Fall is here and pumpkins are everywhere. It seems as though the pumpkin spice idea has taken on a whole new meaning this year. Although I do not worship at the temple of the pumpkin spice, I do enjoy implementing pumpkin lessons in my classroom. My Pumpkin Patch lesson is one of my favorites for this time of year. I have created 3 rhythmic reading levels for various grade levels.
In first grade the students just learn the poem. We create a pumpkin patch by having the students curl up on the floor like pumpkins. During the poem I walk around the room and then tap a student or two on the back. At the end of the poem, the student jumps up and makes a jack-o-lantern face. Then they walk around the room to the steady beat like me and tap someone on the back. Continuing until all students have been chosen. I have also done it where the students are holding an instrument and when they are chosen they then play the steady beat while walking around.
I love using this format for singing and rhythmic practice. Students sing song and move around the room in some way. Sometimes it’s marching, tiptoeing, skating, etc.; whatever fits the song. Then they perform a rhythm sentence on a paper manipulative. I use this format with many different songs throughout the year. I always reference that we will be doing it “like the pumpkin patch game” and the kids immediately get it! It’s nice to be able to use the same idea but just change out the songs and rhythms. Makes planning easier. Ok back to Pumpkin Patch:
In the other grade levels I have both a smartboard version and interactive. For both the students say the poem and then after, read a rhythm based on their level. The interactive version, is when I print out the pumpkins and place them around on the floor. The students have to pick one by the time the poem is over and then read it. I can use this as an assessment of the students rhythm performance, having only one student read at a time, or even position myself near a certain pumpkin to hear the students read it.
Finally, I have some slides where the students can practice composing their own pumpkin rhythms. I do this just in front of the whole group. This could be an assessment piece also.
All of this is available on my Teachers Pay Teachers page: Pumpkin Patch. I hope you enjoy the wonderful world of pumpkins this month!