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5 Little Turkeys Subtraction Lesson

Even though we are experiencing another heat wave here, Thanksgiving is really only 2 months away for us!! Which means all things Turkey and fall vibes. One thing, at Pails of Love, that we are literally obsessed with are Thanksgiving learning activities and fun turkey songs. So, let’s talk about the 5 Little Turkeys Subtraction Lesson that is absolutely amazing!!

When I first started as a teacher a number of years ago I came across an amazing teacher blog called Teacher Tipster. Teacher Tipster shared tons of resources. Many were highlighting how to use your classroom as a platform that focuses on fun and play while learning.

So why not incorporate fun and play into learning subtraction as well!!

To introduce the theory and teaching around subtraction you can use this song 5 Little Turkeys by Dustin Smith (Teacher Tipster)


The lyrics are as follows:

Five little turkeys sitting in a row

One got caught and now there’s four

Four little turkeys that’s what’s left

Five minus one is four

Four little turkeys under a tree

One got caught and now there’s three

Three little turkeys that’s what’s left

Four minus one is three

Three Little turkeys in a canoe

One got caught and now there’s two

Two little turkeys that’s what’s left

Three minus one is two

Two little turkeys sitting in the sun

One got caught and now there’s one

One little turkey that’s what’s left

Two minus one is one

One little turkey sitting all alone

She got caught, now there’s zero

Zero little turkeys that’s whats left

zero minus zero is none!!
(lyrics can be found in our printable, which is in our library for free!!).

But get this, while singing this song you can allow your students to have their own pilgrim and 5 turkeys. The printable we have recreated allows students to cut out and color their own turkeys and pilgrims. And then they can play along as they learn the theory and lessons behind subtraction!!

It truly is such a fun idea!!

We wanted to take Teacher Tipster’s lesson a bit further and provide teachers with printables that they can first show as an “I do” activity.


But remember that after “I do” comes “we do” and then “you do”.
Aren’t those printables absolutely adorable!?


Now that you’ve had your hand at sharing this song and having puppets print off the students’ sheet below and allow them to learn how easy subtraction can really be!!

We absolutely love this activity and know that your kiddos will too!!

You can sign up for this freebie that can be found in our printable library!! If you want to check out our other Thanksgiving lessons you can also check out Turkeys in Disguise or a super sweet story called A Good Thanksgiving.



Miss. Merry Berry

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About Me

About Me

Miss. Merry Berry

Hey There!! My name is Miss. Merry Berry I'm an Elementary Teacher focused on teaching english through play based learning (Preschool to Grade 3) I love creating fun play based content to teach your child english through a variety of games, songs, and stories. My goal is to make learning engaging for your child and help them learn English in a positive and impactful way. You can find many useful courses, play based activities, and learning games here and on my TPT store. Want to stay informed and up to date?? Follow along on instagram!! Welcome!! Read More

Miss. Merry Berry

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