One of our most favorite Halloween stories EVER is Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman. We have probably read this book at least 50 times this year (if not more!) We love the silly storyline, the flow of the text, and the lessons on cooperation. Those who embrace literacy know that when you find a book you love, you just don’t read it… you celebrate it!
I put together some fun learning activities that go along with Big Pumpkin that I wanted to share with you. Just click on the titles of each activity to download the file. Enjoy!!
Big Pumpkin nomenclature cards– This was one of our favorite activities! Recently we tried our hand at some pumpkin nomenclature cards, and while they were fun- they were also frustrating (lots of words that looked very similar, small font, too many cards). This time we played it like a game.
First, my daughter picked three cards (with both pic and word) from the pile. It was her idea to turn the cards face down- to give it an element of surprise. She also wanted to sit on her pink stool during the game which meant a lot of bending down…silly girl! Then she found the picture card match. The last step was to find the word match. I love that she had the decision power to pick her cards. And there were less cards to match. And of course it went with one of our dearest Halloween books!
Big Pumpkin pocket chart cards. This is a great way to look at how individual words make up a sentence as well as becoming familiar with punctuation (we had fun reading sentences with a “period” voice and an “exclamation point” voice). My daughter was able to switch out the witch/ghost/vampire/ and mummy cards on the chart as we talked about each of the characters trying to get the pumpkin off the vine.
Story summary paper book– Just a simple retell of the story as a printable book. There are no pictures so your kiddos can create their own illustrations!
Trace & Write word boxes– These boxes are great for kids learning to correctly write short and tall letters. I created these pages to go with Big Pumpkin because handwriting is a big focus of our “school time”.
Halloween Word Ladder- A very simple word activity where the word “bag” changes to “cat” (one letter at a time) in just two steps! Like I said, very simple….
Retell cards (no file here, go to the clipart site to download images and print)- I am in LOVE with the cutest Halloween clipart from Phillip Martin. It is adorable! Not only have we used it in our activities above, but I printed out each of the images on card stock as a visual aid while telling the story. (It’s destiny that Phillip Martin has super darling clipart for all the characters of Big Pumpkin!)
Fun story retell with pumpkin basket, paper bat, ghost potato head, and witch, vampire, and mummy rubber duckies. And the Little People house is the witch’s house, where she goes to make the pumpkin pie. 🙂
I am using this idea to teach my K-3 self contained class about the book. “The Big Pumpkin”. Thank you!