Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pumpkin Unit: Week One

We took a break from our All About Me Unit (it is just too easy to add on different topics and activities to this unit).  I haven't been photographing very many All About Me activities or blogging weekly about those activities, but we are still doing them.  I'll post what we did get photographed on a separate post later.

This week we also started a PUMPKIN unit ... I am sure there will be many other people doing the same theme in October.  We will do this theme for one more week because I planned too much ... so think of pumpkins as a fall unit instead of just for Halloween.  Then, we will be moving on to another theme as we continue our All About Me Unit.

The books will most likely be listed in my next blog post since I am getting this posted so late.  I actually got a hold of some great pumpkin books this year.

Language Arts
ABC Order Pumpkins
Alyssa placed the pumpkin cards in alphabetical order. The cards for the next two activities were found at Hubbard's Cupboard.  Scroll down to one of the activities for Day Two.   

ABC Order Pumpkins and Sound Pictures
She looked at a picture card, said the word, sounded out the word emphasizing the beginning sound, and placed the picture card on the correct pumpkin letter card.  Use the same link and information as seen in the text above.  After she was done she told me she was missing the picture cards for the letters g, r, and x.  But, the cards were just stuck together.

CVC  Word Pumpkins
I printed out the CVC Pumpkin Spelling Cards from Hubbard's Cupboard ... scroll down almost to the bottom.  This activity is listed under literacy.  Instead of printing out the page with letters typed on seed templates ... I decided to write the letters on actual seeds so that my daughter would be more interested in the activity.  It worked!  She used the pumpkin seeds to form words that corresponded to the pictures on the pumpkins by sounding out the words as she spelled them.  She did a much better job with this activity than I thought she would ... just goes to show ... never underestimate your child.

Reader: My Pumpkin
Pumpkin Shape Reader
Alyssa read and completed each page one at a time before we stapled them together.  She traced the shapes mentioned on the page to create part of the face (a new facial feature was mentioned on each page) and then she colored them.  Last of all, I mixed up the pages and asked her to put them in the correct order based on the facial features traced and colored (how to draw a jack o' lantern).  She helped me staple them together.  The pumpkin shape reader was found at Making Learning Fun .

Make and Break "Pumpkin"
I placed the magnetic letters on a burner cover.  I asked Alyssa if she could spell the word "pumpkin."  This activity was done after exposure to the word in several other activities.  I now have the scrambled letters on the file cabinet and she makes the word pumpkin whenever she wants.

Scarecrow Pumpkin Alphabet Match
This was a review activity for Alyssa, but she likes doing any activity involving letters.  She matched uppercase letters to lowercase letters on the Scarecrow Pumpkin Mat from Childcareland.  I actually found the link to this printable at Ideas for Preschoolers.

Nursery Rhymes, Poems, and Songs
Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater
Alyssa read the nursery rhyme one word at a time using her pointer finger.  She identified the rhyming words and recognized the word "pumpkin".  I used the rhyme poster from the October Year 1 Itty Bitty Bookworm CD.  You can find a cute poster for this rhyme at Cherry Carl's website Carl's Corner.

Five Little Pumpkin File Folder Poem
We did this activity using different types of pumpkins each time we read or sang the poem.  We used wooden, ornament, candy, foam, and felt pumpkins.  You could also laminate the paper pumpkins from Childcareland.  The file folder activity can be found at Making Learning Fun (with paper pumpkin props).  You could even make the gate and pumpkins as a craft one day and then use as props the next day.  I loved it when she acted out the third pumpkin's line.  This picture shows small painted wooden pumpkins from Hobby Lobby.  The last pic shows her rolling the pumpkins out of sight. 

I used several different resources for the pumpkin songs.  If you google pumpkin songs the popular ones will most likely show up.  I did find several songs here.  
10 Little Pumpkins
(Tune: "Ten Little Indians")
We used a variety of wooden pumpkins from Hobby Lobby to sing the song  using props.

5 Little Pumpkins Poem
We used glittery jack 'o' lanterns from Hobby Lobby to read this       poem aloud.  She did this one over and over again.

(Tune: "Mary had a Little Lamb")

"I'm a Little Pumpkin"
(Tune: "I'm a Little Teapot")
We used a larger, thicker wooden painted pumpkin given to us last year.  Any pumpkin prop would work.  

"Did You Ever See a Pumpkin"

"If You See A Big, Orange Pumpkin"
"Where's the Pumpkin" 
"We Are Going to the Pumpkin Patch"
(Go to Childcareland and scroll down to Pumpkin Songs and Fingerplays for the words to the three songs mentioned above.

Pumpkin Seed Counters
I placed small numbered popsicle sticks inside pumpkins (from Target's dollar area.  Then, Alyssa placed the pumpkins in numerical order.  She also counted out the correct number of seeds for each pumpkin.  First, she put the seeds inside the pumpkin and then she counted them in front of the pumpkin using the Montessori method.  She is getting better at placing the counters in a fashion that shows even numbers with a partner and odd numbers without a partner.  She did this activity three times and then asked for a new activity.  

Pumpkin Seed Addition 
Alyssa has been interested in addition lately.  I printed the counting addition mat from Childcareland ... scroll down all the way to the bottom.  Then, I found and cut out the pumpkins with seed outlines (10 per side) at Making Learning Fun.  It was actually page 2 from the Pumpkin Seed Game, which we will probably play next week.  She worked on one-to-one correspondence and addition at the same time.  She focused on the +1 through +3 equations, then she decided she wanted to try a new activity.  She used the number tiles at the top and then counted out the correct amount of seeds per pumpkin.  Most of the time she did NOT count pointing to each seed ... recognizing quantities by sight (without counting).  I would ask her what the total amount was, what is the sum, how many seeds do we have all together, or how many seeds in all.  I wanted to expose her to the different vocabulary used in addition problems.  She also used number tiles to show the total or sum.  I placed the pumpkin seeds in the lid of a jack o' lantern candy container (I bought these last year from Oriental Trading after Halloween).  I wish I had time to post what Alyssa and I did last year with these containers ... maybe after her birthday party when things slow down a bit.  Less than two weeks and she turns THREE!  I can't believe it.  

Pumpkin Number Match
This was another file folder game from Childcareland.  I think it is on the Complete Collection CD.  If you find it on her website FREE, then please let me know so that I can provide the link.   

Fine Motor
Pumpkin Tweezing
Alyssa picked up pumpkin ornaments (bought last year from Hobby Lobby) using plastic bug tweezers and placed them in an ice cube tray.  I couldn't find my pumpkin ice cube tray from Dollar Tree.  She counted them as she put them into the tray.
Sensory Autumn Bin
Alyssa and I put spiders, leaves, and pumpkins in a plastic dish wash tub.  I gave her bug tweezers to pull out items.  She sorted them in piles on the stairs.  Later we added in real and wooden acorns (from Hobby Lobby).

Art: Drawing with a Purpose
Learning How to Draw a Pumpkin
I showed Alyssa step-by-step how to draw a pumpkin.  We discussed or reviewed the shapes and colors we were using as we drew them.  I showed her how to use different shapes for different facial features.  Then, she drew and colored her own pumpkin using whatever colors and shapes she wanted to use.  She wrote her name in rainbow colors at the bottom.  She said, "Mommy ... look (pointing to her picture) ... red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple in my name."

We made the pumpkin puzzle from Childcareland.  The puzzle was pretty easy but Alyssa liked doing it for fun.  She helped me make the puzzle except for the cutting of course.

Field Trips and Fun
Alyssa had a lot of fun at the corn maze.  She jumped on the corn popper, slid down the caterpillar slide, climbed on hay bales, read and answered trivia questions about the pumpkin farm, fed goats, played on the playground, went on a hay ride, rode the barrel train, and ........ walked through the corn maze.  

Church Pumpkin Patch
We picked out pumpkins for Math, Art, and Science activities that we probably won't get to until next week since I planned too much as usual.  I wonder if I will ever STOP doing that ... I always plan too much ... it is like an addiction to me.  She did tell me which one was the largest and smallest after we brought them home.  

Church Fall Festival
We went to an amazing church fall festival.  They had barrel rides, games, bouncers, and slides.  Alyssa LOVED it!   

Canyon Lake Library Halloween Party
She was able to complete two crafts at the library.  She decorated a mask with feathers and sequins.  Then, she added google eyes and a pom pom nose to a bat.  She won the coloring contest for her age group - she won fine tip washable markers.  She loves to draw so I am sure that she will use them on a daily basis!  We ran into several friends that day so Alyssa had the opportunity to play with familiar faces.  Here is the picture she colored for the contest.  As you can see she wrote her name and the word mom at the bottom.

Trick or Treating
Well ... I am sure that there will be someone that disagrees with this, but I believe in showing my daughter how people celebrate different holidays in different ways.  I discussed the Christian viewpoint and we also participated in the trick or treating events held downtown.  I don't want to exclude her from these activities since she is surrounded by them.  All the businesses downtown give out candy to the children.  Everyone walks up and down the streets dressed in costumes while visiting with each other.  It is a huge social event.  Ace Hardware also gives out FREE hotdogs and drinks that night, so we always STOP there first so that we aren't starving.  Thank you Ace Hardware!  The middle school is also downtown and they run a Fall Festival at the same time.  I saw SEVERAL of my old students and parents.  This was the first time my husband ever dressed up for Halloween in his life.  He had a great time and everyone LOVED his Scarecrow costume that my daughter chose for him after watching the Wizard of Oz on movie night.  My husband chose my costume ... he picked Pocohantas.  I was a little nervous wearing it because I read a blog that listed it as one of the top ten costumes NOT to wear on Halloween because it was offensive to Native Americans, but it was too late ... I couldn't return it and didn't even think about it that way.  I was just thinking about the Disney character!   

Another Library Visit
We picked out a movie and books to read for the week.  I ran into an old student of mine and her family, so we sat down on the floor for several hours catching up.  Her daughters were GREAT with Alyssa.  After we left, Alyssa told me that the girls were NOT my friends, but that they were HER friends and that their mommy was MY friend.  She had us all sharing crayons and coloring the same picture with her.  It was so cute!  I loved that she used her manners even though she skipped her nap.  Although she was a bit bossy that day. 
Daddy Day
This doesn't happen very often, but Daddy had Alyssa for a whole day.  He is usually busy working two jobs, but he encouraged me to go to crop night at the Scrapbook Haus to work on her birthday supplies (since my daughter picked a discontinued theme ... Clifford the Big Red Dog).  She went to Landa Park in New Braunfels with him to feed the squirrels and ducks.  She of course played on the playground and went for a train ride while they were there.  She saw and learned about pigs that same day at the Pet Shop.  It was the first time they ever had pigs at the store. 
Dinner with Friends
We drove to Helotes to visit our friends for dinner.  We wanted to meet their new baby girl.  This was great because Alyssa had a play date at the same time.  She got to play with her buddy Sean all night.  
**We almost had to stay the night since our vehicle decided NOT to start that night.  My husband replaced the battery the next day!!  

WOW ... I didn't realize how much we did this week ... no wonder Alyssa has been tired lately!!!!! I didn't add any miscellaneous activities that she did this week because there were too many.  

For more tot school activities visit Carisa's 1+1+1=1 blog ... last I looked there were 51 other people that linked a post this week.  If you are looking for more advanced activities visit Jolanthe's blog Preschool Corner (preschool and up).  Last I looked she had 68 people that linked activities to do.  
Thanks for Visiting and Please Stop by Again,
More Pumpkin Activities to Come!!!!
There may also be a few Halloween type activities that I forgot to do this week too.  
Okay ... so we are a little behind.  

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