The Ugly Pumpkin: A Fall Mentor Text

I'm so excited to get back to blogging with my friends from The Reading Crew. We have an amazing collection of lesson ideas and fall mentor texts to share with you today!

Make sure you read all the way through today's post to see how you can enter to win ALL of the books featured in today's link-up! {There are affiliate links in this post in case you're like me, and can't wait a week to get a copy! :)} 

I chose one of my FAVORITE books for October (and really, November too). The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz is a book you can carry across both months, and I have the best time reading it to my kids each year. It is perfect for teaching readers how to examine a character's actions, traits, and motivations. I usually spend a whole week with this book, and slowly scaffold character actions, traits, and motivations as we go. 

Before reading, I always do a quick review on what it means to think about someone's actions. We use a piece of chart paper to make a list of the things we've done since we arrived that day. 

Once we've got a good list, I ask them to keep track of the ugly pumpkin's actions as we read today. Someone almost always realizes they are listening for verbs that tell us what the ugly pumpkin is doing. :) 

The kids are listening for actions, and afterwards we go over the day's reading response. You may want to fill in an example (or two) with them. I really emphasize writing in complete sentences because they'll be expected to do the same as the week progresses. 

I don't worry too much about the page numbers, but I included it when I made this unit because this is a book I have multiple copies of. :) 

In the days that follow, we move on to examining a character's motivations and traits. 

What my students and I love about these lessons is that each response builds on information we gathered about the character the day before. All they have to do is transfer the information to make the connection. I encourage them to go back to the previous day's response to get their assignment started. 

I love re-reading this book each day. But if you are going to be out, or you just aren't feeling up to a reread, I did find this cute video on YouTube! :) 

It's less than 2 minutes long - perfect for a quick review! 

On Day Four, we connect everything together in a sentence frame response. I love being able to have them go back to this activity when they begin to write responses about characters using their independent books in the weeks and months ahead. 

As I was looking through this pack, I decided to add on an extra day where I could invite the students to step into the character's shoes. I can't wait to try these responses out in the next week or so. I think I'm going to use them to create a fun hallway display and have the kids mount them on construction paper. 

I included one of those new responses (along with a few others!) in this exclusive freebie sampler pack. Just click the image below to grab your copy from Dropbox

If you'd like to know more about the rest of the activities in this pack, take a peek at the pictures below and keep reading! 

This 40+ page unit includes:

  • ALL of the printables featured in this post
  • three different center options
  • interactive notebook pages for retelling or sequencing
  •  a mystery phrase activity
  •  and an Ugly Pumpkin writing craftivity! 

You can find it on TpT for $4 for this week only! Click HERE or on the image below to grab it! 

Make sure you check out the rest of the fall mentor text lessons and snag the freebies we're sharing with you this week. 

Don't forget to enter our Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win ALL of the books featured in today's link-up! 

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Stop by the rest of The Reading Crew's posts to continue gathering phenomenal ideas for fall mentor texts! 

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1 comment

  1. Cute, cute, CUTE!!! This book contains such a great message and I love all of the activities you created to go with it. Thanks for sharing :)
    The Techie Teacher