What better way to celebrate Halloween, build excitement for Picture Book Month in November, and creativity explore character traits then a pumpkin literacy project! The fourth grade students at Schneckenburger Elementary School completed an engaging Pumpkin Character Literacy Project as a collaboration between Mrs. Nelson, the English Language Arts teacher, and Mrs. Broussard, the librarian. The students selected high quality picture books in their school library and began their project by reading the book, exploring the literary elements of the book for their pumpkin book report, and completing a character analysis using their knowledge of character traits. The character analysis helped the students organize their ideas and information to complete their pumpkin character writing activity and decorate and/or carve their pumpkin based on their chosen character. The detailed writing activity and pumpkin character were graded using the pumpkin project scoring rubric. Student’s pumpkin characters included Pete the Cat, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, Corduroy, Olivia, Skippy Jon Jones, Splat the Cat, the Very Hungry Caterpillar, Pinkalicious, and many more!
Next, the fourth graders students worked with the pre-kindergarten students to read and discuss the characters from the books that the students chose for their pumpkins. The students collaboratively designed and decorated their pumpkins throughout the week. We were amazed with the students’ ability to creatively capture their character’s unique traits. The pumpkin literacy project was an engaging and motivating approach to teaching character analysis and character traits while instilling a love of quality children’s literature by celebrating picture books. The students loved diving deeper into picture books and creating their own unique pumpkin characters. Best of all, our school was transformed into a Book Character Pumpkin Patch for all students, teachers, staff, and families to explore and enjoy!