Fun for Fall: Write on a Pumpkin!

Need a fun and engaging idea for your students? Try writing stories on a pumpkin! This is an activity I've done for the past 3 or 4 years in a row, and it always comes out so well! You can adapt it for any grade or subject area, too! In math and science, have students write their predictions for weight or graph whether the pumpkin will sink or float. For Social Studies, have students research facts about fall and share them on the pumpkin.  Here's how it works:

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 (and unexpected) 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. 

I tried something new with my second graders and gave them each individual pumpkins.  The pumpkins were only $1 each at the grocery store, and I have a small class, so it was budget friendly.  When I planned a school-wide pumpkin decorating contest, I asked our PTA to sponsor some, as well as had pumpkins donated by a nearby nursery.  

I treated this like a typical writing lesson: brainstorm, make a web or outline, write a first draft, and then write their final draft on the pumpkin itself.  They LOVED it! And what a great display for fall in my classroom.  

Here are some other pumpkin writing ideas I love! 
Unique pumpkin decorating ideas -- this would be adorable on the kitchen counter for Fall.:
Easy I am Thankful Pumpkin Craft! Perfect for children's ministry or the classroom. We have paper and paper cutters down in the IRC, so not only can you make these but you won't have to worry about tediously cutting each strip one at a time with scissors!:
Source: The Moffatt Girls
Bookbto make after exploring the inside of a pumpkin:
Source: Simply Second Grade

Let me know if you plan to write on a pumpkin this fall- I'd love to see the results! Happy fall, friends! For more great writing ideas, check out my pinterest board! Follow Everyone Deserves to Learn's board ESL Writing on Pinterest.


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