In my classroom,I usually tend to have a few Jehovah Witness' each year,so I tend to focus on the Harvest origins of the celebration though I do bring in the remembrance of ancestors as well. We brainstorm as to why this is a time of year when our thoughts do tend to go to the past...the year just gone by..the success of the harvest..things left to do in traditional ways to insure preparedness for the winter ahead. So one of the things I have done in the past is to create a punpkin patch using brown paper grocery bags stuffed with newspapers...turn the bags inside out, then stuff with crumpled newspaper (saving some of course to set the pumpkins on to paint them!*g*).Have a few pumpkins for the students to refer to. Paint them in various shades of orange,using brown and black and green & white to shade them and draw the lines in.Use rubber bands to twist off the tops,then take another brown paper bag and paint it with streaks of green top and bottom...cut the bag in half and twist one half for the vine and c
ut leaves out of the other half where the printing does not show through..slip the vine thru the rubber band on the twisted top of the pumpkin and then attache the leaves using glue (and clear tape till the glue dries) tho I do admit to having used staples discretely applied from time to time too. Then I give the kids a writing assignment...they can either write about "What I have harvested this year" ( a character counts assignment) "Remembering My Ancestors" or other prompts that relate to our theme for the year. We even do Pumpkin Math...recipes ( then we double and triple them for multiplication application) Shopping for pumpkins...how much does one cost at a stand near you? How much would it take to buy for each group...for each class member? Pumpkin division...I toast pumpkin seeds..then we do various division problems using the seeds on paper plates as manipulatives. The students write all kinds of word problems using pumpkins *meaningfully* as the theme. I have my students write alot of word problems
t can write a *meaningful* word problem, then the can solve them,too. And of course...dear Charlie Brown and Linus...story writing and artwork..."What DOES the Great Pumpkin really do and what does it look like?"
Hope these trigger other ideas,too!