Pumpkins Galore! A Pumpkin Theme Your Students Will Love

Pumpkins Galore! A Pumpkin Theme Your Students Will Love title image

We have pumpkins galore during the fall, and it’s lots of fun to teach with a pumpkin theme. It’s easy to find fun activities to fill the week that also match your teaching standards. In this post, I will share some of my favorite pumpkin themed resources with you.

The Great Pumpkin Heist, a Partner Play with a pumpkin theme:

I thought I’d start with what’s happening in my classroom. My students have had great fun with two fall themed partner scripts I’ve made.  The first set I used has a pumpkin theme and is called The Great Pumpkin Heist.  I am using it with my fourth grade group, and the readability of the script between 3rd and 4th.  

Here is a preview of it. The set includes a vocabulary page, question task cards, and a post reading character traits page. ($3.00)  The children started out with me for prereading vocabulary and schema building.  Then, I paired them for partner reading.  

Pumpkins Galore! A Pumpkin Theme Your Students Will Love play 1

Afterwards, I brought them back to our small group table to use the task cards for discussion (Day 1). On day two, we reviewed the vocabulary, did a mini lesson from an Interactive Notebook set I have on character traits, practiced a second time, and used the character traits organizer for post reading.  The children thoroughly enjoyed it.

Pumpkins Galore! A Pumpkin Theme Your Students Will Love partner play 2
Pumpkins Galore! A Pumpkin Theme Your Students Will Love partner play 3
Pumpkins Galore! A Pumpkin Theme Your Students Will Love partner play 4

The Farmer and the Scarecrow Partner Play

farmer-and-scarecrow-play-1

The Farmer and the Scarecrow is the second partner play for fall. It’s one that can be used any time during the fall. Like The Great Pumpkin Heist, it’s organized in a Before-During-After activities.

It has vocabulary words and a graphic organizer as well as a farming ABC brainstorm activity for prereading. You’ll see in the photo to the left that the vocabulary is rich.

During reading, students read together and use question task cards to keep focus on comprehension.

After reading, students work on the graphic organizer as well as the writing prompt, My Life as a Scarecrow.

free resources with a Pumpkin theme

I have combed my friends stores, and I’ve collected a few great freebies with a pumpkin theme. The first comes from my friend, Erin at Mrs. Beers Language Arts.  It fit perfectly since I’ve been using Close Reading Strategies with my students in both fourth and fifth grades.  However, it worked best for my fifth graders due to the reading level of the text.  I loved that it was an informational article since we’ve been working on summarizing strategies for nonfiction.  Gail Gibbons book, The Pumpkin Book, would work well as a read aloud to compare and contrast with the article later too.

This week, we’ve also focused heavily on paragraph formation.  I’ve discovered my students in the middle grades need a refresher on writing paragraphs that follow the Hamburger Model, and several of the themes from previous weeks work well for quick writes that stick to a topic.

Planning your pumpkin theme

When planning out this theme, I was reminded of many favorite books.  I love the book, Pumpkin Soup.  It’s one that is recommended quite often as a mentor text for writing recipes.  Of course From Seed to Pumpkin and Pumpkin, Pumpkin are a great ones for introducing plant life cycles, and The Biggest Pumpkin Book is always a hit for fiction.

In the activities section of my planning sheet, there are three activities that I want to point out specifically.  I love Jen Runde’s 3-d pumpkins for story elements.  Students love doing crafts, but at a time where content demands allow little free time, this is a nice one to do both.  I also love the options available with Mel Lloyd’s Pumpkin Flapbook. I can see using this with a Halloween/Fall book of choice as a book report project.

The links I have included provide options too. The first link is to a blog post with 40+ ways to carve and use pumpkins in other lessons. For pumpkin research, All About Pumpkins offers factual information about how pumpkins grow, etc.  The final link is well…just a fun little thing for students to do on your smartboard.

pumpkin themed poem

Before I sign off, I would love to share one little freebie with my fans.  It’s a little poem I wrote that is part of my Fall Poem of the Week set.  You can use it for fluency work, for word hunts, and reviewing high frequency words. 

other posts you might like:

Until next time…happy teaching!

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Carla

Carla is a licensed reading specialist with 27 years of experience in the regular classroom (grades 1, 4, and 5), in Title 1 reading, as a tech specialists, and a literacy coach. She has a passion for literacy instruction and meeting the needs of the individual learner.

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