Thanksgiving Feast a 21 Year Tradition for Twin Lakes' 2nd Graders

Thanksgiving Feast a 21 Year Tradition for Twin Lakes' 2nd Graders

     For the past 21 years second graders at Twin Lakes School have enjoyed learning about and celebrating Thanksgiving at the Annual 2nd Grade Thanksgiving Feast.  The 21-year tradition began as a classroom event and has developed into a celebration across the entire 2nd grade that students look forward to each year.   

     Originated by teacher, Julie Pernudi, the feast was a way to incorporate one of the 2nd grade social studies standards which focuses on now and long ago.

      “Through this annual event we look at how Thanksgiving is celebrated now, and how it was long ago,” said Pernudi.  “It’s a great opportunity for students to compare and contrast Thanksgiving today and how it was hundreds of years ago.  I had no idea when I first started the feast 21 years ago that it would turn into such a beloved event.”

     Going back in time to November of 1621, the 2nd grade feast mirrors when the newly arrived Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians joined together at Plymouth Rock to celebrate the first Thanksgiving.  Students in Pernudi’s class and Kendra Maxwell’s class, dressed as Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians, celebrated friendship and all they are thankful for.  Students performed a Reader’s Theater about friendship in Plymouth Colony, sang the funny Albuquerque Turkey song and recited a poem about Thanksgiving before enjoying a delicious feast of turkey, mashed potatoes, fruit and cookies provided by Twin Lakes’ cafeteria staff .

      A beautiful Thankful Tree display was created by parent volunteers and each student wrote what they were thankful for on a leaf that was placed on the tree. Among the most popular things the kids were thankful for were their family, school, teacher, friends, and food.

       “The feast is fun,” said Eliza.  “Thanksgiving is a special time when we get show how thankful we are for the people in our lives,” she added.

      For 2nd grader Dayanna, the big meal is a highlight of Thanksgiving. 

     “The turkey is my favorite part of Thanksgiving,” she said.  “It is so yummy and I am going to help cook the turkey for my family on Thanksgiving.”

        The students all agreed the annual feast is a great event and they are grateful to Ms. Pernudi and Ms. Maxwell for having it. 

     “I have many former students come back and visit and tell me this is what they remember fondly about their time here at Twin Lakes,” said Pernudi. “In fact this year two siblings of one of my current students, one who is working as a Civil Engineer and the other who is in Pharmacy school, shared with me that they loved the 2nd grade feast when they were here at Twin Lakes and that it is a great childhood memory for them.  Who knew it would make such a lasting imprint on my students.”  

    At Twin Lakes they are very thankful for their wonderful students and families and wish everyone a beautiful Thanksgiving and a great week off of school.

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