Tuesday, October 24, 2017


With Halloween just around the corner, I searched for some silly/spooky stories to read aloud. Between my own collection and the one at my local public library, I had a full bag of books, and I had fun reading through them all to find the ones that would work best with each grade level.

Since I had 4th and 5th graders help out with my last display, I wanted to have different students help me out with a new display. I found the perfect tie-in with one of my recent favorites for this time of year, Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds.

Both Kindergarten and 1st grade heard this story and then decorated their own creepy carrot to put in our Creepy Carrot Patch. I hope they will be excited to see their work displayed right when you walk into the library. 1st grade also heard the oldie but goodie, The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams and did a fabulous job assisting in the sound effects.

Loker's Creepy Carrot Patch
Both 2nd and 3rd grades heard The Haunted Hamburger by David LaRochelle. This is a story within a story where the Father Ghost tells his ghost kiddos 3 silly/scary stories to try to get them to sleep. An extra that was featured on the publisher's website was a really cute Mad-Lib-style short story. I gathered a blind bag of random props, each student pulled one out of the bag, and we filled in the blanks of the story with their props. It was really funny and both grades equally enjoyed it.

4th graders heard The Widow's Broom by Chris Van Allsburg. I first heard of this story last year when I student taught in Salem, and it's a great story for this time of year, but also has a deeper meaning, that interestingly ties in to National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month! Yay for making connections. I tried two different ways to see if students understood the deeper meaning, and having a more informal discussion seemed to work a little better (Students discussed in small groups and wrote their guess on a Post-it note that we then discussed as a class).

5th graders missed out on spooky stories in lieu of Step 1 of their Passion Projects: Making Connections and Building Background Knowledge. We talked a little bit about how you flesh out your topic so that you have a better of idea of what you actually need to be researching. We discussed how you can ask yourself some questions (Have I read anything about this topic? Seen any articles? Watched any movies? Had any personal experience? Why am I interested in this topic?) to help guide this part of the process. Students completed a graphic organizer showing what they know and what they still need to find out about their topics.

Questions to help guide Step 1 of the Research Process

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