Happy Halloween from my family to yours! Here are our two babies, Juneau on the hay and Molly on the ground, looking very cute and ready for treat-or-treaters! (By the way, it is VERY hard to get two dogs into the same picture… or at least our two dogs. It took two of us at least five minutes to get them into this somewhat of a good pose at the same time!)
Back in first grade, we had a spook-tatular day! Even though our school doesn’t allow us to dress up for the holiday, we still had a great day and did many fun things.
Facts and Opinions
We started our day by focusing on facts and opinions. What are they? How are they different? We read a non-fiction book called “Halloween” to start and afterwards, we talked about the facts we learned. For example, a fact is that pumpkins have seeds in them. Then, I used those facts to make them into an opinion, for example, pumpkin seeds are so yummy! Fact and opinions are a hard concept for first graders, but it’s one of our Common Core skills!
Next, I passed out post-it notes with a pumpkin related sentence. The students worked in pairs to read the sentence and discuss if the sentence was a fact or an opinion.
Ok, how cute is that picture? Let me tell you, they were in a DEEP discussion on if their sentence was a fact or opinion. You can tell from their body motions 🙂
After a great partner discussion, they came up to our GIANT PUMPKIN and put the post-it where it belonged, either on the fact side or the opinion side.
Finally, we read all of the sentences together and double checked if they were on the right side. This also prompted many great discussions and the kids loved talking about their opinions on eating pumpkin pie, carving pumpkins, and other pumpkin related things. 🙂
From there, we took the time to write down some of the facts and opinions we learned about pumpkins. The students selected two from each category to write, or some kids chose to write their own opinions.
During writing time, the students started by creating their own pumpkins out of paper. I really wanted the kids to go for it- make whatever kind of pumpkin they wanted: big, little, round, fat. Sometimes it’s great to give them lots of freedom and just be creative! So with construction paper, glue, and scissors, they got started!
Once the pumpkins were made, it was time to write! I modeled for the kids how to write about what they made. On the board, we made a list of words they might need, including shape words, color words, and size words. Then the kiddos wrote about the jack-o-lanterns they created, using words to describe how their pumpkins looked, what color it was, it’s shape, it’s size, etc.
I find the kids are really motivated to write when it involves a craft. And for this craft, each students looked different. It’s a great way for them to practice writing AND use words to describe their creation.
Pumpkin Book Reports
Earlier in the month, one of the other first grade teachers found an idea on Pinterest for the kids to decorate a pumpkin based on a book character. Again, since we don’t dress up for Halloween at school, we thought this was a great idea to combine the holiday and reading!
So we sent home the directions at the beginning of the month and the students brought back the pumpkins this week. I was BLOWN away by how awesome they were!
We had them out in the hall for everyone to see, but we brought them inside and sat in a circle to share them today. Each student had to make their pumpkin look like their favorite book character. The one above is a monster from the book “Good-night Monster”. There was also…
Strawberry Shortcake, and….
a bird from her favorite book, and…
Mickey Mouse, and…
Scooby-doo, among others.
I am so amazed at what each child and family did at home. The kids were so proud of their pumpkins and they all looked so great!
(and of course, one silly one, it is Halloween after all!) 🙂
What better way to finish the day than with a pumpkin related snack? We’re a “no treats” school, but I thought this cookie was fairly healthy as far as cookies go!
I passed out the cookies as the kids watched a short video clip on BrainPop Jr about Halloween.
As soon as I put the cookies down, a little girl took a deep breathe and said “Hmmmmm!” The kid next to her said, “Are they good?” And she replied, “I don’t know, but they sure smell good!”
The result- all the kids loved them! I got the recipe from a blog I follow and it can be found here.
They couldn’t be easier to make- only 2 ingredients: pumpkin and spice cake mix. Put them together and voila! Tasty treats perfect for a pumpkin filled day!
I hope you are having a fabulous Halloween as well! Thanks for stopping by to see how we spent our day! 🙂