Halloween is still a few weeks away, but I want to go ahead and share with you a favorite activity of mine. It's never too early to start planning!
Several years ago, I started doing a "Pumpkin Day" in the classroom instead of celebrating Halloween point on. The students have always had a blast and never noticed any difference. It's a great way to incorporate the season into curriculum but still keep it friendly, not scary.
For Pumpkin Day, I ask parents to donate pumpkins and pumpkin foods. On Halloween, or a day near it, I set up several stations involving pumpkins in the classroom. The stations have a cross-curricular focus and touch upon topics such as writing, adjectives, counting, estimating, circumference, reading, science, and more. The class is split into small groups that rotate through the stations. The stations are ran by teachers and parent volunteers.
I set up some stations in my dining room to give you an idea of how they look when put together!
Description Station - Students describe a pumpkin. There are several activities included in the book for students to complete at this station.
Circumference Station - Students estimate and measure the circumference of a pumpkin.
Float or Sink? Station - Students create and test a hypothesis on whether or not pumpkins will float or sink.
Students have their own Pumpkin Day book that they take with them to each station. The book is a way to record their work and thinking.
At the conclusion of the day, students participate in a class graphing activity about favorite pumpkin foods. Also included in the day/week are lessons about the pumpkin life cycle and parts of a pumpkin.
It's a relatively easy and fun way to incorporate the season into the classroom and curriculum!
I've put together a packet that includes the stations, a parent letter, graphing sheets and printables, student book, a fluency sheet and student reader, graphic organizers, and more.
Here's a look at what is included:
-Parent Letters (3 versions with variations in food list)
-Taste-testing Graphing Sheet (3 versions with variations in food list)
-What Was Your Favorite Pumpkin Food Item? Whole Class, Large Graphing Graphics for Anchor Chart/Bulletin Board (Title and Individual Food Graphics)
-Station Explanations/Instructions Sheet
-Station Posters (Description Station, Weighing Station, Circumference Station, Tasting Station, Float or Sink? Station, Candle Station, Story Station, Counting Station or Estimation Station, Carving Station)
-My Pumpkin Day Student Booklet (For students to carry to stations - 20 pages to choose from)
-All About Pumpkins Fluency Sheet for Advanced Readers
-Pumpkin Labeling Sheet (2 variations - one with word list, one without)
-Graphic Organizers: *Pumpkins Can, Have, Are *Jack-o-Lanterns Can, Have, Are *Pumpkins Bubble Map *Jack-o-Lanterns Bubble Map *Pumpkins and Jack-o-Lanterns Double Bubble Map *The Life Cycle of a Pumpkin Flow Map *Parts of a Pumpkin Brace Map *Pumpkin Circle Map *Jack-o-Lantern Circle Map *Pumpkins and Oranges Venn Diagram
-The Life Cycle of a Pumpkin Emergent Reader
-The Life Cycle of a Pumpkin Cut and Paste Sheet
-The Life Cycle of a Pumpkin Poster Cards
-Pumpkin Technology Links
-Pumpkin Book Suggestions
What fun things do you do for Halloween/October? I'd love to hear your ideas!