Big Pumpkin Activities

Don't you just love pumpkins?  I love all things pumpkin!  Over the weekend, we found a real pumpkin patch.  What I mean is that the pumpkins are grown at the farm and the pumpkins are on the vine!  So last Sunday, we drove early that morning to this pumpkin patch.  The farm is about 2 hours from where we live but it was well worth it.  We were able to pick out our very own pumpkins from the pumpkin patch to take home with us. 
Not only can families take a tractor ride out to the fields to pick their pumpkins, they can partake in various games, rides, and activities. There is a full day of fun for everyone!

On our way home, I thought about one of my favorite Halloween read alouds, "Big Pumpkin" by Erica Silverman.  It's about a witch who grows a large pumpkin that is stuck on the vine.  It's so big, her friends can't pull the pumpkin off the vine either. 

So I recently came up with a reading unit based on the book, Big Pumpkin, by Erica Silverman. 

I have also included a pocket chart poem, an emergent reader, and a few retelling crafts that are also included in the unit.  Click to see more of the Big Pumpkin Unit.

Throughout the week we also investigated our pumpkins.  We used our pumpkin exploration worksheet to record our pumpkin data. 

In the book, the characters make pumpkin pie with the big pumpkin, so of course, we made some too!


Homemade Crock Pot Applesauce

Have you ever made crock pot applesauce with your little ones?   It is super easy, just 4 ingredients: water, sugar, cinnamon, and of course, apples. Homemade applesauce is so good be warned, your family may never eat store bought applesauce again.  

All we did was peel and slice the apples, put all the ingredients inside the crock pot, and let it cook on high for 4 hours.

It was such a great snack, especially this time of year. 

While the entire house smelled like fall, I thought it would be a great treat to read Applesauce Day by Lisa Amstutz and Talitha Shipman.  We practiced sequencing and wrote about how to make applesauce in our applesauce booklet.

It was the perfect picture book to go with our homemade applesauce snack!

The applesauce booklet is from my How to Make Applesauce activities.  Click above to see more!


Brown Bear Brown Bear Activities

Since September 9th is Teddy Bear Day, I decided to create a unit to go along with one of our favorite bear books, "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" by Eric Carle. We started off our unit by celebrating a very special bear day. 

 The day before our special teddy bear day, we made invitations for our teddy bears.  We all brought in our favorite teddy bears!

We made these simple bear headbands to wear all day. 

We used our pocket chart pieces to help us retell the story "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" by Bill Martin, Jr. 

We made teddy bear toast for snack.  Some people use peanut butter, but we decided to use butter and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top.

We also made a Brown Bear craft to help us sequence the story.

We ended our celebration with a gummy bear science activity.  First, we sorted and graphed gummy bears.  

Then, we made observations about how different liquids affect gummy bears. 

Finally, we ended our week with a family movie night.  We went to the movies to see Christopher Robin, about one of our favorite teddy bears, Winnie the Pooh!


Monthly Binder Covers

One of my main tasks I wanted to accomplish over the summer was to reorganize my home office. Instead of a typical file cabinet, I bought an ikea expedite and I'm using it to organize my activities rather than stick everything into files.  I use monthly binders to organize all of our lessons.  I use the clear plastic sleeves to keep all of our activities. To keep the binders separated by month, I decided to create these monthly binder covers.  It really helps so we can look back and see what we did the previous year.  The bright colors really stand out so I can find the month we are currently working in.  Click here to see them.


MOON Rocks!

We are over the MOON excited to share our latest adventure with you!  Chinese New Year is also called Lunar New Year. Since Chinese New Year ends this week, I thought this was the perfect time to share our unit on Moon phases.  You can find it in my TPT store by clicking here.

M is for Moon.  To help us see each phase, we also used our Uncle Milton's Moon in My Room.  It shines just like the real moon!  I purchased the Uncle Milton Moon in My Room on Amazon for $25.

Chinese New Year begins with the new Moon and it ends with the full Moon in the sky.  All month long we will be sketching the moon's appearance each night.  

                              Moon Painting

We started things off with one of our favorite Eric Carle books, "Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me."  We were so inspired by the artwork that we wanted to make some of our very own.  We even got to try out this new "moon painting" technique that involved painting with marshmallows!

Moon Rock Math! 

We used jelly beans to do the above activity but you could also use the silver wrapped Hershey Kisses  instead.  Estimating with moon rocks was a huge hit!  Who doesn't love to play with their food?

                        Moon Phases Activity

Ever wonder why the moon looks different to us each night?  We came up with  a simple way to simulate how the earth rotates using a styrofoam ball, pencil, and a flashlight. As the moon orbits Earth, the Sun lights up whatever side of the Moon is facing it.  Since the moon has no light of its own, we are really seeing the sunlight bouncing off the Moon's surface.   

                       Moon Phases Flip Book

We even got to use our Moon Phases Flip book from my TPT store.  Since the actual flip book is too large to fit into our science notebook, I reduced the paper size by printing two sheets per page so we were able to glue the flip book onto a blank page of our science notebook.     Click here to see my Moon Phases flip book.

Moon Science Books

Both of these books helped us answer a lot of questions we still had about the moon.  

                                Moon Dough

                           Impact! Science at work. 

 We were curious about the surface of the Moon so first we made Moon dough and then we used our fingers to make the craters!

                     Oreo Cookie Moon Phases


One of our favorite activities was from my latest freebie.


We created the phases of the Moon with Oreo cookies.  We demonstrated how parts of the Moon seem to disappear, then reappear. This misconception is very common for little ones.  Click here to grab this freebie.

Chinese New Year Activities

We are linking up with Doodle Bugs this Friday to bring you a recap of the week in FIVE FOR FRIDAY!!!  Even though Chinese New Year isn't for another week, I wanted to let you know that I recently updated our Chinese New Year unit and it now includes so much more!  You can find it in my TPT store by clicking here.

Looking for something to help you celebrate China's biggest traditional holiday in your classroom? Check out some ideas from  our Chinese New Year unit below!

Different cultures have historical traditions of celebrating the New Year.  Since Chinese New Year begins this Friday, I wanted to share with you another way to incorporate social studies into your classroom.

To help us get our facts organized, we put together our Chinese New Year foldable (it's also included in my Chinese New Year Packet).

 We are kinesthetic, so we love making foldables.  They are great for visual learners too!

One of our favorite read alouds include "Celebrating Chinese New Year" a non-fiction text that followed a family in San Francisco, as they prepare for and celebrate the Chinese New Year. 

Then we used our venn diagram to compare and contrast Chinese New Year to the January 1st New Year celebration (sorry I don't have a picture of this).

  Looking for a Chinese New Year craft?  We  thought it would be fun to make dragon puppets!  

There are lots of fun traditions  displayed to symbolize luck.  Children receive money in special red envelopes.  

I purchased the Chinese Good Luck Candy, Red Envelopes, and Good Luck Coins all on Amazon.