We love unit studies. It's a great break from our normal routine, without causing any issues in their educational development. Since it's October & Halloween is right around the corner, we are doing a lot of Halloween-themed projects and lessons this month. This week, I wanted to share a lesson plan for The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano.
Spookley was different.
He was odd,
He was rare.
Spookley the pumpkin wasn't round,
In a little pumpkin patch far away, round pumpkins grew all about. But one pumpkin was very different, he was square. Spookly was the only square pumpkin in the patch and because of this, the other round pumpkins teased him.
How many times do children feel the same way Spookley did? Using the story of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano, you can teach the important lessons of self-love, tolerance, and acceptance to your children. Take a look below at how this fun book can create a wonderful learning experience for your classroom or even your own children. Take a peek!
Students will be able to understand the meaning of the words self-love, tolerance, and acceptance.
Will be able to focus on what their own unique abilities are.
Students will be able to empathize with others and practice tolerance.
The book, Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe TroianoAssortment of paint chip samples in orange varieties
Craft glueGreen felt
2 eggs, one brown and one white
Activities to implement these skills:
First, enjoy this book with your children. Take periodic pauses to talk about what they are seeing and hearing. Discuss tricky words. Ask them if they can relate to what Spookly is feeling. Ask them to pay special attention to how Spookly feels when he is teased. Invite questions after the read-aloud is complete. Once you have completed this step, here are some activities to further the lesson.
1. Our Insides are the Same
Spookley was square, his friends were round, but did that mean he did not have the same insides as them or feel what they felt? No. Demonstrate this concept by laying two eggs next to each other. Use one white egg and one brown egg. Talk about how the eggs are different. Ask the children what changes they notice in the two eggs. Next, crack each egg open into a dish. How do the insides look? The children will notice the insides now look the same. Relate this to people. While we may look different on the outside, we all have the same feelings and insides.
2. Before and After
Have the children take a piece of paper and fold it in half. Have them color a picture that represents how Spookly felt at the start of the story. Then on the second half, they can draw a picture to represent how he felt at the end. Ask them which they preferred? Which picture made them feel better or happier? Just like they were happier seeing Spookly happy, they should feel happy seeing their own peers happy.
3. Self Strength Focus.
Give students a piece of paper and either draw or write about their strengths. Ask them to focus on 2 physical attributes they love about themselves and 2 internal or characteristic attributes. Give each child a chance to share by writing these down on a poster board. Hang the board up where children can see how strong they are as a group. Explain that everyone has strengths and special things about them worth noting. Any time they feel like putting a person down, encourage them to find the strengths in that person instead.
4. Positive talk.
Sometimes, kids need help developing positive vocabulary. Make a list together of different positive words and phrases such as “Way to go” or “I like your..” and so on. Then arrange for some role play so kids can practice using these words and phrases. Tell them you will be watching to see who uses this positive talk on a daily basis and praise it when you see it.
5. What would you do?
Ask them to reflect on being in both Spookly’s shoes as well as the shoes of the other pumpkins. How would they feel? How would they react? Give each child a chance to share their feelings and what they are thinking. They can also reflect on paper or you can do this activity as a group share.
Finish this activity with this fun DIY Spookly!
1. Take two paint chip strips and begin folding them. You will want to make a fold every two squares or so.
2. This may take a little trial and error depending on your paint chip, so encourage children to be patient and continue folding until they are able to place two strips together to create a box.
3. Add a few dabs of glue to the end of each strip to secure them to each other. Hold firmly in place until you are sure they are stuck well.
4. Glue on your googly eyes as you wish and use a marker to create a fun smile.
5. Twist a small piece of green felt and add a generous amount of glue to the end. Press it firmly to the top of Spookly’s head.
There you have it! You now have your very own square pumpkin to remind you that everyone is different and worth celebrating!
You can find Spookly the Square Pumpkin books, movies, and cd’s on Amazon so you can enjoy this fun story in your own home time and time again.
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