Among first-graders, family tops reasons to celebrate Thursday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Ask a first-grader what makes him thankful this Thanksgiving and, at Warrenton Elementary, family is the answer.

“I’m thankful for my family because I love them,” said 7-year-old Jonah Ragan, a student in Katie Emfinger’s class, “and because they give me things and because they love me and help me.”

Tina Klein, 6, said Thanksgiving means staying at home with her family, sitting at the table and eating a lot of food turkey and corn to be specific.

Courtney Chambers, 6, said her family goes to her grandmother’s house to eat and there’s ham in addition to turkey.

“I am most thankful for my sister,” said Courtney, who also has a 5-year-old brother. “She is almost 7 months old.”

Besides being thankful for their families, the students in Emfinger’s class and other schools across the county have learned about the pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in 1621.

“We have talked about how the Indians taught the pilgrims how to build a house, hunt and grow corn and wheat,” Emfinger said.

They have also learned about an Indian named Squanto, who was a friend to the pilgrims and taught them how to live off the land, Emfinger said.

“We’ve learned how the pilgrims invited the Indians to their feast after their first harvest to thank them for showing them how to survive,” she said.

Kristiana Williams, 7, explained what she has learned about the first Thanksgiving.

“The pilgrims came all the way from England, and Squanto taught them how to cook and plant corn,” she said.

Emfinger said her class has done tons of Thanksgiving activities, including putting together a turkey puzzle and making magnetic picture frames for parents.

The students also spent a week putting together a Thanksgiving cookbook with recipes for traditional Thanksgiving dishes including turkey, dressing, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie.

Trennisha Chargois, 7, said Thanksgiving is a time to have fun and eat a lot of food. Her favorite Thanksgiving treat is the turkey. She said she is most thankful for her mother, for cooking for her and keeping her fed.