Kindergartners reenact the first Thanksgiving

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOSH KULLA - Westridge Elementary School kindergartners including, from left, Sam Bishop and Fenna Houben, participated in a Turkey Day feast on  Friday at Westridge Elementary School.Slipping on paper versions of pilgrims’ bibs and white caps or black hats and Native American headdresses and buckskin shirts, Westridge Elementary School kindergartners reenacted the first Thanksgiving last Friday.

Native Americans helped European settlers of the Plymouth Colony in the 1600s, and they feasted together, and that’s just what students did during the eighth annual Kindergarten Thankfulness PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOSH KULLA - From left, Logan Beyer, Tennyson Herbert and Annie McGinnis, all kindergartners, prepare for the Thanksgiving feast last week at Westridge Elementary School.

Westridge’s three kindergarten classes made a peace treaty expressly for the gathering. Students visited six learning stations, including one where they planted a bean seed — along with a gummy fish, representing how Native people showed settlers how to fertilize land with scaly swimmers. Students wove placemats and strung peace treaty necklaces. The students studied the history of Thanksgiving all of last week, sifting through web pages and flipping through PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOSH KULLA - From left, Westridge Elementary kindergartners Ashlyn Weiler, Anna Hubbs, Cameron Bradley and Keegan Crosby make crafts.

“The kids had a fabulous time: celebrating, making new friendships and making connections to their learning,” said Kelly Troike, a kindergarten teacher who created the event.

Principal Scott Lane said: Troike is “a really, really fine teacher. She’s the kind of teacher I would want my children to have.”by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOSH KULLA - From left, kindergartners Abhi Upton and Cameron Bradley learn about the first Thanksgiving.

Parent volunteers and the children on Friday prepared a meal worthy of Turkey Day: pumpkin muffins, popcorn, mashed potatoes, carrot sticks and cheese cubes.

“We were tremendously grateful for our parent volunteers — talk about gratefulness,” Troike said.

Brittany Weiler was one of four moms guiding the children, whose duties included peeling carrots and potatoes.

The children “took such pride in knowing that they were helping prepare the food we were eating,” Weiler said.

The adults explained to the kids where the food came from, that, to get the ingredients for the muffins, chickens laid the eggs and farmers harvested the wheat for the flour.

“People underestimate how capable kids are at that age,” said Weiler, who has triplets in kindergarten. “Kindergartners, they’re so interested in learning.”

Jillian Daley can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 109. Follow her on Twitter, @jilliandaley.