Lesson plan

What's Inside a Pumpkin: Creating a Book

Play with pumpkins! In this lesson, students will make representations of real objects. They will get a chance to be the authors and illustrators of their own stories about pumpkins.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will be able to identify what is inside a pumpkin. Students will author and illustrate books with representations of real pumpkins.

(5 minutes)
  • Begin the lesson by showing your students a real pumpkin. Pass it around so that they can feel the outside.
  • Discuss what might be inside. Potential discussion questions include: What does it look like inside? Is it soft? Is it hard? What do you do with the inside?
  • Record their responses on the board to show that spoken words can also be written.
  • Explain that you will be cutting the pumpkin open so that your students can see what's inside and make a book about it.
(15 minutes)
  • Cut the pumpkin open. Carry the pumpkin around to let your students see what's inside.
  • Ask your students to describe what they see. Identify the pulp, or the soft orange part, and the seeds, or the part of the pumpkin that can create new pumpkins.
  • Give each student one predrawn pumpkin shape, and instruct your students to cut them out.
  • Have each student fold the pumpkin shape in half, creating a book.
  • Ask them to label the front of their books with the title What’s Inside a Pumpkin?
  • Direct them to write the words Author and Illustrator on the front cover as well. Explain that an author writes the story, and an illustrator draws the pictures.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask your students to offer examples of authors and illustrators of books they have read. For example, Dr. Seuss is the author of Green Eggs and Ham.
  • Instruct your students to identify the author and illustrator of their own books. If they are able, have them write their own names next to author and illustrator.
  • Direct your students to use the construction paper, glue, yarn, and seeds to represent what they see inside of the pumpkin.
(15 minutes)
  • Have each student continue to work at her own pace to create a pumpkin representation inside of her book.
  • Encourage your students to place materials inside of their books in the same way that they see the materials inside the real pumpkin. For example, if there are seeds all over the inside of the pumpkin, make sure that students put seeds all over the insides of their books.
  • Go around the room, and ask each student what she sees inside the pumpkin. Ask your students to point out how they are representing the pumpkin in their books.
  • Enrichment: Have your students trace and cut their own pumpkin shapes. Have the words seeds and pulp written on index cards so that more advanced students can write them independently. Encourage your students to come up with more authors and illustrators of books that they have read.
  • Support: Help your students cut the pumpkin shape, or have a few precut ones ready for them to use. Script words for students who need assistance, or write them in their books for them.
(10 minutes)
  • Observe if your students are writing their names next to Author and Illustrator. Ask clarifying questions to gauge understanding of the roles. For example, potential questions include: What does the author do? Who is your favorite author? Did you write this story? What does the illustrator do? What would a book be like without pictures?
  • Note if your students are writing other words in their books. Encourage them to write stories if they are able.
(5 minutes)
  • Discuss again what students see inside the pumpkin. Encourage your class to use new vocabulary, such as pulp and seeds.
  • Ask for a volunteer to explain what authors and illustrators do.

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