Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Big Pumpkin

This book, written by Erica Silverman, is by far my favorite book for Halloween.  The characters are familiar, without being scary, and the cadence of the story is repetitive, readily encouraging recall.  For those who haven't read it... it tells a tale of a witch who plants a pumpkin seed with the hopes of making pumpkin pie.  Her plans get foiled when the pumpkin grows so big, she cannot get it off of the vine.  Each Halloween character arrives to help, insisting that they have what it takes to get that pumpkin.  It is not until the tiny bat comes along and devises a clever plan to work together in getting that pumpkin, that they finally get to enjoy their pie together.  There are so many great lessons in this story and the kids really love that the littlest character is the one who outwits all of the bigger ones.

Inspired by this book, I created several activities to work on in therapy...

Included are templates to make these adorable puppets, which can be used to act out the story and aid in retelling.  Remember, the more senses you incorporate into your therapy, the more likely the kids are going to really "get it."  Holding and moving the characters tap into the sense of touch and adds another way to incorporate visuals, besides just the book itself.  And if you give the child an opportunity to complete repetitive phrases (e.g. First she pulled hard and then she pulled...harder.) you are also incorporating his or her sense of hearing, verbal turn-taking, anticipation, and the list goes on and on.

I also incorporated these same characters when creating pattern cards.  I laminated two pages back-to-back to save on laminating sheets.

A Big Pumpkin-themed game board is also included to be used along with any of your activities or drills.

For all of your little pumpkins working on prepositions and following directions, I have included an interactive book of prepositions.  This is definitely a favorite among kids and therapists.

This emergent reader can be practiced in therapy.  The kids love to be able to "read" their stories to their teachers and families!

Let's not forget BINGO!!  Great for working on Halloween-themed vocabulary.  Take turns being the "caller" once the child is familiar with the vocabulary.

And finally, for those little pumpkins working on final consonant deletion and/or velar fronting, I included minimal pair ghosts (15 pairs) and candy corn (12 pairs).  Both sets can be cut and placed back-to-back and then laminated.  Great for working on auditory discrimination!

Happy Halloween!!

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