Pardon My, Turkey?

ACIT’s Megan McCandless is Adding a Unique Spin to a Thanksgiving Tradition
Mrs.McCandless, English teacher and EMT.
Mrs.McCandless, English teacher and EMT.

Turkeys get pardoned from Thanksgiving every year, and this year kids from ACIT were pardoned as well. Every year on the half day before Thanksgiving break begins Mrs. Megan McCandless hosts a Turkey Pardoning for her class. Some might wonder what a turkey pardoning is exactly. In fact, it’s actually a tradition that has been around since 1947. Every year since that year, the American President pardons two turkeys. This year, the lucky feathered gobblers Liberty and Bell were pardoned, keeping them off of Americans’ tables during the holiday.

The idea behind McCandless’ project is that students use ethos, pathos, and logos to convince each other why they are better than each other and should be pardoned. It’s a fun activity that is very unique to ACIT. The only teacher who participates in it is Mrs. McCandless, as she came up with the idea for it eight years ago. “I was teaching sophomores and part of the curriculum for 10th grade involves focusing on the ideas of pathos, logos, and ethos. Around Thanksgiving, I wanted to find a fun way to take a break, but also teach something in my Honors English 2 class and this is what I came up with,” Mrs. McCandless told the Pursuit.

If the activity seems frivolous, consider there are a number of academic skill employed by the student teams. Students employ public speaking, and persuasive writing skills. McCandless added, “There is writing and speaking involved in this activity and it makes the day before break interesting and productive even if it is no longer directly related to (her) curriculum,” allowing students to practice public speaking, and persuasive writing.

One winner that stood out to Mrs. McCandless was Junior Engineering student Robert Baez’s turkey named Dr. MLT for his take on the MLK I Have a Dream speech. “What made (Dr. MLT) stand out was his play on the “I Have a Dream Speech”, but also his tone and how he presented his argument.”
This unique activity will continue and Mrs. McCandless hopes the pardon competition will become an annual tradition. The turkey pardoning will remain a fun activity for her future students. It helps students practice their writing skills and makes the class productive.

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