1-2-3 Come Do Some Fall Writing With Me
Since the "Apple Sense" craftivity was downloaded quite a bit, I decided this format would also work well for Pumpkin Sense. No matter what grade your students are in, they need to be reminded to use their senses to make their writing "come alive." The use of adjectives is equally important, and such a simple thing to explain using examples. I find that if students can add a bit of art to their creations, writing is more fun and completed projects make wonderful bulletin boards that build self-esteem.
Run off the pumpkin template on orange construction paper. Students add a bit of color to the the stem, with a green crayon. You can make this even cuter, by having students trace their hand (with their fingers spread) onto a sheet of green construction paper, trim and glue their "leaf" next to the stem. Adding a photograph gives things that finishing touch.
Run the "pumpkin guts" off on yellow construction paper. Students trim and fill in their answers. Before hand, discuss the 5 senses, as well as what an adjective is, explaining the importance of using both to write better.
Brainstorm words that can be used to describe a pumpkin using the various senses and write them on the board. Students can draw from this word bank when they write.
So that they are practicing starting a sentence with a capital letter, have students write a complete sentence, rather than filling in their answer. Review proper end punctuation. To make sure that they use adjectives, encourage students to underline them.
You may want children to write a rough draft, checking to make sure that every noun has a descriptive word before it. Can they think of a better word to describe what they are seeing, feeling, tasting, smelling, etc? When they are satisfied with their final draft, they can write it on the yellow insert. Click on the link to view/download the Pumpkin Sense craftivity.
Continuing with adjective practice, I designed a Describing Fall packet.
Students think of words that describe the various fall themes: school, apples, leaves, pumpkins, spiders, bats, scarecrows, sunflowers, turkeys and Pilgrims, and then fill in the appropriate boxes with adjectives. Once they have done that, students incorporate several words into 1 or 2 sentences that they write on the back of their worksheet.
Children can add a bit of color with crayons or markers. When everyone is done, have them share their work. I've also included a definition of an adjective anchor chart. Click on the link to view/download the Describing Fall Adjective Writing packet.
If you're looking for more activities involving the 5 Senses you may like Sam's Senses craftivity. Children cut and glue the labels to Sam the pumpkin man. What makes Sam special is that his hands are the traced hands of the student. Click on the link to view/download Sam.
My Fall Senses, is a quick and easy candy corn graphic organizer that again helps students practice their writing skills. Click on the link to view download this fall writing activity.
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1-2-3 Come Do Some Apple and Pumpkin Activities With Me!
One of the much-needed skills for little ones, is the ability to cut. Just learning how to hold a scissors is quite an accomplishment for some. To help my Y5's strengthen their hand muscles and increase dexterity, I incorporated cutting practice in some form or another every day. To make this less tedious and frustrating, many of the activities revolved around creating a craft that included other skills as well.
Keeping this in mind, I designed "A-peel-ing Apples" so children could practice cutting in a circle. This is a wonderful opportunity to add the term spiral to students' vocabulary as well. Giving a red, yellow or lime green color choice for the apple, also reinforces that science fact.
To add a bit more pizzazz, older students can glue two different colors together. The thicker paper lessens the drop of the spiral, and the double-sided colors add interest to the dangler. Students glue a stem and leaf to the top. Punch a hole; add a yarn loop and suspend from the ceiling, or as a border against a hallway wall. Click on the link to view/download the A-peel-ing Apples activity.
Cutting on a straight line is also not that easy for some little ones. These apple and pumpkin "strip" puzzles, will not only give your students practice with that skill, but review and reinforce sequencing numbers from 1-10, skip counting by 10's, or counting backwards from 10-1. I've used a dashed-line font, for the numbers on the apples and pumpkins, so that students can get some writing practice in. Encourage children to count quietly as they trace the numbers.
Simply choose a number concept you want to work on and run off the puzzles on construction paper. Children choose a puzzle; trace the numbers; cut the strips, lay them in the proper sequence on a sheet of black construction paper, and then glue them down.
Remind students to keep a small space between the strips. Students add a stem and leaf to the top. You can make the pumpkin more of a keepsake, by having children, or a room helper, trace their hand, with their fingers spread, onto green construction paper. They trim and glue next to their stem. Completed projects make a sweet harvest bulletin board.
You may want to laminate one of each kind, to keep in your math center. Each puzzle has its own Baggie. Children can work indepently, or pick a partner to play "Speed" against. The first one who completes their puzzle, is the winner. Click on the link to view/download the Apple and Pumpkin Number Puzzles.
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"Imagination is the highest kite one can fly." -Lauren Bacall
1-2-3 Come Make a Pumpkin Slider With Me!
Making a hands-on craftivity, is a fun way for students to learn about, and review the basic 2D shapes and the shape words associated with them. I tried to do at least one shape activity a week with my Y5's. The more exposure they had to shapes, the better the chances of their light bulb going on, in an interesting and non-stressful way.
My "sliders" have always been extremely popular, so I wanted to make a pumpkin one with shapes. They are called sliders, because students pull(slide) their strip through slits, to reveal whatever I want to teach. Sliders are a quick and easy way to whole-group assess. Simply call out a shape and have students find it on their slider and then hold it up. You can also individually assess with a slider; the game-like activity, lessens a child's apprehension when being tested.
Here's how to make the Pumpkin Shape Slider:
Click on the link to view/download the Pumpkin Shape Slider. I also made a Pumpkin ABC-123 Slider that has different strips, so you can review: upper and lowercase letters, numbers from 0-30, skip counting by 2's, 3's, 5's and 10's, as well as counting backwards from 10 to 0 and 20 to 0. Run off whatever strips you want your students to work on. Make a laminated one yourself to use as a demonstration, review, or assessment sample.
So that the strip is easily managed, students can fold the ends up. Have children TRACE the letters/numbers with two different colored highlighters in an ABAB pattern. Click on the link to view/download the ABC-123 Pumpkin Slider. There are 3 pumpkin templates to choose from: students can draw on their own face, add wiggle eyes, or use the pumpkin that has a face on it. TIP: Decorate the pumpkin on both sides and glue 2 slider strips back-to-back for double duty.
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"The only place success comes before work, is in the dictionary!" -Vidal Sassoon
From Seeds To Pumpkin Pie -- Life Cycle Craftivity
I LOVE teaching hands-on "craftivities." They are wonderful vehicles that get students motivated and excited to learn.
They involve a multitude of senses as I incorporate all sorts of skills, report card standards and subjects.
From Seeds To Pumpkin Pie is an example of how I do this.
The front of the pumpkin reviews all of the basic shapes, including the hexagon, as students design their Jack-O-Lantern. (K.G.2)
Students can draw them on their orange circle or give them an assortment of the various shapes, by pre-cutting them out of black construction paper. I would opt for the latter with Y5’s or younger.
I’ve found that little ones are often frustrated with reproducing shapes, particularly triangles, so they make a dot here and there and put a smile on their pumpkin face, which defeats the purpose of the lesson.
This way you’ll get all sorts of unique Jack-O-Lanterns with hexagons, ovals, triangles etc.
Things are also done in a short amount of time, yet students are still getting a good fine motor skill work out.
Listening and following directions is imperative to assembling their project, which can be whole-group assessed.
The back of the pumpkin converts into a pie and is divided into quarters and shows the life cycle, so you’ll be teaching science.
A cycle is done in a specific order, so you can review ordinal numbers as well. i.e., first we plant seeds, second we’ll see a sprout, third the yellow flower will appear etc.
The picture is divided into 1/4ths so it’s perfect to introduce or review fractions (Common Core math standard1.G.3) with first graders.
That’s specifically why I added the 2 skill sheets with the pumpkin pie and stem activities, so 1st grade students can work on partitioning circles (pumpkin pies) and rectangles (pumpkin stems) into two and four equal shares; describing the shares using the words halves, fourths & quarters. (1.G.3)
Click on the link to view/download From Seeds To Pumpkin Pie
I hope your little “punkins” enjoy this hands-on craftivity, while they’re learning Common Core.
Their self-esteem will be built as they see their work dangling from the ceiling in the hallway too. What a treat!
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