Fall is the perfect time for exploring themes such as apples, pumpkins, or leaves, but my favorite theme is scarecrows. I love including books about scarecrows and writing options about scarecrows, and I love decorating with scarecrows. Today, I’ll share scarecrow resources you can incorporate into your lessons.
Book Recommendations for a Scarecrow Theme
Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant
As you can see, there are a multitude of wonderful book options. Of these, Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant is by far my favorite. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed using this unit I developed to go with it. Last year, my students wrote the best stories about “The Day in the Life of a Scarecrow”. By using Cynthia Rylant’s book as a mentor text, the students were able to make better word choices to develop voice and imagery.
Otis and the Scarecrow by Loren Long
Another favorite from this list is Otis and the Scarecrow. I just love the Otis series. Maybe because it reminds me of home. Anyway, this one too is descriptive and would work well as a model for writing. You might tie in life on a farm and nonfiction farming books. The writing freebie to the right would work well as a follow up to the story.
Activity Ideas and Scarecrow Resources
Whether you’re in primary or upper elementary, there are many art options for scarecrows. I absolutely love the watercolor scarecrows, and what about the cute door decor. If you’re looking for instructional ways to tie in the art projects, you can certainly work on writing. Having your kids write how-to paragraphs about building a scarecrow, descriptive writing about spending the day as a scarecrow, or an informational paragraph about how scarecrows were invented are just a few I thought of. For other activity choices, check out the Pinterest board I developed.
Scarecrow Resources for Fluency
To keep your kids reading and thinking, you might give my partner plays a try. Both The Farmer and the Scarecrow and The Great Pumpkin Heist would both work well during October. Each set includes before, during, and after activities.
The Farmer and the Scarecrow
The Farmer and the Scarecrow is about how the scarecrow helps the farmer and keeps an eye on all the happenings at the farm. This is set up in the same manner with schema building, vocabulary, comprehension questions, and writing.
The Great Pumpkin Heist
In The Great Pumpkin Heist, Scarecrow and Ragdoll become alive at night and play tricks on the neighborhood. It’s a mystery, and it includes vocabulary work, comprehension questions for close reading, and a follow up writing prompt.
The last thing I’d like to share for fluency work is this poetry set I wrote. My students just loved working with it, and it was the perfect set to use in conjunction with Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant. We used it to work on phrasing and work work. It also includes comprehension questions for group discussion. You can download it by clicking the image to the left.
Nonfiction Scarecrow Resources
There are quite a few options for activities with scarecrows, but I wanted to share with you a nonfiction option as well. The article below is a Close Reading set that students will read, highlight, and annotate to show their thinking. It is accompanied with two follow up activities too. Enjoy!
Tech Ideas You Might Like:
Looking for ways to include technology? Some may not tie in with your curriculum, but these options may work well for younger children. If you teach pre-K, your little ones would probably enjoy building a scarecrow on the Highlights website.The jigsaw puzzle app on Primary Games is a great option as it can includes as few as 12 pieces, but as many as 108. I can see using it as a team building activity with ipads.
Other Related Posts:
What Scarecrow ideas do you have? I’d love for you to share them in the comments below.