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October 24, 2017

Super Fun Pumpkin-Themed Activities!

By Shari Carter
Grades PreK–K, 1–2

    The beauty that comes with fall awakens my soul. I love this season and everything that comes with it: crisp mornings, colorful trees, falling leaves, but most of all, I LOVE pumpkins! Here are some cross-curricular pumpkin activities to boost the learning in your classroom this fall!

    Measure Me With Apples and Pumpkins (Math)

    It’s difficult to even know where to begin. I love to introduce an activity with a good book, and I have so many good pumpkin books. Picking Apples & Pumpkins is a perfect book to read aloud before doing our Measure Me With Apples and Pumpkins activity.

    Measurement is a blast when you get to use apples and pumpkins! My kids had so much fun with this activity. It’s an exciting way to teach your kids all about nonstandard units of measure and any time my kids get to work together, they are always happy campers!

    Jack-o'-Lantern Teeth Addition (Math)

    Who doesn’t love candy corn? Okay. Well to be honest, there were a couple of my kinders who don’t really care for these sugary sweets, but that didn’t keep them from having fun with this simple — and easy to differentiate — math activity.

    All you need for this activity are candy corn and the Jack-o'-Lantern Teeth activity page and mat. It’s simple to prepare and is easily differentiated by adjusting the number set (candy corn teeth) to fit the ability level of your little learners. Best of all, it’s hands-on and, because my littles have manipulatives to help add up their jack-o'-lantern teeth, there is a high level of success. Teacher tip: Laminate your mats because even though I encourage the kids to not eat their candy corn until they're finished, as I walk around to check for understanding, I see a lot of sticky, nibbled on candy! When we are finished, I bring out a box of wipes to clean off the mats before I store them.

    Cutest Pumpkins in the Patch (Art)

    Aren’t these jack-o'-lanterns the cutest? This has to be one of my favorite art activities to do with my class each year. I think what I love best about them is that each one has its very own unique personality — just like my own little pumpkins in our class!

    We start by painting (orange paint) a piece of white construction paper, which my kids LOVE! When they dry, we cut out noses, eyes, and mouths out of black construction paper, and this is when their little pumpkins come to life.  

    I teach the cutest pumpkins in the patch!

    I love using art to improve fine motor skills. Kindergarteners need opportunities to strengthen those cute little hands. Cutting with scissors builds up the tiny muscles in their hands, enhances hand-eye coordination, and prepares them for handwriting and using a pencil. If you look at how many teeth are on this jack-o'-lantern, you know this student just had a lot of practice improving her fine motor skills!

    Jack-o'-Lantern Descriptions (Writing)

    My children write about their jack-o'-lanterns when they are finished with their art project. We talk about what an adjective is, and then my students choose two words to describe their pumpkins. I like to border the writing paper before my students write, so that when they are finished, their papers are ready to go up on our bulletin board. Nothing makes this teacher’s heart happier than reading what they have to say in their writing — and these little learners say the darndest things!

    Pumpkin Patch (Field Trip)

    Our first field trip each year is to the pumpkin patch, and the kids have the time of their lives! They get to explore the farm and do a lot of fun things, but the hayride to the pumpkin patch is the highlight of our trip. We came home with a good crop of pumpkins this year.

    Pumpkin Investigations (Science)

    My kids really want to take their pumpkins home the day they get them. They get over any disappointment of not being able to do this when I tell them they are going to be pumpkin investigators, and will be doing lots of fun activities with them at school. My kids estimated and measured how tall their pumpkins were using linking cubes.

    Then, after making predictions about whether pumpkins float or sink, each and every one of my kiddos got a turn to test their predictions, as they immersed their pumpkins in water.  

    We learned a lot this week. Our pumpkin anchor chart was a great way to let my students share their learning with one another. I love using anchor charts because they make thinking visible. I am always proud of just how much my students know about any given topic after completing an anchor chart with their help. I have such smart little kinders and their ability to readily learn new concepts continues to amaze me!

    Let’s Find Out Classroom Magazine (Reading)

    I talk about how much I like Let’s Find Out all the time! It seems like the magazine aligns with almost every single theme I teach. My kids absolutely love and look forward to reading them weekly, and they learn so much in the process. Let’s Find Out is not only enjoyable for students, it also builds content knowledge, vocabulary, early reading skills, phonics, and sight-word recognition.

    This week, my students read their magazines with their fourth-grade reading buddies, and the "Pumpkin Parts!" was a hit in our classroom!

    For even more pumpkin learning opportunities, take a look at what fellow blogger Sandy Carrillo has her preschoolers doing! Here’s wishing you and your students have as much fun learning about pumpkins as we did. I hope you can use some of these activities and that you always remember, when you LOVE what you teach, your students will LOVE what they learn!

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for following my blog, and here’s to a FANTASTIC fall!

    xo-Shari

     

    The beauty that comes with fall awakens my soul. I love this season and everything that comes with it: crisp mornings, colorful trees, falling leaves, but most of all, I LOVE pumpkins! Here are some cross-curricular pumpkin activities to boost the learning in your classroom this fall!

    Measure Me With Apples and Pumpkins (Math)

    It’s difficult to even know where to begin. I love to introduce an activity with a good book, and I have so many good pumpkin books. Picking Apples & Pumpkins is a perfect book to read aloud before doing our Measure Me With Apples and Pumpkins activity.

    Measurement is a blast when you get to use apples and pumpkins! My kids had so much fun with this activity. It’s an exciting way to teach your kids all about nonstandard units of measure and any time my kids get to work together, they are always happy campers!

    Jack-o'-Lantern Teeth Addition (Math)

    Who doesn’t love candy corn? Okay. Well to be honest, there were a couple of my kinders who don’t really care for these sugary sweets, but that didn’t keep them from having fun with this simple — and easy to differentiate — math activity.

    All you need for this activity are candy corn and the Jack-o'-Lantern Teeth activity page and mat. It’s simple to prepare and is easily differentiated by adjusting the number set (candy corn teeth) to fit the ability level of your little learners. Best of all, it’s hands-on and, because my littles have manipulatives to help add up their jack-o'-lantern teeth, there is a high level of success. Teacher tip: Laminate your mats because even though I encourage the kids to not eat their candy corn until they're finished, as I walk around to check for understanding, I see a lot of sticky, nibbled on candy! When we are finished, I bring out a box of wipes to clean off the mats before I store them.

    Cutest Pumpkins in the Patch (Art)

    Aren’t these jack-o'-lanterns the cutest? This has to be one of my favorite art activities to do with my class each year. I think what I love best about them is that each one has its very own unique personality — just like my own little pumpkins in our class!

    We start by painting (orange paint) a piece of white construction paper, which my kids LOVE! When they dry, we cut out noses, eyes, and mouths out of black construction paper, and this is when their little pumpkins come to life.  

    I teach the cutest pumpkins in the patch!

    I love using art to improve fine motor skills. Kindergarteners need opportunities to strengthen those cute little hands. Cutting with scissors builds up the tiny muscles in their hands, enhances hand-eye coordination, and prepares them for handwriting and using a pencil. If you look at how many teeth are on this jack-o'-lantern, you know this student just had a lot of practice improving her fine motor skills!

    Jack-o'-Lantern Descriptions (Writing)

    My children write about their jack-o'-lanterns when they are finished with their art project. We talk about what an adjective is, and then my students choose two words to describe their pumpkins. I like to border the writing paper before my students write, so that when they are finished, their papers are ready to go up on our bulletin board. Nothing makes this teacher’s heart happier than reading what they have to say in their writing — and these little learners say the darndest things!

    Pumpkin Patch (Field Trip)

    Our first field trip each year is to the pumpkin patch, and the kids have the time of their lives! They get to explore the farm and do a lot of fun things, but the hayride to the pumpkin patch is the highlight of our trip. We came home with a good crop of pumpkins this year.

    Pumpkin Investigations (Science)

    My kids really want to take their pumpkins home the day they get them. They get over any disappointment of not being able to do this when I tell them they are going to be pumpkin investigators, and will be doing lots of fun activities with them at school. My kids estimated and measured how tall their pumpkins were using linking cubes.

    Then, after making predictions about whether pumpkins float or sink, each and every one of my kiddos got a turn to test their predictions, as they immersed their pumpkins in water.  

    We learned a lot this week. Our pumpkin anchor chart was a great way to let my students share their learning with one another. I love using anchor charts because they make thinking visible. I am always proud of just how much my students know about any given topic after completing an anchor chart with their help. I have such smart little kinders and their ability to readily learn new concepts continues to amaze me!

    Let’s Find Out Classroom Magazine (Reading)

    I talk about how much I like Let’s Find Out all the time! It seems like the magazine aligns with almost every single theme I teach. My kids absolutely love and look forward to reading them weekly, and they learn so much in the process. Let’s Find Out is not only enjoyable for students, it also builds content knowledge, vocabulary, early reading skills, phonics, and sight-word recognition.

    This week, my students read their magazines with their fourth-grade reading buddies, and the "Pumpkin Parts!" was a hit in our classroom!

    For even more pumpkin learning opportunities, take a look at what fellow blogger Sandy Carrillo has her preschoolers doing! Here’s wishing you and your students have as much fun learning about pumpkins as we did. I hope you can use some of these activities and that you always remember, when you LOVE what you teach, your students will LOVE what they learn!

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for following my blog, and here’s to a FANTASTIC fall!

    xo-Shari

     

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