Sunday, October 24, 2010

It's pumpkin time!

I LOVE Halloween! Making costumes, getting candy, carving pumpkins, getting candy, decorating the house, going to the pumpkin patch, getting candy :) Here is my Snow white costume I sewed last year from a fitted bed sheet and reclaimed items from the Goodwill.
and the year my dog and I wore matching bumble bee costumes
here he is in his chicken costume
When I started teaching at my urban school there were no costumes during the day, but the PTA held a "Harvest" dance after school where the kids could dress up.

Then we got a new principal, a man who follows every rule, or suggestion laid down by the school district to a T. No costumes, in fact no more harvest dance. Yes I admit it, I had been letting the kids do some Halloween esq art, haunted houses, black cats in the moonlight, expressive face pumpkins. Was I busted. I got lectured for half an hour about why that was not ok. I begged and pleaded for something spooky and we agreed on pumpkins with NO faces, bats and spiders. So I present a week of Halloween activities...minus the Halloween.

kinder: are doing pumpkins in their classroom so we are studying the color wheel with Plant a rainbow. Painting on the green stems and leaves to our flowers. Perhaps there will be a pumpkin coloring sheet for them when they are done with their project ;)

1st. I love the book "It's Pumpkin Time!" by Zoe Hall. If you skip the last four pages of the book it is all about pumpkins growing and fall.
we will continue to practice our circle cutting skills to make a pumpkin patch collage and will use green paint to put on the stems and leaves. Basically a 20min version of the great secondary color pumpkin patch lesson.

2nd grade: Made their collage sunflowers and I noticed need some more work on their small motor and dexterity skills. I think making these 3-D strip pumpkins from Color, Color, Color will be perfect. I think we will add some green pipe cleaners to be vines

3rd grade: Maybe we can't do pumpkins with expressive faces...but he didn't say we couldn't do Monsters with expressive faces!!! I'll make a suggestion menu of things the kids can add...eye balls, horns, fangs, stripes, spots, eyebrows, hair...! It's perfect because this group is little monsters! (one class is banned from all supplies minus paper, pencils and crayons at the moment, they are earning privileges back after and scissor/paint incident we won't get into. They are drawing sunflowers in vases) Anyway I love the inspiration from Crafts by Amanda

seeing that 3rd grade comes twice a week, on day one we will take a paper bag, stuff it with newspaper and paint it our base color. On day two we will collage on the face with construction paper.

4th grade: I had the sub on Friday draw a simple pumpkin with them and go over the lines with white glue. We will use my new liquid watercolors to paint them in during our 1st class. Then during our second class we will make these fun bats that I found on the crafty crow.

One fourth grade class only comes once a week so they will draw our pumpkin in sharpie and then watercolor it in. The "bonus group" of 10 4th graders that come once a week started embroidering a spiders web and will make a bead spider to go with it.

5th. Is working on Klimt trees or, as we have started calling them snail trees. The trunks are being colored with colored pencil and metallic sharpies. We will use metallic watercolor for the background. My twice a week class start a oil pastel and black paper harvest color to come.


  1. That's so sad you guys can't do Halloween stuff! Is it a religious thing or something? I really like those monster paper bags, very cool!

  2. I like the monster bags too - are those the painted ones you've described? They kind of look like felt.

    I used to do a lot of Halloween stuff, but have eased off on it, as we have some families that don't celebrate Halloween and then the kids are left out or awkward.

  3. Both of the bags are by the same lady, the set on the left is painted and the set on the right is felt, I think I will make some felt ones just for myself.
    Marcia, no Halloween is a district policy. Our school is mostly Hispanic, Asian and Black and never seemed to have a problem with Halloween. But our school district has a large Russian population and the Russian Orthodox, along with Later Day Saints don't celebrate Halloween.