Equipment: One mat for the class. Two hoops, one gym scooter, one jump rope, and one candle (something to hold up high to light the way, for example, a cardboard or plastic golf tube with a tennis ball balanced on one end) for each group. Ten to twenty cardboard turkeys, or some other item to represent a turkey.
- Divide the class into groups of five to eight students. Place a mat in the center of the gymnasium or play area. Place 10 to 20 cardboard cutout turkeys, or something else to represent turkeys on the mat.
- Give each group two hoops, one gym scooter, one jump rope, one plastic or cardboard tube that is large enough to balance a tennis ball on the top, and one tennis ball.
- Place each group around the perimeter of the gymnasium an equal distance away from the mat.
- Explain that the turkeys are all on Turkey Island. In order to get turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner, each group must cross a dangerous shallow swamp, which is filled with snapping fish, turtles and snakes. The group must all get across as a team with all the equipment they are given. Upon reaching Turkey Island, they take one turkey back to their home base. They may then return to get another turkey.
- Explain that the hoops are lily pads and the students may stand inside a hoop. They may move the lily pads, but not while they are on the inside. The scooter is a small log, which can carry a student or equipment, but hands and feet may not touch the gym floor(water). The jump rope is a rope. The candle must be lit at all times because the swamp is dark. If the tennis ball falls into the water, the whole team must go back to the start. If anyone touches the water, the whole team must go back to the start. If the team is on the way back to their base with the turkey, the whole team must return to Turkey Island.
- This is a challenge activity to see how many different ways the students can think of the get as many turkeys as possible. There are many possible ways. Let them figure it out.
- Change the kind or amount of equipment. For example, if you don't have a plastic golf tube, you can skip this part.
- Change the number of students in each group. You may want to decrease equipment for smaller groups.
- Place a basket or milk crate filled with tennis balls on Turkey Island. These are turkey eggs. Upon reaching Turkey Island, the students may take as many turkey eggs as they can carry in their hands. However, if an egg drops, all eggs must be returned to Turkey Island, and the whole group goes back to their starting corner. My students particularly loved this version.
- Play this game anytime by changing the game's name. For example: Golden Island - the tennis balls represent pieces of gold.