Smashing Pumpkins- a Language Experience Approach Activity

No, we're not actually smashing pumpkins! That's just the title my students came up with for our collaborative-story pumpkin.

I started by bringing my pumpkin in a bag and having the students guess what it was.  I wrote sentence frames for my lower proficiency students so they could easily say, "I guess there is a ___________ in the bag."  

Next we guessed how much the pumpkin weighed using the same sentence frames, and I started the story with that sentence.  "Mrs. M-C picked a pumpkin that weighs 9 lbs."  We passed (rolled) the pumpkin around the carpet, and everyone added one or two sentences to the story.  Of course, our story took a rather strange turn, but once everyone had dictated their portion of the story, they read it back to me from the chart.  That is the basic tenet of LEA- "what you say, you can read."  It's a great ELL strategy, because it proves to struggling students that they can read, and that gives them so much confidence to keep going.

The cool thing about using a pumpkin as a vehicle for our story was the motor development practice it gave them.  It's hard to write on a pumpkin!  I traced a straight line with chalk for some of my students who really needed help, but I think they did a pretty good job with their handwriting, bumps and lumps and all!  They were so proud of their pumpkin, and it sat on my desk practically until Christmas.  

Not a pumpkin fan? Here are some of my other favorite fall resources. Click any picture to go to my TPT store and check them out!

What are your favorite things about fall?  Mine are hot apple cider, scarves, and boots.  


  1. Pumpkins are totally one of my favorite things about fall, along with leather boots, chunky sweaters, scarves, apple cider, cocoa. I could go on and on. I have to tell you I am in LOVE with your "Smashing Pumpkins" story idea. I many do something similar with my third graders because it's so cool! Thank you for sharing!!

    Rooting for Third Grade

  2. I love this activity! I think I will give it a try when I FINALLY get to work with my students! And...what do I love about Fall? Basically, everything!!

    Eclectic Educating

  3. I love the golden colors of fall!

  4. Love your pumpkin! That just looks so neat sitting there. I love fall colors, warm drinks, soups, and sweaters!
    Conversations in Literacy

  5. I love your pumpkin activity! I love fall...the cool weather, being able to wear scarves and drink hot drinks! I also love the leaves changing colors.

    Hunter's Teaching Tales
    Find me on Facebook

  6. I LOVE the pumpkin activity! And your Diary units look like such fun!

    Across the Hall in 2nd Grade


Thanks for the comment! I really appreciate it.

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top