Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

4-year-olds make some wild turkeys

NEW PORT RICHEY

Each 4-year-old in Anclote Elementary School's Head Start/Voluntary Prekindergarten classes had nine grapes, five toothpicks, two cloves, one dried cranberry, an apple and a problem to solve.

How, their teachers asked, could the children make turkeys using these groceries?

The teachers showed an example — grapes speared with toothpicks served as tail feathers in the back of the apple and a head in the front, while the cloves were the eyes, and the cranberry was the "waddle."

"A waddle helps the turkey say 'gobble, gobble,' " student Maddie Ingram explained as she put together her apple turkey.

The Thanksgiving arts and crafts project might seem simple to adults, teacher Kendra Duffy said. But for the children, it offers plenty of important lessons.

"It's good for their eye-hand coordination and their fine motor skills," Duffy said. "It's good for oral skills as they talk about fruit and nutrition, too."

The lesson also helps the children recognize colors and practice following directions, teacher Virginia Mancuso added. And at the end, "it's something they made that they can put on the (Thanksgiving) table as a centerpiece, to show that their hard work is appreciated at home and at school."

At least, that's how it works in theory.

Giovanni Vasquez grabbed a single grape and pushed all five toothpicks into it at various angles.

"I did it!" he announced proudly to his mom, Jessica Miccio, who laughed and offered some guidance.

"You only have to do one at a time, like the way Maddie did it," Miccio told her son. "That is cool, though."

The boy just kept on making his grape-and-toothpick star.

"I don't want to do it like that," he said. He pointed to the pattern he made with the colored toothpick ends. "Look what I did!"

In the neighboring classroom, Daniel Harrington Jr. quickly put his apple turkey together under his dad's watchful eye. Then he began playing with it as if it were an action hero.

"My name is Turkey Man!" he said, holding the fruit above his head.

Then he pretended to eat it.

"Can we eat this?" he asked Mancuso.

"It's up to you. What do you think?" she replied, encouraging his decisionmaking skills. "Do you want to put it on the Thanksgiving table? Or do you want to share with daddy now?"

"I want to put it on the table," Daniel answered, setting the apple turkey down and beginning to count the toothpicks instead. "I'm going to eat it at Thanksgiving."

His dad, Daniel Sr., grinned. "They learn a lot in pre-k," he said. "He'll probably eat it before."

Back in the other classroom, Miccio had convinced Giovanni to turn his star into the turkey project, though he had trouble getting all of the toothpicks into the apple. She cheered his progress.

"This is a wacky-looking turkey," she told her son, who smiled broadly. "It's a wild turkey."

And across the way, Daniel Sr.'s prediction came true, as his son's grapes were gone and the apple was filled with tooth marks as Daniel Jr. chomped away.

"We can make another at home," his dad said.

Before long, the project was completed, and the parents headed out. The sleepy children settled in for their post-apple-turkey siesta before their true Thanksgiving break would begin.

Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at solochek@sptimes.com or (813) 909-4614. For more education news, visit the Gradebook at blogs.tampabay.com/schools.

4-year-olds make some wild turkeys 11/24/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 24, 2009 8:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. North Korean missile launch may be testing rivals, not technology

    World

    SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea's latest missile test Monday may have less to do with perfecting its weapons technology than with showing U.S. and South Korean forces in the region that it can strike them at will.

    A woman watches a TV screen showing a file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday,. North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile that landed in Japan's maritime economic zone Monday, officials said, the latest in a string of test launches as the North seeks to build nuclear-tipped ICBMs that can reach the U.S. mainland. [AP Photo/Lee Jin-man]
  2. PolitiFact: Fact-checking Samantha Bee on Florida felonies

    State Roundup

    Comedian Samantha Bee traveled to Florida, where she says "retirees and democracy go to die," to shed light on how the state makes it difficult for felons to regain the right to vote.

    Samantha Bee hosts Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on TBS. Bee portrayed some of Florida’s felonies as not so serious on her show.
  3. For some, Memorial Day comes around more than just once a year

    Military

    ST. PETERSBURG — It is shortly before nine on a Friday morning, and the heat is already approaching unbearable levels at Bay Pines National Cemetery.

    Iles carefully digs up the St. Augustine grass so that it will continue to grow when it is placed back on the gravesite. He tries not to disturb the root base.
  4. State budget uncertainty has school districts 'very concerned'

    K12

    While waiting for Gov. Rick Scott to approve or veto the Legislature's education budget, the people in charge of school district checkbooks are trying hard to find a bottom line.

    It has not been easy.

    The unsettled nature of Florida’s education budget has left school districts with questions about how they will make ends meet next year. [iStockphoto.com]
  5. Ernest Hooper: Removing Confederate symbols doesn't eliminate persistent mindset

    Human Interest

    The debate has begun about removing a Confederate statue from outside the Hillsborough County Courthouse, and its removal is long overdue.

    Robert E. Lee Elementary, 305 E. Columbus Drive in Tampa, originally opened its doors in the early 1910s as the Michigan Avenue Grammar School. [Times file]