Monday, October 26, 2015

How to Carve a Pumpkin

By: Brenda Hall and Brittany Kraft

If you were wondering how to carve a pumpkin, just ask a first grader! They learned first hand the steps involved to take a pumpkin and turn it into a Jack-o-Lantern.

The current unit we are working on is Informational Writing. With the help of Mrs. Sayre, she walked us through the steps of actually carving a real pumpkin!

The children shared out what tools would be needed: carving knife (only used by the adult), paper towels, garbage bin, and scooping spoon... Oh, and a pumpkin!

Before we started cutting we discussed the importance of using transitional words. Such as first, second, third, next, then, and last to keep us in sequential order.

Each student was given a graphic organizer to sketch first, and then record the steps taken. They decided with a partner what the first step was. Student responses sounded like:

"You cut the top off!"  
"Cut the stem."

As we discussed what the first step should be, we discovered we need to be more specific in our "how to" writing. For example, "First, we cut around the stem." was more specific than "Cut the top off.".

We continued on in a similar process through each step until we ended up with a class Jack-O-Lantern!

This is was a great way to launch our informational writing unit. Now not only are the students experts at carving a pumpkin, but they can write out the steps as well.

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