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A thankful Thanksgiving feast at Antioch school

Antioch- TheThanksgiving feast kindergarten class Emmons Elementary School Antioch. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media

Antioch- TheThanksgiving feast in the kindergarten class of Emmons Elementary School in Antioch. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 19, 2013 2:08AM

ANTIOCH — Emmons Elementary School kindergartners got their feast on early Monday when they re-enacted the gathering of Pilgrims and Native Americans in 1621 to celebrate their first successful growing season.

Teacher Kaeleen White led the students in a song based on the “The Muffin Man” about Thanksgiving. “The pilgrims came to America, America, America.... They planted seeds and the corn grew tall, a long, long, time ago.”

“We’ve been reading about the Mayflower and the first Thanksgiving. They knew so much about it because they do this in pre-school, too,” she said. They also read about how corn kernels were placed near the fire and popped so their meal featured deli turkey, popcorn, carrots, cheese, Goldfish and peanuts.

“What else did they have to eat?” she asked and one boy yelled out, “Deer!” White said yes, they probably did, but they were just going to have turkey.

She also suggested the children think about what they were thankful for and then everyone would take a turn and say what they were thankful. “I’m thankful for family,” said White.

Then the students gave her quick one-word answers: “Mom, dog, food, bird, family, family, family, family, my mom, family, family, dog, house, turtle, my mom, my dad.”

Nathan Gorski said he was thankful for his father, but said “I don’t know,” when asked why. A little more prodding and he said, “We go fishing.”

Amanda McCormick said, “I’m thankful for my puppy, Lola. She’s really cute,” she said of her “wiener dog.” Her mom, Audra, came to watch the feast re-enactment and was impressed with all the things they knew.

“They really understand Thanksgiving,” she said.

Jorge Garcia said he was thankful for his mom, Karina Garcia. When asked why, he then stated he was thankful for his dad, Jorge, and little sister Isabelle, 9 months.

“Two years ago, he was thankful for Santa and toys,” said his mother with a laugh.

Some of the kids wore bracelets they made with each bead representing something. White was for the Mayflower’s sails, blue the ocean, green the land, black for sadness, brown for turkey and red for cranberry.

“The parents gave us all this food. We are pretty lucky,” said White, who then told students that even if there was something there they weren’t used to eating, they should still, “Try it, you might like it,” she said.

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