These cross-curricular activities help students develop key skills by studying one of this season's most celebrated crops.
Books for Teaching With Pumpkins
Use this book list as a starting point for discussions and experiments about pumpkins. These titles can be used as read-alouds, pocket chart stories, and choral readings.
PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5
All the books in this list can be used as read-alouds. Some can be used as pocket chart stories and choral readings. They can also be used as a starting point for discussions and experiments.
1. Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell
A young girl goes to a farm at harvest time to pick apples and pumpkins.
Classroom Tip: I read this book aloud to show students where produce comes from and that food doesn't magically appear at the store.
2. The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll
Two mice fall in love with the same pumpkin and take care of it.
Classroom Tip: I use this book to discuss teamwork and sharing.
3. Clifford's First Autumn by Norman Bridwell
Children learn about the seasons and multiculturalism through the metaphors of different colored leaves.
Classroom Tip: I read this aloud to instill lessons about respecting difference.
4. Clifford's First Halloween by Norman Bridwell
Clifford decides the best Halloween costume for himself.
Classroom Tip: This book is a good addition to the Fall Pumpkin Theme.
5. Five Little Pumpkins by Iris Van Rynbach
Introduces students to the illustrated version of the poem "Five Little Pumpkins."
Classroom Tip: This book can easily become a pocket chart story. Students learn ordinal numbers. Students will want this book read to them many times.
6. It's Pumpkin Time! by Zoe Hall
Students will learn the joy of gardening by watching a brother and sister plant their pumpkin patch as they get ready for Halloween. The illustrations are collages and can be used as an example of the art form.
Classroom Tip: I use this book for sequencing the growth of a pumpkin and whetting students' appetite for an upcoming collage art activity.
7. Jeb Scarecrow's Pumpkin Patch by Jana Dillon
A scarecrow tries to protect his pumpkin patch from crows that are determined to have their harvest party in his pumpkin patch and feast on his pumpkins.
Classroom Tip: A fun book to introduce the topic and then make scarecrows as an art activity.
8. Patty's Pumpkin Patch by Teri Sloat
This book discusses the care require to produce a pumpkin crop and the correlation between planting and harvesting. It incorporates animals and insects that are found in a pumpkin patch.
Classroom Tip: I use this book to show the students the growth process of the pumpkin and introduce the alphabet and rhyme. The students love to find all the animals and insects on the page.
9. Pooh's Pumpkin (Winnie the Pooh First Readers) by Isabel Gaines
This teaches students about friendship, gardening, and the patience.
Classroom Tip: This is a great read aloud because children love Winnie the Pooh and it teaches great lessons.
10. The Pumpkin Book by Gail Gibbons
This book has a lot of factual information about pumpkins.
Classroom Tip: Use this book to chart information about pumpkins. Before beginning the unit I start a KWL chart. After reading this book students will be able to fill in the "What I Learned portion of the chart and cross check it with what they know before they began the unit.
11. Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden by George Levenson
This book show the life cycle of a pumpkin from a seed to its decay, which in turn starts the growth process again.
Classroom Tip: I use this book near the end of the unit because it shows the decay of the pumpkin. We actually cut up our pumpkin on the last day of the unit and watch the pumpkin decay. Students write and draw their observations about the process in their journals.
12. The Pumpkin Patch by Elizabeth King
This book depicts the stages of a pumpkin through photographs and captions.
Classroom Tip: A great book for sharing as a group.
13. Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington
A young boy named Jaime plants his pumpkin seed and we watch the process of growth.
Classroom Tip: This is one of the first books I read during the unit. The students can relate to the young boy, Jaime. He is about their age. The students illustrate the phases of growth in a small individual book as a homework assignment.
14. Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant
This book is told from the scarecrows' point of view.
Classroom Tip: Use this book to teach comparing and contrasting. Model how to contrast views of the people, scarecrows, farmers, and even pumpkins. Have children add their thoughts in a discussion.
15. Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White
Rebecca, the main character, does not like pumpkins because as a poor child they were all her family could afford to eat. Years later, a giant pumpkin falls off a truck and she buries it because it reminds her of her childhood. As time goes on Rebecca has a large pumpkin patch.
Classroom Tip: This is a great book for predicting. I ask the students to predict what they think will happen after Rebecca buries the pumpkin and record their responses on a chart.