away and hid. He sat and sulked for a long time. When he calmed down and came out of his hiding place he was really RED all over. His head was RED and his neck was RED- he was RED from head to his feet.

He hurried to the edge of the farm to visit Dr. Owl how was wise and knew all the answers to everything. "You will have to learn to control that temper of yours!" hooted Dr. Owl. " If you don't remember in time you will end up being a very sorry turkey." The next morning Tom Turkey was brown again except that he had a red feather in his tail. He was very glad to be brown again, but he still thought it was everybody else's fault that he gotten so angry the day before. Tom's mother called him to help with the Monday wash.

But Tom got the BLUES as soon as he started working. He moaned and groaned until his mother said he was acting like a baby. You can guess what happened next- he lost his temper again. This time he went BLUE ALL OVER! As he was running away to hide all the other turkeys yelled: You're BLUE, BLUE from your head to your toe, BLUE all over wherever you go. This time Tom Turkey sat and sulked and blamed his mother for losing his temper.

By morning he was BROWN again but now he had a blue feather next to the red one in his tail. You can guess what happened the rest of the week. On Tuesday Tom didn't want to clean up the yard. He said he hated cleaning up with a PURPLE passion. Just as soon he had said he was in a rage he turned PURPLE all over. The Turkeys shouted: You're PURPLE, PURPLE, that's all we can see, you'd better go hide under your favorite tree. Of course Tom Turkey sat and sulked and blamed everything onto to everyone else. On Wednesday morning he was BROWN again but he had a PURPLE tail feather added to his the RED and BLUE one. He was beginning to feel ashamed that he couldn't control himself when he wanted to. He went out for a walk when he saw a big ear of corn that his turkey friend was eating. Tom was GREEN with envy.

He thought the farmer had no right to give someone else the cob of corn. And before he knew it he had turned GREEN all over, and was in another terrible temper tantrum. The turkeys all turned on him and yelled: You're GREEN, GREEN GREEN as the grass. Why don't you get wise and stop all the sass? And of course again, Tom Turkey went to his hiding place to sulk and feel sorry for himself. On Thursday morning he was BROWN again but now he had a GREEN feather amongst the other brightly colored tail feathers. But something was happening to Tom Turkey. He was really beginning to want to change. He wanted to keep his temper. He didn't feel like being ashamed of himself. He was determined to try hard and do just that. Of course all the turkeys liked to tease Tom and while they were playing a game of Gobble and Waddle someone called Tom a coward. Before Tom started to think he had flown into another tantrum.

This time his face turned YELLOW and his neck was YELLOW and the turkeys were saying he had a YELLOW streak down his back. They yelled: You're YELLOW, turkey. Just like we said, Why don't you go home and hide under the bed? Tom Turkey had turned YELLOW all over because he had forgotten to control his temper. But this time he sat under a tree and thought a long time about everything. He had only himself to blame for his mistakes. He was beginning to realize that he was the only one who could make things better. When he awoke in the morning he was brown again with a new yellow feather in his tail. He didn't say a word to anyone, he just went about his business and said to himself: " I can do it, if I try hard enough !" Mother Turkey asked Tom to keep an eye on the little turkeys when she went to the store on Friday. While she was gone all the baby turkeys ran through the house with muddy feet. When Tom saw what they had done, Tom almost lost his temper.

But this time he just held his breath as long as he could. He turned as pale as a ghost , but he didn't lose his temper. The turkeys yelled: You're WHITE, WHITE but your temper didn't show. Maybe you're changing, we really hope so. All Saturday and Sunday he kept calm and was tickled PINK to think he had gone two days without a terrible temper tantrum. He was still a little BROWN turkey, and a very happy one too. He reported back to Dr. Owl on Monday and Tom Turkey thanked him for his help. Dr. Owl told Tom he had earned the right to wear the brightly colored tail and that he should show it off proudly from now on. So when you go to the farm and see the turkey with his fan shaped tail all unfolded, remember this story about the turkey with the terrible temper.

I know, it seems a little long, but it held my 5 and 3 year old's attention....and thats saying something!! :) I just have to quickly say, I LOVE lessons and opportunities to teach our children that they have a CHOICE. They choose how they act, they choose to find happiness or not. I think it is very empowering for children, where they may often feel like they don't have many choices at all.

After our lesson we ended the night with our traditional turkey cupcakes. We make these every year for this fhe, and the kids always love it. All you need are:
Yellow cupcakes
Chocolate Frosting
100 calorie snack packs of Sandie's Shortbread Cookies
Candy Corns
Red and Black icing

And this is the finished product....(please ignore the dorky pic!)

There you have it!! I was inspired once again this Sunday to rededicate our family to having weekly Family Home Evenings. In our families and our homes is where some of the MOST important learning in this life will take place. The church has wonderful programs, but they are only meant to supplement that which is already being done in the home. I am excited for the challenge to teach my children the things my Heavenly Father would have them know, and create some wonderful memories in the process!!



family night... that is one of your strong points! your kids will never forget what you teach them! I want to be you when i grow up :)


hey tonii, how are you feeling? I am glad I found your blog!! Jamie