Thursday, October 16, 2014

Getting Festive for Fall with the Virginia Bloggers


It's fall, and here in Virginia, we think that it's time to get festive! I've joined a bunch of awesome Virginia bloggers to put a little hop together to treat you to some fall freebies that will be just what you need to get festive with your students! 

My students have been working on writing. They just finished their first fifth grade 5-paragraph essay and I must say that they turned out extremely awesome! Since we're on a roll and feeling confident with our writing, I wanted to keep our love for writing moving. We've got pen pals, and that's going great because they have a focused letter to write each month, but I wanted to do something fun, I just wasn't sure what. Then, I walked in to my local grocery store the other day, saw those adorable mini-pumpkins for $1 each and had an idea: We would write descriptive paragraphs about our pumpkins. I grabbed 30 pumpkins and came home to work on the assignment! 

Once I got home and started to create the assignment, I had to admit that it was a little boring. I decided that I didn't want to do that at all anymore. I wanted something fun, and I was committed to creating an engaging assignment that my students could be excited about. Then, all of a sudden, it hit me! What if the students were given a "pet pumpkin" to care for for a week? Then another idea popped in to my brain: What if they kept a Pet Pumpkin Journal? Ooooh, I was loving it! As my ideas were flowing, I came up with My Pet Pumpkin: A 7-Day Writing Journal Project. There is a different prompt for each day's journal entry, all related to the pet pumpkin. Students get to name their pumpkin, write their pumpkin a welcome letter, and even pretend that their pumpkin isn't really a pumpkin at all, it's actually undercover! I shared my creation with my husband and he gave it two thumbs up. My hubby was not one who loved school so I am constantly trying to get his approval because it's a good indication as to whether my boys will buy in to my idea. 

So on Monday morning, I had my 30 mini-pumpkins set up on the table as students walked in. Here's what they saw: 


After they settled in, I explained that they would be working on a Pet Pumpkin Writing Project. Wowzers, they were far more excited than I though that they would be. They couldn't wait to name their pumpkins, draw faces for them, build beds and carriers for them. They didn't even mind that this project would take some of their weekend. Their pumpkins were the only thing that they wanted to talk about, which would've been great if we didn't have other subjects to teach. Next year, I know that I should explain this assignment and let them pick from the pumpkin patch towards the end of the day! 

On Tuesday morning, my students showed up to school and guess who was with them? If you guessed their pet pumpkin, you are totally correct! They showed up with pumpkins in baskets, pumpkins in pencil boxes, pumpkins with bows, pumpkins in disguise, and lots of other great ideas. I got a kick out of all of the creative ways that they came up with to keep their pet pumpkins safe. Here's a few pictures of what they came up with:

There's quite a few pumpkins with bows!


Check out the interior decorating on this one!


Orange afro! 

This one has a flat screen TV!


The best part is that the student who has this one has curly hair just like her pumpkin. She calls it her twinsy!

Their pumpkins have been traveling everywhere with them, even recess! I really can't wait to read their journals on Monday. 

Many of my teacher teammates have already asked if they can use this activity and their students love it too so I've decided to share it with you, for free, for this weekend only! Download the My Pet Pumpkin Project for free at this link:




Why not get festive with a little TpT money to spend? I'll choose two winners to each get a $10 TpT gift certificate. Enter now! 




Are you ready to head over to the next amazing Virginia blogger? Head on over to There's No Place Like Second Grade to see how Sarah is getting festive for fall! Just click on the Next Stop below!


There



16 comments:

  1. What a cute idea! I'd bet this would be fun for 2nd graders, too!

    Haley
    Owls and Lessons, Etc.

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    1. Thank you! I wasn't sure if it would be too writing intensive for 2nd grade, but I'm glad to hear that you think it would work for them too!

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  2. Okay...hands down my fave is the afro pumpkin! Hahahhahaha...what a CUTE project! Thanks for sharing :)
    Julie
    The Techie Teacher

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    1. I love that one too. They have really gotten so creative with these. I can't wait to share their journals when they bring them in on Monday morning!

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  3. Love this! I think I'm going to give it a try next week - thanks so much for sharing such a fun idea!

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    1. You're welcome! I'm so glad that you love it and I certainly hope that your students love it as much as mine!

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  4. Can we do Barbie Life in the Dream House? "Ahhh-maze!" I hope my Deuces can do this. I've got two that don't do holidays though- I'm wondering if they'll think this pumpkin pet is an encroachment into devil territory. I hope not- it's so cute! And I could totally make it into a math thing as well by making them measure out everything. #teacherninja

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    1. Oh, you and that beautiful math brain of yours! Please share if you do that! I'd love to see what you grow this in to!

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  5. This is such a fun idea!! Thank you for sharing!!

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    1. Thanks for hopping by, summer! I'm glad that you love it! :-)

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  6. I love how creative the kiddos were with their pumpkins! Let's get together soon - just pick a weekend and we'll make it happen (who could say no to a little outlet shopping and good food?!?!). Thanks for the great post and freebie!
    Leslie
    Fashionable in First

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    1. Yes, that sounds perfect! The next couple of weeks are pretty busy, but I think I have a little less going on in mid-November. We could do some Christmas shopping and perhaps a little Food for Thought!

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  7. I love it!! I could do this with younger kids. They could draw a picture or write a sentence about something they did each day.

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    1. I love that idea! I feel like I never recommend my products for younger students because upper elementary is all that I've ever known, but hearing from each of you is helping me to know how easily some of my products can be adapted! Thanks so much for the comment! Enjoy your Sunday!

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