One Sunflower

Creature Feature

on October 30, 2012

I was introduced to the book, Big Pumpkin, by a loud-mouthed colleague of mine ten years ago.  She would read the story with a cackling voice for the witch as well as a ghoulish accent for the vampire and high pitched commentary by the bat.  She snapped her fingers before saying “drat” and had the children (and me) in the palm of her hands for the entire story.  Then we would act it out, dragging our class pumpkin across the floor and falling on top of each other.

Since then, it has become a fixture in my October reading box.  But over the years I’ve learned to adjust my storytelling to fit the comprehension level of my mostly non-native English speaking group of students.  I use repetitive phrases instead of funny voices.  I will revisit this story in the spring when we talk about planting seeds and by then they will understand more of the vocabulary in the text.

This year I had another great idea.  Before reading the book, I made photo copies of each character and put them up on our white board in the sequence of how they appear in the book. Because we have been talking about and naming our emotions, I asked each student to identify which character they found the scariest.  This year’s students were much more knowledgeable about ghosts, mummies and vampires than previous classes!

It was a math activity, vocabulary and sequencing lesson reinforced by listening to the story.

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