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Turkeys and pigs and the first Thanksgiving
Kindergarteners at Mattie Lively Elementary School discussed the first Thanksgiving recently, and showed off their best "gobble-gobbles." Students included Ethan Gong, Kyleigh Smith, Antonio Wimberly, Isaiah Frost, Amia Paige, Madison Grantham, Journee Reese, Nathan Kafader and River Stevens. - photo by By SCOTT BRYANT/staff


Sitting down to talk with kindergarten students is always a treat, and you never quite know what to expect. Asking them to describe the very first Thanksgiving — well, that’s even more of a throw of the dice. 

Ethan Gong, Kyleigh Smith, Antonio Wimberly, Isaiah Frost, Amia Paige, Madison Grantham, Nathan Kafader, Journee Reese and River Stevens,  all students at Mattie Lively Elementary School, sat down recently to talk about the holiday and what they’re thankful for.

When asked who attended the first Thanksgiving, and if they had studied it in school, every student yelled “Yes!” signifying they knew the details of that special holiday. But when asked for the details, they got very quiet. 

“Were there people there, maybe wearing black and white?” we asked. 


“Were there maybe some people there who may have worn feathers?” we prompted.

“Yes!” came the shouted reply. “Turkeys!!”

Well, we were asking about the Pilgrims and Native Americans, but the students weren’t too sure about either group of people. But they were certainly all sure that there was plenty of food to eat, including turkeys and pigs. 

At their own homes, they said their moms and dads did the cooking.  As for how to cook a turkey, they agreed the oven has to be “hot, hot,” and you “cook it for 20 minutes.”

“You get a big pan, put the turkey on it, and then wait for the bell. And when the bell is done, then eat the turkey,” Antonio said.

Isaiah says you need to start with the oven.

“You cook the turkey in the oven first, and then you put it in the microwave, and then you set it on No. 2, and then when it rings, you eat it,” he said. 

The students take a moment for some group love and a shared "Cheese!" - photo by By SCOTT BRYANT/staff

In addition to turkey, the group said they would enjoy some pumpkin pie, macaroni and cheese, and biscuits. Nathan said he would also enjoy some corn.

Journee said that at her house, “We celebrate food at Thanksgiving.”

“We eat turkey at Thanksgiving, and we have family too,” said Antonio.

“What we do for Thanksgiving, we hunt turkey and we cook it,” said River. “My daddy hunts it and then we cook it.”

“We eat turkey and cake,” Kyleigh said. 

The whole group said they have a lot to be thankful for, and Kyleigh added that “We also get thankful for God.”

“I’m thankful for my teacher and for treats from the treasure chest,” Ethan said.

“When I’m good at school, it makes me happy,” Isaiah said.

“I’m thankful for my friends,” Madison said. 

“I’m thankful for my family,” Journey added.

“And I’m thankful for everybody,” River said. 

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