It’s time to grow a storybook pumpkin patch in our school libraries!
This is one of my very favorite activities in our school library! It promotes reading with our families, lets our students show their creative side, and decorates the library with colorful reading promotions–all with very little time invested on my part!
Here’s how it happens.
First, before the long Columbus Day weekend, I send a flier home with all of our preK-5th grade students. It explains the rules:
- pumpkin must be smaller than a basketball
- no cutting the pumpkins (they will rot very quickly)
- everyone gets a prize when they pick up their pumpkin
- on the back of the flyer, students write the title and author of their book and tell us a little bit about the character
My students are so proud to bring in the pumpkins that they’ve created with their families. Even though some of the pumpkins are based on movies or songs or video games rather than books, we display them all. We cover the tops of our bookshelves with green butcher paper, and display each pumpkin with its flier next to it. If we have the book in our library, we display the book next to its pumpkin.
The Pumpkin Patch
Classes like to tour our storybook pumpkin patch during their library visits, watching it grow more pumpkins day by day. Our students can bring in a pumpkin any time before the take home day (typically October 31). We have beautiful, student-created, reading-centered fall decorations, without any reference to Halloween.
When students pick up their pumpkins to take them home, I give them a spirit stick from Spirit Monkey. It looks like they’ve already sold out of their pumpkin patch spirit sticks for this year, but they’ve got lots of cute reading themed spirit sticks like these!
image courtesy of Spirit Monkey
A Freebie for You
You can just fill in the dates that work for you, copy this flier, and watch a storybook pumpkin patch grow in YOUR school library! Happy reading!