One of my favorite stories to read during the month of October is The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll. It is our catalyst into all things pumpkin and Halloween, so it is usually the first book I read before diving into learning all about pumpkins. Since the story talks about growing a pumpkin, it's a great way to get my kinders thinking about how a pumpkin grows, what it needs to grow, etc... There's also so many opportunities for text-to-self connections and discussing real vs fantasy. Have I mentioned I love this book?!
Three years ago, I created a book companion. It is a compilation of activities that I used with my kindergartners and first graders over several years. I just updated the entire packet, adding several new pages and tweaking those already made with updated fonts and clipart.
Here's what I've included and how I incorporated the activities into my classroom.
These activities are pretty obvious! Your standard reading response sheets; story map, story sequencing, text-to-self connections, character trait bubble maps, character comparison venn-diagrams, etc...
The week following our study on the book, I introduce my kindergartners to the story Pumpkin Faces. This emergent reader focuses on students writing and recognizing the sight word 'see' and I offer two version for differentiating between students who are ready to write the word independently and those that still need a little support.
We read the book together several times and work together first to put the story in order in the pocket chart before placing this activity into the center rotation. The emergent readers are placed into their book luggage for the remainder of the month for reading during read-to-self and buddy reading!
I included anchor chart ideas and labels that I used every year with my students. Simple and effective learning!
We completed the brace map the week after reading the story as we began to dive into learning more about pumpkins.
The Great Pumpkin Exploration was also completed the following week during our pumpkin unit. Just wanted to share :)
I also included a fun little rhyming activity and recording sheet that you can use in a literacy center or use as a small group activity.
The math sheet, Fill the Pumpkin, is one of my students favorite math tub every year. It's a simple game of roll the dice, count, fill in corresponding number of squares. Player with the most squares filled in wins. Easy!
I printed this game on cardstock and laminated. Then, had students use expo markers to fill in squares. Simply wipe off when finished!
I just love this time of year and all things pumpkins!