In this blog I want to share a children’s picture book that I reviewed; “The Ugly Pumpkin, by Dave Horowitz. Along with some suggested activities and learning discussions that you can use after reading the book to your students.
It’s a cute story that stressed how one is treated when they are different. But that everyone fits in somewhere, and a great way to impress upon your students the importance of respecting everyone’s differences.
Use this book to explore how pumpkins look and how they differ in color and size. Introduce what a squash is and how they are different from each other and pumpkins, but are both part of the same family.
Discuss why the squash though he was a pumpkin, see if your students can figure out how the squash ending up in the pumpkin patch. Introducing how things are planted and grow.
Have a taste test to see which vegetable/fruit the students like best, and then have your students help you make a chart.
This would give you the opportunity to explore everything about pumpkins and squash; how they look inside and taste.
Review the color Orange, big and small and the letters P and O. Provide students with Orange crayons and tell them to create their own fruit or vegetable, see what kind of unique fruits and vegetables they come up with.
Bring two pumpkins of different sizes to your circle time area for the students to see and discuss big and small.
Have students’ paint the pumpkin seeds orange and use them to make the letter P, and O.
Then use the remaining pumpkin seeds in your science center, by having the students try opening them. Then using a magnifying glass to see what’s inside.
Turn your dramatic play area into a pumpkin patch with big and small pretend pumpkins, add orange squash so your students can see how the “Ugly pumpkin” made the mistake of thinking he was a pumpkin. Provide the students with pales of dirt, shovels, and gloves for digging, and overalls and straw hats for dress-up.
Have the students create fences out of blocks in your block area, display pumpkins and squash on the fences so that your parents can see which activities you are working on.
Put the letter O and P on the table in your Manipulative Center with tape and have your students use the manipulative toys to outline the letters. Or draw the letters on construction paper, cut them out and tape them to the table.
Use the pumpkins to introduce and review the shapes circle and oval, by showing the students round and oval shape pumpkins. Introduce and review the numbers 1 and 2 by having the students count the pumpkins or the seeds.
This is also a good way to explore Halloween in a non-traditional way. After you have covered all aspects of the book. Have a celebration with pumpkin pie and ice cream.
Bring in a face painter to create different pumpkins or jack-o-lanterns on your student’s face. Discuss the difference in the two.
Have your parents bring Orange things, or items that start with the letter P or O to eat for the celebration to reiterate the color Orange and the letters P and O. Be sure to label the items that are brought in for the letters with place cards so your students can see the actual words. But, do not make it a test, if the students ask “what word is this?” supply them with the information and let them enjoy the celebration.
Bring your stories to life in your classroom and give your students an opportunity to see books in a different way.