Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween is over, so what now?

Wondering what to do with those leftover Jack-O-Lanterns? Now's the perfect time to go back and look at our fun lesson on pumpkin decomposition! 'Cause what's not to love about getting a useful lesson out of something you were probably just going to throw away anyhow?

And, I recently found two really cool books to go right along with that lesson on decomposition. Both talk about the plan life cycle in fun, easy-to-understand ways. In fact, we spent last week sharing those lessons with preschoolers, who loved the stories and illustrations (not to mention they ooey, gooey, slimey disembowelment of the pumpkins)!

The first book is Pumpkin Jack, which is both written and illustrated by Will Hubbell. I especially love this book for this activity because it starts the life cycle off with the Jack-O-Lantern phase of the pumpkin and has great illustrations of the slimey, rotten phase of the pumpkin. Then the seeds start to grow in the spring and the little boy ends of with another Jack-O-Lantern. This is and especially great story to share if you have kids who are reluctant to get rid of their carving masterpieces.

I also love It's Pumpkin Time! by Zoe Hall and illustrated by Shari Halpern. I especially love the illustrations, which definitely remind me of some of my favorite Eric Carle books. This book follows the adventures of siblings who plant and care for their own pumpkins. Especially helpful are the illustrations of the life cycle at the end of the story. I copied these drawings, cut and laminated them into smaller pieces and used them in a sequencing activity...which worked really well.

Halloween may be over, but those pumpkins are still good for something!

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