Inspiring young minds offer answers to Thanksgiving questions

OKEECHOBEE — Have you ever wondered about Thanksgiving, or do you just sit back and enjoy all that family time with great food? We wondered about Thanksgiving last week. These young minds inspire me to teach everyday, and just when I think I’m teaching them, they’re teaching me! From the mouths of babes, here goes:

• Is turkey the real reason we feel sleepy after the Thanksgiving meal?

Sophia: You get tired because you eat a lot. I think turkey has something to do with it somehow. Because you get tired of yelling at your family members at the table.

Lindy: No. Sugar and like pesticides!

Jazlynn: Cause you’re full!

Addison: Because the food is hot!

Savannah: We play around.

Haylee: You get exhausted from playing with your family members.

Messiah: You get exhausted from talking.

Aiden: The reason you get sleepy, is because your parents put Nyquil in it.

The real answer is while turkey does contain tryptophan (which can make us sleepy), the sleepiness is likely caused by the overconsumption of food and beverages.

• Did pilgrims officially declare Thanksgiving as a holiday?

Kamryn: Um, yes.(Pause) No.

Adleigh: Uh yes. I don’t know anything about pilgrims.

Messiah: No, because Thanksgiving was every night for dinner. When they ate dinner it was Thanksgiving.

Cheynne: Yes! I had to think of that one.

Leeanna: Uh, um, um, huh, no! I don’t know. Maybe.

The real answer is that Abraham Lincoln actually declared the first Thanksgiving public holiday in 1863.

• Why did the pilgrims first celebrate Thanksgiving?

Lillie: They celebrated Thanksgiving because when they first got off the Mayflower, they had freedom to practice their own religion.

Addison: To be thankful for all the things they had.

Kenayah: Let me see, um…what was the question?

Holden: I don’t know.

Kamryn: Because they needed food from their long journey.

Maurice: Because they had a big feast to celebrate with the Indians because they helped with the feast.

Adleigh: Because, wait, I forgot. I had this. Because they celebrate what they’re thankful for.

Arthur: Because they wanted to celebrate the arrival of the Mayflower and they didn’t have that much food so they went to hunt to get food, like wild ducks.

Jaleik: To celebrate part of their region.

• How many turkeys get eaten each year on Thanksgiving?

Haylee: Over a million

Lillie: About a thousand.

Arthur: 3,432

Leeanna: 2

Messiah: 772

Aiden: Over 9,000

Corbitt: I don’t know!

Caden: 700

AJ: Around 8 billion

Kenayah 7,882

Such precision! Actually it is closer to 46 million!

• When did the Macy’s Day parade begin?

Adleigh: 1989

AJ: 1895

Zech: I have no idea!

Lillie: On Thanksgiving

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade began in 1924 when Macy’s had only 400 employees. Today’s parade is much different from the first. The parade was a celebration and unveiling of the self-proclaimed “World’s Largest Store”, which took an entire New York City block. In 1927, Felix the Cat was the first balloon to appear in the parade and the parade was broadcast for the first time on radio in 1929.

• What was served at the first Thanksgiving meal?

Sophia: turkey or fowl, corn, squash, green beans and ham

Aiden: deer

Cheyenne: turkey

Arthur: Squash

Jazlynn: cornbread

Jaleik: lobster, I think. Fruit and squash, I think I’m right.

The historians believe that wild game and vegetables were served and the first Thanksgiving did not include turkeys.

• Pilgrim means:

Holden: uh, never mind!

Haylee: villager

Lillie: Spanish

Maurice: a sailor thing

Savannah: somebody who plants something

Caden: people who (I forgot it was the corn people). The people who got taught from the one guy to learn how to grow crops I think.

Pilgrim actually means foreigner or traveler from afar.

• Which state consumes the most turkey:

Zech: Thanksgiving

Leeanna: Turkey, the state Turkey!

Kenayah: Mexico, New Jersey

Messiah: Wisconsin

Savannah: I don’t know!

Kamryn: Florida

Lillie: I have no idea.

For the record, we have lots of geography work to do! It’s California.

I hope you have learned a bit more about Thanksgiving from our talented students. We have a lot to be thankful for in this great nation. Our hope is that you will enjoy time with your family and let all the strife and stress of daily life, come to a halt as we celebrate Thanksgiving with the ones we love.

Leah Suarez is a freelance writer.

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