Pilgrims, Native American Indians and Lots of Pie at WES Celebrations

Post date: Dec 16, 2013 8:34:55 PM

The youngest students at Wells Elementary School and the fourth grade classes celebrated Thanksgiving at school in their own unique ways a few days before the actual holiday.

On November 25th, ‘Begindergarten students of Maureen DeFelice presented the first ‘Begindergarten Thanksgiving Feast’ for students and parents. After the feast, students sang ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ to the audience that included special guests WOCSD Superintendent Ellen Schneider, Director of Instructional Improvement Pat Hayden and WES Principal Marianne Horne. Sitting in a half circle, students dressed in Pilgrim and Native American Indian garb took turns mentioning something that they were especially thankful for. Before the party ended, DeFelice was at the front of the circle to read a story to all those assembled.

In preparation for this day, the begindergarteners made their own Pilgrim or Native American Indian costumes, necklaces made in patterns from dyed macaroni and paper turkeys to hang from the ceiling. They made pumpkin, apple and cranberry bread, created raisins from grapes, and made their own butter. Students also wrote and read stories and poetry to prep for the party.

Meanwhile, the entire fourth grade class gathered upstairs in the common area for their annual get-together to observe Thanksgiving, a time which featured a Thanks “Giving” Tree and a variety of pies made by parents. There was a story projected onto a screen and kids talked about what they were thankful for. The tree had paper ornaments with messages that listed what students were thankful for this holiday season.

“We did a Thanks “Giving” Tree so that we were thinking about what we have and what we’re thankful for as opposed to the wants of the season,” said fourth grade teacher Pam Lear. “I was just pleased how they stood up and celebrated it.” Later Lear commented in an email, “I would love to thank the supportive parents who are always there when we need them!”

Three groups of Lear’s students also made bread at school before Thanksgiving including pumpkin, cranberry and banana. The bread loaves were baked in the WES kitchen with assistance from kitchen staff. The loaves were wrapped and ribbons placed on top for giving in the spirit of Thanksgiving.

Superintendent Schneider also visited the Thanksgiving celebration of the fourth graders and helped serve whip cream with pie slices.

According to Lear, she arranged the fourth grade Thanksgiving event with the help of the other members of the fourth grade team Mirna Davila, Michelle Guerrette, Mark Kafkas, Donna Longley, and Suzanne Laplante-Killoran.

Caption: Students of fourth grade teacher Pam Lear. They made a variety of breads with the help of kitchen staff for Thanksgiving. The Thanks “Giving” Tree is behind them.

Caption: In a pilgrim outfit in Maureen DeFelice’s classroom is Begindergarten student Cole Gauthier who has just finished dinner.

Caption: Superintendent Ellen Schneider putting whip cream on pies at a Thanksgiving party for fourth grade students.

Caption: A scene from the first ‘Begindergarten Thanksgiving Feast’ in Maureen DeFelice’s Begindergarten classroom at Wells Elementary School.