Pumpkins and Bats and Spiders...Oh MY!

Oh how I LOVE October! I love that the weather is beginning to cool (for us that means temps in the 80s.) I love that my little firsties are starting figure out routines and build independence. And I love that we can start focusing our learning around some favorite nonfiction topics. For us, that means we get to learn all about pumpkins, bats and spiders!

I linked up with Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five for Friday Linky Party. I thought I'd share five of our fave October-related activities!

We started out the month learning all about pumpkins and then moved on to bats and spiders. I began each week with an anchor chart. I like to review their "schema" (prior knowledge), and we record that on the charts. Then, as we read and learn new facts, we add those to the chart. The kids LOVE using sticky notes for their facts!

For our hallway bulletin board, we combined a little art and writing. I always try to have some kind of writing on our bulletin board, and this project from the fab Reagan Tunstall fit the bill. They turned out AMAZING!

One of the kinder classes at my school created this bulletin board, and I am absolutely obsessed with it! First, The Biggest Pumpkin Ever is one of my favorite Halloween books, and this idea is just too precious! Each kiddo created their own part of the pumpkin. It turned out so cute!
Since we were exploring so much nonfiction text, I thought it was a good time to introduce nonfiction text features. **Quick tip- When I do my monthly book order, I try and find nonfiction or thematic books for 100 points or less. I order 6 copies to use with my reading groups. I love tying their reading to our monthly themes!**

We have been studying spiders, so I focused our text feature learning around spider books. We first did a quick "noticing chart." I didn't snap a pic of this one. On day 2, I prepped by copying examples from a few spider books and magazines. I read through the texts, and as the kids noticed features, I glued them to the anchor chart.

I then passed out 2-3 spider books to each table group. (I basically cleaned out our school library.) I gave them a checklist to use while they searched for features in the books. They worked with partners and had so much fun! I loved hearing their discussions.

You can grab the recording sheet here!
 (Fonts by Cara Carroll and Kimberly Geswein and border by Krista Wallden.)

One of my team's favorite Halloween projects is jack-o-lanterns! We have the kiddos bring in their own jars. This year, I had one volunteer for each table. We were able to knock it out in 45 minutes! Prep is KEY, so I had tables ready to go while the kids were at specials. Each table had butcher paper for easy clean-up. The eyes, noses and mouths were cut my parents ahead of time and kept in separate baggies. Each child had their own brush and the table shared the tissue paper and the glue/water mixture. (It's just a 1/2&1/2 mixture.)

I demonstrated the process ahead of time and showed them how to add a little glue/water to one section and press down you tissue paper.

This is the final product! I also mod-podge it after it's all said and done and send it home with a tealight candle.

Finally, we have been teaching partners of 10, and Ashley and I created some SPOOKTACULAR TEN math activities. This bundle includes games, printables, and interactive journal pages! You can grab it for FREE on our facebook page!
(The freebie tab is on the side. You cannot access it from a mobile device.)


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Thanks for checking in! Head on back to Doodle Bugs to check out the other blogs that linked up!

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  1. Thank you for the NF text features page...I started making one this summer and it got put on the back burner and eventually taken off the stove! You saved me from the torture of trying to finish it up!

  2. I'm so glad you found it helpful! :) -Jana

  3. I'm very curious as to how the Biggest Pumpkin Ever came about. Did each student get there own piece of paper and get to choose what they put on it? Just curious, because I would love to do this with my class. Thanks

    1. Hello! Yes, I believe that is what they did. They had a plan for what they wanted included and provided those options to the kids. It was such a cute board!