Sunday, October 6, 2013

Preschool Story Time - Pumpkin Patch

Themes abound in October.  This time I tackle pumpkins - fun stuff!  This was one where the kids absolutely surprised me with their interest level in some of the informational books over the picture books.

Delicious by Helen Cooper
All duck wants is pumpkin soup but there are none in the pumpkin patch!  How can his friends help him get a full belly?

Sophie's Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller
How could I possibly describe my love for this new book!  Ok, it's not a pumpkin but its a beautifully done story of a girl and her love for the squash she picked out at the farmer's market and named Berniece.  This opened a discussion about how squash and pumpkins were similar.  I even brought in my own butternut squash to show.  The kids were fascinated!  Our Squash chat filled up quite some time!

Today's finger play was 5 Little Pumpkins:
Five Little Pumpkins sitting on a gate.
The first one said, "Oh my!  It's getting late!"
The second one said "There's a frost in the air."
The third one said "But we don't care."
The fourth one said "Let's run and run and run."
The fifth one said "I'm ready for some fun!"
Then oooooo went the wind and OUT went the light
And five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

See my craft below that goes with this poem.

The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis
A funny rhyming story about an oversize pumpkin that escapes from it's field.  The family tries to corral it while dreaming of their granny's baked goods.

Pumpkin Circle by George Levinson
My non-fiction pick was really to show the life cycle of the pumpkin in pictures.  This book went over really well!  The kids enjoyed seeing what the pumpkins look like as a small tender plant all of the way through to pumpkin patch.  It was also a great Every Child Ready to Read lesson on informational books, and how they can be used to expand vocabulary and gain general knowledge.

Boo To You! by Lois Ehlert
I wasn't going to do this book but the kids all wanted one more.  It's short and has great illustrations, using pumpkin seeds and other gourds in the artwork so it was great for the topic. Maybe better for toddlers but we had just a few more minutes to share more great picture books!

My craft today was an extension to the "5 Little Pumpkins" finger play we did earlier.  The gate is just strips of brown paper.  The pumpkins were created by dipping pumpkin shaped sponges into orange paint and stamping them onto the paper.  Their finger print made the stem.  They could then color the rest of their picture if they chose.  I made little copies of the 5 little pumpkin poem for them to apply and recite at home.  I am not sure exactly where I found the poem, but it is from one of the many teacher resource websites online.

Because of limited space at the craft tables, and the messier craft this week, I decided to pull out duplos for free play, and I also made these "Mr. Pumpkin Head" felts for free exploration while the kids waited for a spot at the craft to open up.

Pumpkins don't make the most exciting theme, but the kids were really interested in learning about how they grow and what they look like before they see them at the store.  I will definitely be bringing in more 'show and tell' to story time.  YAY for non-fiction books!

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