October 25, 2013

Class Carving

Since the beginning of October, I have noticed that Halloween is a big event in Newtok, AK.
On Halloween, they get out early for a Halloween carnival then the next day is a haunted house at the school and a Halloween dance!
My students have been begging to decorate the classroom in time for this frightful, delightful holiday.. so I decided to do one better and actually 
carve a pumpkin!
Since every Friday is a half day for students, I only see my 5th and 6th graders for an hour and half each. What a better thing to do on a Friday than to carve a jack-o-lantern?!
How did we get the pumpkins? Luckily, we have an awesome principal that ordered them for us. They just arrived this week, just in time. All my students today were thrilled. Some of them had never seen the inside of a pumpkin!

Of course, I still had to keep some sort of academic feel to the day, so we started off with a little reading comprehension about the "Legend of Stingy Jack". 
I found this great story that explains how the jack-o-lantern came about in a way that all my students found entertaining. Plus, it asked questions at the end for some great reading comprehension practice. SCORE!

We then practiced sequencing, as my students had to think of the process in carving a 
jack-o-lantern and then they had to put the events in order.

My sixth graders trying to figure out the sequence:



My fifth graders:



The finished product:

It was a good collaboration project!

I had to figure out a way to split the duties of carving between two classes. I let my 6th graders clean out the pumpkin so they messed with all the oozy-gooey goodness (which they loved) and my fifth graders got to vote for the face we would carve in our pumpkin.

My sixth graders taking turns cleaning out the pumpkin.




 They loved the orange goo!
The cleanest inside I've ever seen!

That meant my fifth graders had the job of creating the face. I gave them all orange sticky notes that they were to draw the face they wanted on the pumpkin. I then put up all the sticky notes on the board with a number above it. I then called students up by tables to come vote for their favorite face. 


The most important decision for the day!

And the winner was… Face #5!

So Nolan got to draw the face on the pumpkin with marker before I cut it out.
Side note: Not at any time during this pumpkin carving did I let my students handle knives.



So behold, the class jack-o-lantern in Emily's class in Newtok, Alaska!


(The black marker will wash off)

The best part is that I saved our pumpkin seeds and am going to roast them for our party on Thursday! 
It is nice having smaller classes so we can do fun things like this to keep school interesting!

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