Matthew Paterson Elementary Third-Grade Students Celebrate Thanksgiving

In a Matthew Paterson Elementary tradition dating back more than 45 years, third-grade students and teachers celebrated Thanksgiving with a feast before the holiday break.

The celebration included a variety of activities including festive fall lawn games like tic-tac-toe with pumpkins, pumpkin rolling, apple pressing, jewelry making and storytelling.

Students hear stories from a guest by the bonfire

Outside by a small bonfire overseen by volunteer firefighters from Patterson Fire Department, students enjoyed a history lesson and stories of the early settlers and Native Americans from Larry Maxwell, who donned an authentic replica of Pilgrim attire. The Patterson Fire Department members have volunteered their time at the Thanksgiving feast for many years and the teachers and students are grateful for all their help and support.

In the classroom, students learned about Native American storytelling with a guest speaker from Putnam|Northern Westchester BOCES. The students learned about the different symbols used by Native Americans in creating stories and how to interpret the written stories. These stories were typically written in a spiral shape, meant to be read in a counterclockwise order. Students also learned that stories were recorded on different materials – including the hides of large animals, like bison.

The students then had the opportunity to create their own stories using symbols.

Student Abigail Montalvo wrote a story about a baby girl, who turned out to be her: “First the baby girl was born, then she learned how to stand and run. Then, when the baby girl turned two, she started gymnastics and got on the beam. Then, one year later she had to go to preschool. Then the little girl went to school with her BFF (best friend forever).”

Student Nouhou Zakou Ide also wrote the beginnings of an autobiographical spiral symbol story: “This is a little boy. He learned how to crawl and then he learned how to walk. Then, he went to preschool at one-year old and he was the smartest one there.”

During another lesson, students viewed traditional Native American jewelry and created their own necklaces using beads, feathers and a porcupine quill.

“Our PTO was amazing and extremely helpful, and kindly donated the apples for our apple press station and a turkey roast,” said teacher Stephanie Moran. “We would like to thank the PTO for all its help in making this year's Thanksgiving celebration such a success.”

The celebration concluded with students being able to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving feast for lunch, prepared by the Food Services team at the school.