Friday, November 19, 2010

F is for Feather

Last week I was browsing in our school library for -new to me- library books about Native Americans and I found The Turkey Girl by Penny Pollock. This is a Native American "Cinderella" Folktale about a girl who tends to turkeys for a living. She has a dream to go to the Dance of the Sacred Bird, but cannot since she has nothing to wear. One day, one of the turkeys in her flock talks to her, offering to help. The turkeys magically dress and clean her to get her ready for the dance. She must keep one promise- to remember to come back to the turkeys before the sun goes down. Turkey Girl promises to come back and goes to the dance. The music and dancing excites her and she soon forgets about the promise. As the sun is setting she remembers and runs back to the flock. Her clothes return to rags and she is left with no job as the turkeys are gone. This has quiet a startling ending for my kindys. They are used to being read stories where the main characters learn a lesson but usually get a second chance and there is a happy ending. We talked about the importance of keeping a promise. We also compared The Turkey Girl to Cinderella. They were both orphans, poor, worked for wealthy people, talked to animals, had a boring job, were dirty, wore rags, wanted to go to a dance, magic helped them, they forgot their promise. One very different detail was Turkey Girl was not looking for a prince! I think they enjoyed the story. I will be sure to include this title to my lesson plans for next year. Since we have been learning Ff, I tied in F is for Feathers with this story.

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