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Teacher: Laurel Puckett who teaches at Jim Stone Elementary in CONWAY, AR. Laurel Puckett can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: Turkey Trot

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To promote physical fitness and to encourage the students to perform a community service.

Suggested Grade Level: K-5

Materials Needed: Explanation letter to parents, track or other area safe for running/ walking, someway to record laps (I use tongue depressors- 1 for every lap), class list, U-haul or some kind of large truck to move the food items, sturdy boxes.

Turkey Trot

We do this activity during PE class of the first week in November. The students take home an information letter and another letter to get sponsors. The sponsors agree to give 1 nonperishable food item per lap that the student completes. The students are encouraged to get several sponsors.

The week prior to the event we discuss the importance of helping needy people especially during the holiday season. During the first week of November the students participate in the Turkey Trot. They are encouraged to move around the track as many times as possible for about 30 minutes (out of a 40 min class). They can run, walk, jog. When they complete a lap they are given a tongue depressor and those are counted at the end of the time limit.
The number of laps are recorded on the student sponsor sheet. The students take those home to collect the non-perishable foods.
The students stretch before returning to class.

There is a designated date (usually the Friday before Thanksgiving) for turning in the items. Those items are delivered to a local organization that provides food baskets to needy families in the community.

Be prepared for a lot of food items!


Perhaps do the Turkey Trot more than just one day.

If a student isn't able to bring all the items then they are allowed to bring what they can.

Use with pedometers. For every X amount of steps that equals 1 food item.

Have a competition between the classes and record the amount of food items brought by each class/ child.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

Have a lot of help getting the food loaded into the truck(s). Perhaps Boy Scout or Girl Scout troops for a service project could help.

Have a large area to display the food. Make sure it's a well traveled location in the school to encourage and excite the kids to bring their items.

Adaptations for Students with Disabilities:

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Posted on PEC: 9/12/2006 and has received 62 votes.

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