Students celebrate Thanksgiving with a smart mouse and other literary characters

Josie Marean, left, joined with her classmates in a pre-Thanksgiving feast prepared by parents
Joshua DeJong gives a report on his book character, Emily, whose traits he said include brave, kind and sneaky

In a new twist on their annual Thanksgiving parade, second- and third-graders at Cannonsburg Elementary first gave book reports based on interviews with main characters.

Third-grader Audrey Cutler’s report was on E.B. White’s “Stuart Little,” so she interviewed Stuart, naturally enough. She presented it to parents in the library, toting a ruler with the report and a balloon attached, and wearing a cat dress in honor of Stuart’s nemesis, the cat Snowbell.

Stuart’s biggest challenge, she reported, was “not feeling like I was a part of the family.”

Jillian TenBrink explains her book poster to parent Jordan Hatch and his daughter Hazel

“I like most how he’s nice, clumsy,” Audrey said afterward, when students talked to parents about their projects. “He always gets in trouble but he always finds out a way” to get out of it.

In her report on “Because of Winn-Dixie,” Taylor Curtis explained the dog’s biggest challenge: “He is not very careful when he accidentally gets lost.”

Students followed their book reports with a reader’s theater presentation about Thanksgiving under the direction of teacher Rachel Devereaux. They then joined students from Jill Gumbs’ and Kimberly Fink’s classes for a parade through the halls, topped by an aromatic pre-Thanksgiving feast prepared by their parents.


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Charles Honey
Charles Honey is a freelance writer and former columnist for The Grand Rapids Press/ As a reporter for The Press from 1985 to 2009, his beats included Grand Rapids Public Schools, local colleges and education issues. Honey served as editor of The Press’ award-winning Religion section for 15 years. His freelance articles have appeared in Christianity Today magazine, Religion News Service and the Aquinas College alumni magazine. Read Charles' full bio or email Charles.


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