Favorite October Activities for the Classroom
Collected from Teachers.Net Mailrings
My favorite October activity deals with feelings. We discuss the different feelings that are in the stories we've been reading and then each student gets a paper pumpkin with a feeling written on it. They then paint a picture of a pumpkin that "feels" that way. We call their paintings "pumpkin personality portraits" and hang them up. I cut out candycorns that the kids color and write their feeling on and put that in the corner of each portrait so everyone knows the feeling for each pumpkin. Then they write a story about why their pumpkin feels that way. When I take the pictures down I bind the stories together with the picture as the cover.
Submitted by Lynne Kistler
I love doing a study on bats, spiders and skeletons. Of course, the Q-tip skeleton is always a favorite! We do the scarecrow and spider happy hangers this month. Using graphic organizers with your study of bats and spiders is always easy to do and lends itself well to the unit.
Submitted by Shanna Piatt
My favorite activity in October is Baby Pumpkins. Each child receives a small pumpkin and draws on its face, weighs it, names it (fills in the certificate to introduce it to the "grandparents"), and makes it a bed (small box, etc...to carry it in). It is a great way to introduce circumference, weight, mass, etc. Students carry their "babies" everywhere they go. They must get a babysitter if they leave the baby unattended. In order to pay the baby-sitter, students "pay" someone a compliment. It is a great science unit when you talk about plants and life cycles. It teaches responsibility. It teaches students to compliment each other. I work in as many pumpkin stories as I can as well. The project is treated as the egg or bag of sugar projects sometimes used in high schools to teach about responsibility. Enjoy!
Submitted by Rhonda Henson
Favorite Pumpkin Activity
I read Mousekin's Golden House by Edna Miller to the class. It's a great story with beautiful illustrations about a mouse that finds a winter home in a discarded jack-o-lantern. As the winter goes on, the jack-o-lantern "wraps around him" to keep him warm. It is actually decomposing...and decomposition is part of our curriculum. We talk about what could be happening to Mousekin's pumpkin. Our class them cuts out a pumpkin...displays it through Halloween, then puts in the garden at school to watch what happens to it. We keep a "pumpkin journal" through the end of school with drawings and observations about our pumpkin. It ties so well with animal homes (would this really have worked as a home for Mousekin?), habitats, food chains, and decomposition.
It's great...I've built a whole pumpkin unit around this activity!! The only catch is that Mouskin's Golden House by Edna Miller is no longer in print and is hard to find (expensive when you find it!). I lucked across my copy at a thrift store. Our school library had it and didn't know it was a collector's item. Ebay often has copies of it for sale.
Edna Miller wrote a whole series about Mousekin and almost all of them tie to one or more of the above mentioned curriculums! They are worth every penny!!
Submitted by "Dragonfly Sky"
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