23 October 2013

Pumpkins EVERYWHERE! And Making Connections

We’re learning all about pumpkins this week and the kids couldn’t be more thrilled!!  I thought I’d share some of the fun we’re having incase you’re knee deep in pumpkin seeds, too!

We started the week activating & growing our pumpkin schema.  We read a few fun non-fiction pumpkin books, gathered new learning, and added our little fact seeds to our pumpkin chart.  Did you know that pumpkins are fruit?!  That was a “are-you-for-real?!?!” moment for the kids. 

pumpkin10pumpkin11 pumpkin12

We followed up our new learning with a little apples vs. pumpkins venn diagram.  We reinforced a few key vocabulary words {similar, contrast, compare, alike, different} & used that verbiage while we talked about both.  The kids did such a GREAT job recalling facts.  They even remembered a few things I had forgotten!  I love it when that happens!!

pumpkin1pumpkin3  pumpkin4  pumpkin2

We followed up our little Venn Diagram activity with some very simple writing comparing both fruits.  The kids had to tell me one thing that pumpkins are/have/can do & then follow that up by writing Apples are/do/can not.    They even made these precious little layered scrapbook pumpkins!

pumpkin18 pumpkin19

For the pumpkins, just cut out a little pumpkin template {on orange construction paper}.  Cut strips out of lots of random orange{ish} scrapbook paper about 1-1/2 in. thick.  I showed the kids how to layer the paper {great opportunity for new vocabulary!} and then turn the pumpkin over and cut off all the *excess* paper.  They did pretty great!  And they look darling, too!!  A little writing & fine motor practice all wrapped up in a pretty little pumpkin package :)


Today we talked all about making connections.  We’ve been talking about text to self connections since the beginning of the year…and I make the kids give me a text to self/text to self connection after each book we read during our guided reading instruction…but today I wanted them to write about those connections, so we dug a little deeper.  I’m a visual person and I know kids are too, so I introduced our text to self anchor chart.


We talked all about making text to self connections and then gave several examples of what it sounds like.

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You might remember this activity I posted about last year.  I read the book, “The Littlest Pumpkin” and had the kids write about why the littlest pumpkin felt disappointed and then make a text to self connection and write about a time they felt disappointed.  It’s much easier to articulate it than it is to write it down!  Especially at this time of the year!!!  All that to be said, I think my kids did a GREAT job….especially since they worked independently doing so!  They have made SO much progress since the beginning of the year!!  It’s definitely still a work in progress and will be for a LONG time, but they’re becoming better writers every.single.day!

pumpkin16pumpkin15 pumpkin17

And here’s what we’re working in for Poetry this week…

I made up this little ditty to help the kids remember how to spell pumpkin.  It’s all I hear now.  We kinda like to sing ;)


And I dug this little poem out of the old teaching files from years ago!  My kids LOVE it!


We’ve still got two days left in the week and LOTS more to learn!!  We’ll be finishing up our pumpkin fun with my little pumpkin investigations journal and a pumpkin tasting party on Friday!! 

We’ll also be doing this little descriptive words activity tomorrow.  This is one of my most favorite pumpkin activities!  I’ve been doing it every year since I started teaching 12 years ago! 


We’ll even vote on how we’ll carve our pumpkin


We are SO excited!  Pumpkin fun for EVERYONE!


  1. I'll send you my address and you can start making double anchor charts and send them my way. Don't know how you find the time! They look great! I can barely make it to the bathroom during the day! haha! ;)

  2. You have some of the best anchor charts I've ever seen... they are delightful!
    Granny Goes to School

  3. This is an awesome post! Thank you for all the great ideas.

  4. Oh My Goodness Cara...you are just too amazing! Your anchor charts are the cutest things EVER! Your blog is such an inspiration. It is amazing to see how God is using you to touch so many hearts by helping us make learning so fun and engaging...and your love and kindness just pours out of each post you write.

    I just sent you a game/activity about the Pumpkin Snatchers...my kiddos adored this and I hope your kiddos do too!

    Love ya friend! :)

    Heather's Heart

    1. Just stopped by your blog. Love it! I'd love to know more about your game as well.

  5. Your anchor charts are RIDICULOUSLY adorable! Loved this whole post! Want to be you!

  6. I have pinned every single one of your anchor charts. They could not be more cute and meaningful! What an amazing teacher you are! Thank you so much for always sharing your creative ideas. You make me a better teacher!

  7. I seriously want to be a student in your classroom!! FUN!!!

  8. I love all of the anchor charts! One question, do you color in your sleep? haha, I have no clue how you find the time for all of this! You are amazing, Cara!

    The Teacher's Treasure Chest

  9. Those anchor charts are to die for!
    My Second Sense

  10. I'm obsessed. SO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. I love all these ideas!! I'm starting pumpkins soon, glad to have more to add to our unit!!
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

  12. Thanks for the pumpkin ideas. They will be great for my unit in November.

  13. Such cute stuff! Do you have a copy of the Littlest pumpkin connection page in your TPT store? i'd love to use it! i love that book!!
    Lindsay :)

  14. LOVE that scrapbook pumpkin idea...they turned out so stinkin' cute! I am definitely doing that next week :)

    We just started making connections as well! This week we used Spookley the Square Pumpkin to make a connection, and I posted free making connections writing paper to go along with it. If you're interested you can get the direct download HERE !

    Have a fabulous weekend :)
    Fun With Firsties

  15. How do I get a copy of the text to self connection for the Littlest Pumpkin?

    thanks, Michelle

  16. Honestly, what can I say that everyone else hasn't already. This is your best post yet. Although I already do most pf the activities you posted, yours are soooo much more appealing and creative. If you ever decide to package your anchor charts, I'll be first in line to buy!!! Until then, I'll be using yours for inspiration.

  17. You make teaching Kinder look so easy! As always....nothing short of inspiring! Thanks so much! =)

    A+ Firsties

  18. Your pumpkins are ADORABLE! I love the toothy grins on the "littlest pumpkins". Thanks so much for sharing!

    The Busy Blonde B

  19. Cute! I always make the scrapbook paper pumpkins after reading "The Runaway Pumpkin". That's this Friday's afternoon activity--hurray!

  20. Absolutely LOVING your blog! I saw an idea that was supposedly yours (Mystery Word Bags), yet I have been searching and searching (and finding TONS of incredible ideas), but I can not find these bags. Are they explained somewhere? Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  21. This is a really well crafted blog post! You obviously have a great eye for design too! Do your student blog too?

  22. This is a really well crafted blog post! You obviously have a great eye for design too! Do your student blog too?

  23. I peruse through your blog often and I love all of your ideas. I am constantly checking to see if you have added anything new to your website and I was excited to log on today to see your most recent post. Your blog has been helping me tremendously since I was hired 3 weeks into the school year and am teaching a K/1 combo. Thank you for all of your wonderful ideas as I have used many of them! :)