October 31, 2011

Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere!

I love Halloween! I'm just sitting here watching Casper on ABC Family (and Hocus Pocus is coming on next...) and eating candy. Lots of candy. I thought I'd share a few of the pumpkin activities we did last week at school. Since, tomorrow morning, it will all be old news :)

We started off the week making these pumpkin growth flip charts. I've done this differently the last few years. Usually, we just label the steps on construction paper. This year, I felt like my kids were capable of writing a little better and I wanted them to write out the steps. Plus, we've been working on using first, next, then and last to help us write.

I love how first graders feel the need to draw hearts all over everything they make, don't you? I usually catch it and make them erase, but this one slipped by me :)

When you open each flap, you get to read about that stage of a pumpkin's life.

Here's another one...


The next day, I brought in a great big pumpkin and we investigated the heck out of that thing! I made an anchor chart and we filled it out together.

We described the inside and outside. And, we predicted and counted how many lines and seeds our pumpkin had. I'll be completely honest with you. I think pumpkins are disgusting. I HATE sticking my hand in those slimy things. And, they smell awful. But, I do it every year because those kids get so dang excited! I could never deprive them of such a fun thing. I just let them do all the "gut removal" for me :)

 (I need to give a special shout-out to my little first grade friend who sat on the floor for twenty minutes and pulled every single last piece of slime from inside that pumpkin once everyone had gotten their handful. If it weren't for him... we would have been carving a full pumpkin cause I seriously CAN NOT handle it!)

After finishing our chart, we waited until the afternoon to do our carving. I tried something new this year. Instead of the kids running around like heathens sitting and watching as I carved the pumpkin, I had them write a how-to story about carving a pumpkin. So, we did one step at a time and they would write a sentence about it.

The next day, I felt like we needed to make a pumpkin. And, I had big plans to attach their how-to writing to the pumpkins we made. But, I couldn't figure out how to hang it all together. I think the paper plate pumpkins we made are pretty cute just by themselves, though.

Here they are:
The kids had so much getting to be creative and make their own faces. I told them they could be "scary" or "nice" jack-o-lanterns. I think most of them went with "whatever is easiest to cut out." Ha.  

I like them because they add a great big punch of color to my back wall. And, their parents will get a big kick out of seeing them tomorrow for parent-teacher conferences.

And, I just thought this one was cute.

Oh, and we read a bunch of pumpkin books.

We especially liked Pumpkin Town and Too Many Pumpkins.

But, our favorite book last week? Hands down, it was this:

We might have read it twice last week. And, we definitely did read it twice more today. Ha. They cannot get enough of it! They LOVED to sing along with it and they started adding in all these "ahhh" sounds after every page. I was CRACKING UP. And, I'm so glad ya'll couldn't hear me trying to rap this book to them. Because, that? Wasn't pretty. Not pretty at all. But, they were impressed. So, I guess that's all that matters. Needless to say, I know 20 first graders who would highly reccommend this book :)

Well, that's all I've got for tonight.
Happy Halloween!


Ginger Snaps said...

Totally watching Casper and will be watching Hocus Pocus next! I love ABC at Halloween!! =)

Janaye said...

Awesome activity!! Love the chart--thanks for linking up :)


Delighted said...

I love the paper plate art. Thanks for posting!

First Grade Delight

Tara said...

Such super cute pumpkin ideas!!

4th Grade Frolics

Liz said...

Too cute! Love the orange paper plates for the jack-o-lanterns!

Alexis said...

You have to check out the book "Pumpkin Circle". It is amazing.

Chrissy said...

What fabulous pumpkin activities! Thanks for the book suggestions too. I'm so glad you linked up to the party!
First Grade Found Me

A Teacher Without a Class said...

Love all your activities! I am your newest follower! I would love to have you come to my blog and visit me! I love Too many pumpkins!

Kristi McInerney said...

I'm your newest follower! I found you on pinterest and I love your pumpkin craft/lesson ideas. I'm a stay at home mom and this is perfect for me and the kids! thanks a million

keeping up with kristi

Lilli said...

Thanks!My Pre-K students will love the paper plate pumkin man project! Thanks for sharing with all of us!

Lori Smith said...

Hi! I'm your newest follower! I found you on Pinterest. I just love the pumpkin activities you did with your class. My class is in the process of doing some too! Feel free to visit my blog if you have a chance!



Anonymous said...

Hi! Great blog. Do you happen to have a copy of the first,next,then and last paper you used?

Tammy said...

You have some great ideas. Thanks for sharing them.

<a href="<tammyflickingersblogspot.com>Mrs. Flickinger's Butterfly Oasis</a/>

Tammy said...

Sorry! Let me try that again.

Mrs. Flickinger's Butterfly Oasis

Anonymous said...

I love your pumpkin chart. What a great idea! So many great ideas on your page. I'm going to check out the rest!!

karmen2011 said...

This is brilliant! I can't wait to try this with my homeschool!

Leeanne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leeanne said...

Hi Lindsay! Love your ideas and the writing paper for the first, then, next, last for pumpkin carving! Wondering what program you used to make the template? Super cute! I would like to try it with my grade ones ;)