Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pumpkin Day

I'm a few days late posting about Pumpkin Day.  I had intended to blog about this day prior to Halloween but I just haven't had time to until now.  So, please bare with me that this is an "already came and gone" post...maybe there will be an idea or two here that you can use next year though!

A lot of schools can't exactly celebrate Halloween anymore... no parties, no costumes (although some do a "Dress Up Like A Book Character Day"), and no treat bags.  Since kids absolutely love Halloween though (and I do too!), here is an alternative to skirt around the day and instead celebrate "Pumpkin Day". 
 
 Pumpkin Day is a non-scary educational celebration that revolves completely around pumpkins.  Ask parents to send in items and also invite them into the classroom for this fun day.  The classroom is set up into stations each revolving around a pumpkin activity such as describing, counting seeds, weighing, reading a story, measuring, float/sink and oxygen/fire experiments, etc. Students visit stations in small groups and keep track of their thinking/activities with a small workbook.

 
It's such a wonderful activity.  The kids absolutely love it and have a blast, but they are also learning and meeting curriculum objectives!

If you'd like to do Pumpkin Day with your class, I've put together a ready-to-use guide!  This packet contains everything you need (except for donated items) to set up and run stations and teach about pumpkins and their life cycle!

 
Included:
-Unit Instructions
-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)
-Thinking Maps:
*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