The Pumpkin Smasher is the perfect book to work on prediction and writing skills with young students. I’m sharing this freebie with all newsletter subscribers this week and how we use this adorable Halloween craft and the activities to study essential skills!
The Pumpkin Smasher
Have you read this book? I like to say it is an oldie but a goodie!
It’s the cutest story. It was first published in 1972 and written by Anita Bernarde. The story revolves around a small town where all of the pumpkins keep getting smashed. The townsfolk finally figure out that the pumpkin smasher is a witch and they find a way to trick her out of messing up the pumpkins again.
The Pumpkin Smasher Prediction
I like to pause on the page before the culprit is revealed for the kids to complete the writing page. While it isn’t necessary to have, it does make this freebie even more fun for your students!
First, I put these word wall cards up.
I like using this apple pocket chart at the front of the room. All of my students can easily see the words and pull the words down as needed.
Prediction Writing Practice
Students make predictions about who they think the pumpkin smasher is. I like to display a sample like the one above.
I teach kindergarten so I often have students simply write one word at this point in the school year.
Other students attempt to write the entire sentence following my example.
Testing our Predictions
I bring the students back together to reread the entire book. I always read it again starting from the beginning. The kids are so excited to find out that it was a witch!
Next, we create our own pumpkins. Students choose between 2 options.
I ask students to color their pumpkins and cut them out. They really enjoy this simple art project. I like to give them an example to follow but also give them the freedom to color it whatever color desired.
You always have some students who follow your lead and others who go their own way!
The Fun Part
While the students are out of the room, I quickly cut the pumpkins into about 5 or 6 pieces. I also like to place a piece of candy on top of each pile.
The candy is important because some of your kids will get upset that their pumpkin has been “smashed”!
You can place the pieces in a pile or around their prediction writing.
I wrote up this funny little poem for you to display when your students return. As you can imagine, the kids are quite shocked and some are even jumping up and down with excitement!
I captured this look on my daughter’s face. (Yes, she’s in my kindergarten class!)
Putting the Pieces Together
Next I show them how we can put our pumpkins back together in the same way that we work on puzzles.
I give each student a piece of construction paper and encourage them to piece their pumpkins back together by gluing them onto the purple sheet.
Some will have no trouble figuring it out.
Some have orange pumpkins and some have colorful pumpkins!
I actually get a kick out of the ones who mess a piece or two up. I think it really shows what happened to our pumpkins!
Here’s another one who might have a piece or two in the wrong spot.
The kids really enjoy this part. You might also notice a few smudges from all of the candy they were devouring!
Hallway Display Craft
I show the students the examples above. In the newsletter freebie, you will find these words for students to trace and cut out.
I encourage students to use the word wall cards as needed to write who they think the pumpkin smasher is in the last box.
If you really wanted to keep things neat, you could precut the words for them. I like for my students to get cutting practice and I’m all about saving my own time. The messiness of it doesn’t bother me a bit.
Here’s a look at some of the finished crafts!
If you read the book first, you will have plenty of kids who truly believe the Pumpkin Smasher Witch came to your classroom!
This one turned out to be one of my favorites!
I typically have a few students write that they think it was Mrs. Statum or another teacher in the building.
Speaking of pumpkins, my family had the best time at the pumpkin patch last weekend!
I hope you’re enjoying this Fall weather too. It’s my favorite season!
What do you think? Will you enjoy using this freebie with your students? Let me know in the comments!
Are you looking for more Halloween activities to do with your students?
I know your kids will love learning about The Chocolate Chip Ghost! It is one of my favorite units of the year!
Have you studied The 5 Little Pumpkins yet? Check out this unit, it works especially good if you need to stay away from non-Halloween type stories.
You could try making these easy and adorable Jack-O-Lantern candleholders!
This Room on the Broom Freebie is another reader favorite!
Happy Teaching & Mommy-ing this week friends!