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Home > About Us > What's New > 2011 > November > 24 > Students "make fun" of Thanksgiving

Students "make fun" of Thanksgiving

turkeys

Students in Cambridge, Somerville, and Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, made turkey noisemakers during the week before Thanksgiving as part of the Historic Toys and Optical Illusions after-school curriculum, developed by the education staff at the Otis House Museum in Boston.

After looking at a photograph of Bertram, a turkey who lives at Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm in Newbury, students examined a proclamation of 1863, whereby Massachusetts Governor John Andrew and President Lincoln jointly declared August 6 a day of national thanksgiving. (August 6 was chosen by Lincoln to commemorate the Union Army’s victory at Gettysburg in July 1863. In October of the same year, he issued a new proclamation that changed the holiday to the last Thursday in November.)

girls with turkeys

After making their gobbling turkeys (the noise comes from a small piece of sponge that creates audible friction when pinched and tugged down a string on the inside of the cup), students listened to Thanksgiving in the White House, a story about how President Lincoln’s son Tad saved the life of Jack, a turkey who was to be served at the very first Thanksgiving dinner in the White House. Students at the Brown School in Somerville had fun providing sound effects for the story by making their turkeys squawk whenever Jack appeared in the book. Gobble gobble!

turkeys

Posted by emma on December 30, 2011
That is AWESOME! How do you make that? Now my son wants to make one!

turkeys

Posted by Katy on January 03, 2012
Hi Emma,

All you need to make a squawking turkey is a plastic cup, a 1-inch square piece of damp sponge, string, pushpin & sewing needle, and decorations of your choice. Poke a hole with the pushpin through the bottom of the cup, and use the needle to thread the string through. Tie a knot in the string on the outer side of the cup to anchor it (the string should be a good foot long). At the other end of the string, tie on the sponge square. Then, pinch the sponge around the string way up inside of the cup, and gently tug it down while keeping it pinched -- this should produce the squawking sound when the sponge is dampened. Decorate your turkey however you like -- we used brown paper bag scraps, feathers, googly eyes, foam triangles for the beaks, and red ribbon for the wattle. Have fun!

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Students "make fun" of Thanksgiving