Turkey: Traditions & Today


Discover how the past affects the future—with a triarama that shows a country’s history, people, and traditions.


1. . How are nations built? What are the elements that define a country? Sometimes it is the land; other times it is a shared language, religion, or history. In some cases, a country is created for reasons that are political, such as when the victors of war decide what areas go together. Find examples of several different reasons for nation building.

2. Turkey history of becoming a nation is very interesting. Locate Turkey on a map. You will notice that it is a bridge between two continents--Europe and Asia. Who are Turkey’s neighbors? This land is the oldest known site of human urban habitation, more than 8,500 years ago. Research why Constantinople was such an important city to the ancient world. Find out about the Ottoman Empire and its role in the development of the "modern" world.

3. In 1923, General Mustafa Kemal or Ataturk (meaning father of the Turks) began to move Turkey from an Islamic empire to a secular nation with an Islamic majority. Explore the changes that Ataturk initiated in Turkey. In what ways have these changes made Turkey a different place from its Islamic neighbors today?

4. Identify Turkish traditions. Mili Egemenlik ve Cocuk Bayrami is a national holiday celebrated on April 23 throughout Turkey. It marks the formation of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. It is also called a national children’s holiday because the Turks believe that children are Turkey’s future.

5. Children dress in traditional clothing, parade, and perform songs and dances. Many different ethnic groups live in Turkey, each with distinctive dress, food, and other cultural traditions. Research these groups. Then show what you have learned in a diorama.

6. Create replica people. From a file folder, cut out several miniature people with Crayola® Scissors. Dress the people to represent Turkish ethnic groups with Crayola Washable Markers. To create diverse skin colors, use Crayola Multicultural Markers.

7. To make the figures stand, make a small cut along the feet near each end. Cut narrow strips of file folder longer than the base. Make cuts at both ends. Fit the strip into the cuts, looping behind the figure to make it stand upright.

8. Design a triarama backdrop. Cut another file folder into a large square. Fold it into a triangle, point to point, in both directions. Cut one of these folds to the center of the square. Slide cut triangles on top of one another to form a floor. Then unfold it to decorate, such as a parade or dance scene. You could make a Turkish flag, rug, or tapestry.

9. Fold the triarama into place and secure the floor with Crayola School Glue. Air-dry the glue. Present the information you researched to your classmates.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.


  • Study the Kurds, the fourth largest ethnic group in the Middle East, half of whom live in Turkey because they have no nation of their own. Research the history of Kurdish oppression. Together devise possible solutions to this long-standing conflict by studying Israel and other nations created for a group.
  • Find out why Turkey is such an important country to both Europe and Asia. What are its primary natural resources?
  • Explore the Muslim religion in more depth. Consider related Lesson Plans.
  • Assessment: Verify the authenticity and depth of information about the ethic groups and background portrayed on the diorama.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Markers
  • Multicultural Markers
  • No-Run School Glue
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
  • Construction Paper
household supplies
  • recycled file folders



  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 12


  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts


  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Multiple Sessions


  • Students research and analyze nation building, identifying countries established for various reasons.

  • Students study the history of the land now called Turkey. They learn about Ataturk, Father of the Turks, and identify the different ethnic groups that make up the nation.

  • Students create a visual representation of their cultural studies to present orally to classmates.


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