October 31 is Halloween. According to history.com, “every October, carved pumpkins peer out from porches and doorsteps in the United States and other parts of the world. Gourd-like orange fruits inscribed with ghoulish faces and illuminated by candles are a sure sign of the Halloween season. The practice of decorating “jack-o’-lanterns” (the name comes from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack) originated in Ireland, where large turnips and potatoes served as an early canvas. Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America, home of the pumpkin, and it became an integral part of Halloween festivities.”
When Maryellen Rooney Moreau, creator of the SGM® was in 1st grade, she learned a song about carving a pumpkin called “Halloween Surprise.” We thought we would share it with you as well as a short lesson that can be done with Braidy the StoryBraid® to teach sequencing. Sequencing is an expository text structure. This activity illustrates how Braidy® can be used to teach expository (information) text. Braidy® can help children to talk about a sequence of actions they did in order to accomplish a task such as carving a pumpkin to make a jack-o-lantern. Here are photos of Maryellen’s grandson (age four) carving a pumpkin with his grandfather (Maryellen’s husband).
During the carving of the pumpkin, Maryellen taught her grandson the “Halloween Surprise” song - here are the lyrics:
Halloween Surprise Song
(sung to the tune of Sing A Song of Sixpence)
First, you take a pumpkin orange, round and fat.
Then, you cut the top off, that makes a hat.
Next, you hollow out the mouth, nose and eyes…
And put it on the table for a Halloween Surprise!
After they carved the pumpkin, Maryellen used Braidy the StoryBraid®, along with sequence cards, to work with her grandson to sequence the process of carving the pumpkin. Here are the cards on the right – first she showed him the cards in sequence and then mixed them up and had him out them back in the correct sequence. Download the sequence cards here.
Next, Maryellen sang the “Halloween Surprise” song with her grandson as he put the sequence cards on Braidy®. CLICK HERE to watch this lesson on MindWing’s Youtube page!!
For an art project that can be done in the classroom, we Googled “make a jack-o-lantern in school” and hundreds of ideas popped up! Also, a book that Maryellen read with young children in Orange County Public Schools in Orlando, is an I Can Read! book called Marley and the Runaway Pumpkin based on the books by John Grogan. This book is a narrative and is about the pumpkin, not related to Halloween, but as a part of autumn festivities.
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