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Lincolnshire third-graders recreate first Thanksgiving

November 22, 2000

Lincolnshire third-graders recreate first Thanksgiving



By TARA REILLY / Staff Writer


They danced. They sang. They narrated. Students at Lincolnshire Elementary School were ready to do it all - even dance the Macarena - to spread the word of thanks.

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Nineteen third-graders in Chantelle Eyler's class at Lincolnshire Elementary put their own spin on the holiday with "Thanksgiving at Plymouth" Wednesday afternoon before a group of about 60 parents and other relatives.

Some dressed as pilgrims and others as American Indians to take the crowd back to 1620, when the Pilgrims founded Plymouth.

Student Brandon Kreps told the crowd the voyage from Europe was a "difficult journey that lasted 66 days."

Kelton Danner dressed as John Carver, the first governor of the colony, and prayed for help to carry the pilgrims through their first harsh winter in Plymouth. The show ended in 1621 when the Pilgrims and Indians celebrated a successful fall harvest and eventually proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving.

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Throughout the 15-minute program, the students sang songs, including a rap called "Turkey Named Burt." Student Ryan Wood dressed up as the turkey and danced the Macarena as the class sang in the background.

The class began practicing for the show at the end of October, Eyler said.

"I wanted to give my students the opportunity to shine," she said.

Eyler organized the program, which she began as a teacher at Greenbrier Elementary School. This was the first year it was performed at Lincolnshire.

She said she tried to tie the program into the school curriculum by stressing eye contact, speaking skills and oral presentations.

Heather Hilliard, 9, who was dressed as an Indian, said she liked performing because it was fun and she liked the songs.

"I liked the whole play," Heather said. "And I liked practicing for the play. It was fun."

"I like being together with my family, and I like being thankful for everything," she said.

But like many others, Heather said her favorite part of Thanksgiving is chowing down. "And I love the turkey," she said.

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