All About Pumpkins - Plus a FREEBIE!
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Pumpkin season is here!
I just love this time of year, and there are so many fun things we can do in the classroom with pumpkins.
…and this is exactly how this unit was born… because we love learning All About Pumpkins!
I have a fun FREEBIE for you for you on this blog post to teach your kiddos about the life cycle of a pumpkin.
I read one enrichment book a week. If this doesn’t sound like a lot… well you are right. But I would rather cover one story really well than none at all, and this is all my schedule allows for. But we go in depth, and usually read the story at least twice.
Doing this kind of theme really helps with background knowledge, engagement, comprehension, and more.
Plus the kids love all the fun, hands-on learning we do with each story!
To kick off our pumpkin unit, I start with our pumpkin life cycle slideshow.
I show one slide at a time and we read the sentence together (it comes in a PDF format so you can project it on your front board directly from your computer.)
We discuss the pictures and students tell me what they notice. They love seeing the pictures of pumpkins and the changes the plant goes through!
After we go through the slideshow the first time, I give students their coordinating mini book.
The book has sentences that are almost the exact same as the slideshow.
Students love to look at the pictures on the slideshow, and we go through it a bunch of times. This also helps with building their fluency by rereading the sentences.
Week 1 - From Seed to Pumpkin
This book is perfect for kicking off your pumpkin unit. The slideshow was the perfect way to build your students’ background knowledge for this story.
Students have already been prepared with the vocabulary of the pumpkin life cycle, so they are super engaged and excited to read the story and share what they already know.
The story walks students through how pumpkin seeds grow and change into big, orange pumpkins!
After we read the story, we practice our pumpkin vocabulary.
These vocabulary charts are a great way for students to learn how to spell the words.
You can laminate the color version for a center our the black and white version is perfect for whole group our small groups.
This pumpkin vocabulary activity is differentiated for your students.
One version has students simply matching the words, and the other version is more advanced they actually have to sound out the word and place it where it belongs.
Now we are ready to put the pumpkin life cycle steps in order!
These picture cards are perfect for a pocket chart! We print and laminate them and students can practice putting the steps in order.
Then they can cut, paste and color their own How Do Pumpkins Grow activity.
This comes in two differentiated versions as well - one where students match the words and one where students have to place them on their own. Use one or both!
This makes a perfect October center activity.
By the end of the week, your students will know their pumpkin vocabulary and the pumpkin life cycle!
Week 2 - The Biggest Pumpkin Ever
Last week our read aloud book was packed full of information. This week we focus on a story that is a narrative about two little mice who both have a big idea for a pumpkin.
They both water it, take good care of it and also make big plans for what they want to do with this pumpkin…. which of course leads to a big problem.
This books lends itself really well to a lot of different class discussions as well as activities.
We start by talking about some of the different things we can do with pumpkins.
We then quickly review the stages a pumpkin goes through, and I show them this anchor chart to remind them that pumpkins need water, soil, water and oxygen (the mice put fertilizer on the pumpkin too.)
Then students can complete this activity about what a pumpkin needs in order to grow. They trace the words, and then cut/paste them words and pictures to match.
This is a great reminder so students can remember the four major things pumpkins need in order to grow big.
This leads right into writing a sentence! Once we grow a pumpkin, then we can pick it (just like in the story.)
This activity is scaffolded so students can be successful writing a sentence this time of year. They cut and paste to match the words, then trace it above. Finally, they color the picture!
If your kiddos are ready, you can then even have them try writing the sentence on their own on the back of their paper.
We have so much fun with pumpkins the rest of the week! We do pumpkin patterns with daubers and the kids can make pumpkin art with paint. I ask them what they would do with a pumpkin?
And since the story talked about the BIGGEST pumpkin… we practice putting pumpkins in order from smallest too largest.
The color cards can be used in a pocket chart, and then students can cut and paste their coordinating activity.
This is actually trickier than it looks for so many kiddos!
Lastly, we talk about what is INSIDE the pumpkin this week!
Students cut and paste to label all the parts of the pumpkin! They think this is so neat, and I like to bring a real pumpkin to class to show them.
Then we can make a cute craft. Just print the black line on orange paper, staple together on the top of the stems and use seeds and string for the inside!
Week 3 - Too Many Pumpkins
This is such a cute story about a lady named Rebecca Estelle who does NOT like pumpkins… she plants her garden every spring but does NOT plant pumpkins.
Then a pumpkin truck accidentally drops a huge pumpkin in her yard! She buries the pumpkin to get rid of it… but then in the next spring a pumpkin plant pops up.
She is determined not to take care of it, but alas pumpkins keep growing and growing.
The story continues about all the things she does with the pumpkins… baking pumpkin cakes, pies, muffins, treats and making jack-o-lanterns. The kids LOVE this and love to share what they do with pumpkins.
This story leads us into a FUN week with all things pumpkin!
We start by making a class book.
Every student gets a page with a number on it.
For example, “If I had 5 pumpkins, I would….” and they finish this sentence starter. Included are numbers 1-25 plus a blank page so you can add more numbers if you have more than 25 students.
This makes an adorable class book and every student gets to share what they would do with their pumpkins.
Please note: the front cover and poem page come in both color and BW versions.
With all this counting, we then do this color and count pumpkins activity. This works well for practicing 1:1 correspondence and numeral recognition.
Next we do this super fun poll to see which pumpkin treats students like. Their answers always surprise me!
You can ask volunteers to send in different treats and the class can taste test them.
Rebecca Estelle made all sorts of pumpkin treats in the story, so it is a fun week to have the students try pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies, etc.
Then you can take a class survey and graph the results.
Finally they use the word bank to finish the sentence about which pumpkin treat they liked best.
***Ask parents to donate the treats!***
Finally, our last activity for enrichment this week is our sequencing practice.
I love using interesting topics and seasonal ideas to practice reading skills. Sequencing is no different.. so we are using Pumpkin Pie to practice putting events in order.
I display this adorable anchor chart and we discuss the steps.
Then students can complete the cut/paste activity that coordinates. I love watching their little brains work through this problem solving task.
Week 4 - Pete the Cat
I save this book for last in our enrichment series this month for a reason! It is the week before Halloween and the kids are a little wild with excitement.
This is such a cute book and lends itself perfectly to numbers and counting!
Plus, there is a cute little video HERE that reads along with the book. I usually read the book first, and then the next day your voice gets a break by showing this video!
This mini book helps students practice numbers 1-5 along with 1:1 correspondence.
We have so much fun with the silly pumpkin theme!
We match the 5 silly pumpkins (way harder than it looks for some of the kiddos!) write numbers 1-5 on the gate, and then students get to finish the sentence about what the silly pumpkin says.
Here is another way to practice numbers and counting to five, plus if you’re heading to the pumpkin patch this week, students can complete this sentence (for a lot of my kiddos at this point in the year, I have them tell me what they want their sentence to say and I write it in highlighter. Then they can trace the words and be successful!)
PRINT A FREEBIE!
Kiddos love to practice their sequencing skills by putting these beautiful picture cards in order.
You can print and laminate them (optional) and if you want them to be self-checking just write numbers on the back.
These work really well in a center and coordinate perfectly with our slideshow.
Another fun activity you can do is print these cards (one set for each student) and while you’re showing the slideshow, students put their own set in order.
CLICK HERE to grab this freebie!
I hope you have enjoyed reading All About Pumpkins and have new ideas to take back to your classroom for the month of October.
This enrichment unit will take you through the entire month. I like to use the four books I talked about on this blog post because I coordinated specific activities to go with them, but really you can use any books about pumpkins.
READ THE REVIEWS
“Very comprehensive unit and love the pictures and variety of activities included.”
“Love your work!”
“I have your Apple Unit and was so excited to find the Pumpkins! Awesome resources!”
“I totally love this unit!! Can’t wait to see the rest of the year themes.”