When I saw that I was teaching Informational writing in October I thought that it would be fun to learn all about pumpkins and then write informational paragraphs about what we learned. I figured we would do an art project with it too, we need something new in the hall and since this will be pumpkins it can stay up all month!
This week we are focusing on the fact that a informational paragraphs have topic sentences that state the main idea an that they have supporting details that tell more about the main idea and are written in the writers own words.
We did this activity to start off. I put up two different paragraphs cut apart into sentences. I mixed them up and had the students determine which sentence was the main idea or topic sentence. We then made sure that all of the supporting details actually supported our main idea and also made sure that we put the supporting details in a good order.
This is what it looked like when we got finished:
After this activity I had the students get out their whiteboards and write the sentence, Halloween is fun. I told them that this was their topic sentence and that they needed to write at least 3 supporting detail sentences.
Student Then glued those 5 categories onto the five tabs o their flip booklet in the same order. One of my girls asked if she could "draw a setting around her pumpkin". I let the kids decorate their flip books little bit and they had a lot of fun. Some of them turned out really cute!
These booklets (each student has their own) are where I had the students keep track of all the different information that we were learning about pumpkins this week. As we learned information we decided which category to put it under. This way when the students were ready to write their informational paragraphs they already had their information organized and easy to access.
We also wrote question that we have about pumpkins and put them under the corresponding categories so that we could make sure to answer the questions that the students had throughout the week.
I found this video via Pinterest that we watched to learn about the life cycle of a pumpkin (how it grows). I had the students just watch the video the first time. I played it twice more after that and let the students write notes in their flip book about how a pumpkin grows. Since their is no voice in the video, I read the words to my students as we watched.
In addition to this video we read some books to get some information on pumpkins. Here is a look at the books we read, I loved them all and they all had great information. I just got them from the public library.
You can't learn about pumpkins without actually bringing a pumpkin in, especially when they are so easy to get a hold of this time of the year.
We learned some things from the books about what pumpkins are like on the inside and outside, but there is nothing like the real thing.
Here is the pumpkin I brought in:
To do this The students will draw their pumpkin and their grass on a white piece of paper. They will then use watered down Elmer's glue and spread it over their pumpkin and grass and then stick squares of tissue paper on it until it is covered. It is o.k. if their tissue paper goes over the line of where they drew because they will be able to see through the tissue paper to cut. When the glue has dried and the tissue paper is on they can cut out their pumpkin and grass. They will then use double sided tape to attach the grass and pumpkin to the black paper. A little more Elmer's glue for the eyes and a sharpie for the mouth. We are about to have some really great writing and some really cute pumpkins in the hallway!
Happy Pumpkin Season!