Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pumpkin Love

Pumpkins seem to be all the rage lately. I’m seeing it all over, in stores and coffee shops around town. I’ve seen Pumpkin spice lattes, Pumpkin spice candy corn, pumpkin muffins just to name a few. Of course, pumpkin wouldn’t be pumpkin without good ole traditional pumpkin pie either. 
So when I saw the beautiful pumpkin cutouts—with their vibrant oranges, textured burlap,  and beautiful patterns I couldn’t resist.  Normally I use cutouts are for decorative purposes, but I had another idea in mind when I saw these little beauties.  Part of our core curriculum and common core standards in writing is to write an informative/explanatory piece.{ CCSS W.1.2} Each fall we plan out different Fall topics for our students to write about and describe. Pumpkins are one of our topics. First, I read aloud various books, both fiction and non-fiction. (Here are a few of the books we have read).

Then we brainstorm describing words and facts about pumpkins, based on what the students have learned from listening to the read aloud.
Finally we write our sentences.  Only this time, I wanted the class to create a Pumpkin Fact Book—with the pumpkin cut-out as the cover. There are 3 different varieties of pumpkin in the pack. I let each student choose their favorite to create their very own special pumpkin book.
Here is what the students needed to do next:
1.  1.  I gave them the handwriting paper we use in class. They traced the shape of their pumpkin onto the lined paper.

2.     2. They cut out the papers in the shape of their cut-out. (Yes, they all did this on their own! It is a skill that needs practice, and can be tedious—but they were so excited about making a book, they didn’t mind the process)

3.     3. Once they had cut out all of their papers, I punched a hole at the stem.

4.     4. Lastly I helped attach a brass fastener to each of the books, and wrote their names in black permanent marker.

By using a brass fastener, the children are able to spin the cover and each additional page. After the books were put together, they each wrote about what they had learned on the pages of their books.

I love how the colors just pop!

After seeing how beautiful these pumpkins looked I decided to turn my classroom bulletin board into our very own pumpkin patch.

I already had paisley cut-outs on the board to hang student work under. I decided to leave them up, because to me they looked like a leaf on the pumpkin. After, I took regular green tissue paper and cut it length wise. I twisted and attached it between each book to create a vine like appearance.


I added the Dots on turquoise letters in between the rows of pumpkins to create our heading.
I love the way it looks and I’m really proud of my students writing. When it’s time to take this board down, they will have a beautiful keepsake to remember part of their year in first grade.

What upcoming topics will you be working on?  Consider a cut-out and make a book! Now go grab that pumpkin spice latte and enjoy!
Thanks for reading,

This post can also be found at
Pumpkin Cut-outs, Paisley cut-outs, Dots on turquoise letters and borders can be found at
CTP Products Used:


  1. This is so cute I can't stand it! And now I'm thinking of all kinds of really cool cutout books!

  2. I never thought of making a book like that. What a fabulous idea! Hmmmm... What Christmas cut-outs do I have? Lakeshore store here I come.


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