Saturday, October 9, 2010

DIY: Fall/Halloween Fun Literacy Project

I had this idea today while I was at the pumpkin patch with my two preschoolers. Some concepts are hard to learn about in a book. There are several of them and one of them are pumpkins. I live in New England and every time this year, dozens of families flock to pumpkin patches and buy a variety of pumpkins to decorate their front yards & front doors. It is not uncommon to recognize the true presence of fall by noting all the pumpkins and bales of hay or cornstalks everywhere.

How do we bring the seasons and the items of the seasons to our students? Well, you can start by reading a fall or Halloween book. Then pile the family in the car and head out to a pumpkin patch and spend the day or at least the afternoon exploring the patch! I know that this is possible for everyone as I lived in Las Vegas and did this very project with my students who were deafblind.

APH has a fun pumpkin book that was a favorite in my classroom. The book is "The Littlest Pumpkin". In the book, they talk about the leaves on the vine for the pumpkins and lost of fun things. While at the patch, feel each of these and bring some home. You can make an experience book of the whole event!!

Do it at home: Take a moment and make a plan to learn about fall season activities. Pre-teach about heading out for your adventure by reading your fall book ("The Littlest Pumpkin")--you make have to read it a few nights to help set a foundation. Head out to the patch and collect items that are found in the book. Here are some ideas: hay, cornstalk, pumpkin vine leaves, corn kernals, pumpkin seeds, etc. If you get a pumpkin, make sure you get a small one, too so you don't have to lug a big, heavy pumpkin onto your child's lap to discuss. Make an experience book about the specific things you did at the patch or farm. Let your child place the pumpkin in its spot so they know where it goes in your home. You can also carve it and scoop the gutts out, bake the seeds and clean it up---a complete project!! Happy fall to all :)

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