Thursday, October 22, 2015

For the Love of Pumpkins!

It's Amy from Teaching in Blue Jeans.  Fall is here and I don't know about you, but I have jumped on the Pumpkin Everything bandwagon.  Living in Texas, fall is, well - just hot!  A cold front means it drops into the 80's.  As for leaves changing colors - not here.  So I do what I can to make it feel like fall and adding some pumpkin spice helps a lot!

I love using pumpkins in my classroom too.  In fact, we learn about pumpkins, investigate with pumpkins, cook with pumpkins and even create with pumpkins for a couple of weeks!  Today I want to share with you a couple resources I created for the beginning of our pumpkin unit: an emergent science reader about pumpkins and the pumpkin life cycle and pumpkin vocabulary cards.

I love using real pictures as often as I can because I believe it helps my students build real-world connections to build their learning on.  I love cute clip-art too - don't get me wrong - but in areas like science I try to go for the real thing.  In our area, there are not very many students who have seen a pumpkin anywhere other than the grocery store so exposing them to the real thing helps a lot!

I begin my pumpkin unit using the emergent reader.  This book guides us through the life cycle of a pumpkin, different types of pumpkins and uses for pumpkins.  We use it in science but also connect it to reading as we find sight words we have learned as well as phonics skills.  Here's a peek inside the book:

I use this full-page, color version to project on the board for whole class instruction.  I also like to print it out and staple it together to put in our class library for future reading.  A printed out copy works great for small group instruction as well.

You also get a black and white version of the book that is formatted for 2 to a page so that you can make "little books" for the students.  I love sending these home with my students so they can practice reading to their family!

After introducing pumpkins, I pull out our Pumpkin Vocabulary Cards.  These are a great way for the students to visualize the key science vocabulary.  Here's a couple examples from the Vocabulary Card Set.

Now is the perfect time to add these resources to your pumpkin unit!  At only $1 each they are a total Teacher Deal!!!  Grab them while you can - they will be marked down until Saturday, October 24.  

Happy fall y'all!

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