Monday, October 7, 2013

The Vanishing Pumpkin by Tony Johnston - Teaching Ideas


Who snitched the pumpkin? Was it the ghoul, the rapscallion or maybe the varmint? The really old man and the really old lady want their pumpkin so they can make pumpkin pie. Will they ever find their pumpkin? Will they ever get pie?

Have fun with the old lady and old man as they search for their missing pumpkin.

Here are a list of reading skills and strategies you can use to create a great lesson to use with this book during the month of October.



Reading level:
Theme/subject: Halloween
Genre: holiday fiction, Halloween

Suggested Vocabulary/phrases: snitched, ghoul, rapscallion, varmint

Reading skills and strategies:
  • Asking questions - {possible questions before} I wonder what the story is about. I wonder how the pumpkin vanishes. {possible questions during} I wonder where the pumpkin went. I wonder if they are going to find the pumpkin. I wonder who has the pumpkin. {possible questions after} I wonder if the old man and old woman will stay mad at the wizard.   **Remember to have your students answer/reflect their questions.
  • Author's point of view – Third. Be sure to find 3 pieces of evidence to support this (him, he).
  • Author's purpose – entertaining {evidence} nobody is 700 or 800 years old. There are no such things as ghouls. The illustrations are pretty silly. All of these things make a very entertaining story.
  • Beginning, middle, end - {most important event from beginning} the old man wanted a pumpkin pie. {most important event from middle} The old lady and old man couldn’t find the pumpkin to make the pumpkin pie. {most important event from end} The wizard had their pumpkin and made them a pie.
  • Cause and effect – Why did the old man want a pumpkin pie? Because the sun reminded him of the pumpkin in their garden. Why did the old man make the ghoul as thin as an onion skin? So he could see if the ghoul was hiding his pumpkin. Why did the old man put the rapscallion upside down? So the pumpkin would drop out if he was hiding it. Why did he turn the varmint into a black cat with lots of fleas? So they could see if he scratched at the pumpkin. Why did the old man not want to holler at the wizard? Because the wizard could turn him into a lizard. Why did they all eat pumpkin pie? Because the wizard made them a pumpkin pie.
  • Character analysis - describe the old couple {looks like, feelings, thoughts, character}
  • Main idea & details - {main idea} the story is mostly about the old man and old woman looking for their pumpkin. {details} The old lady and old man looked all over their house for the pumpkin. They asked the ghoul if he took it. They turned the rapscallion upside down looking for the pumpkin. They found the pumpkin with the wizard.
  • Plot - the turning point or climax in the story was when they met up with the wizard.
  • Predict – What do you think the story is going to be about. Do you think the ghoul took the pumpkin? Do you think the rapscallion has the pumpkin? Do you think the varmint has the pumpkin? Who do you think took the pumpkin? Where could the pumpkin be? Do you think they will ever get pumpkin pie?
  • Problem & solution - {problem} the old lady and old man’s pumpkin was missing. {Solution} they looked all over for the person that took their pumpkin and finally found it with the wizard.
  • Sequencing – The sun reminded the old man of a pumpkin. The old man and old lady went out to get the pumpkin. The pumpkin was missing. They looked all over the house. They asked the ghoul if he had the pumpkin. They turned the rapscallion upside down looking for their pumpkin. The turned the varmint into a flea ridden black cat looking for their pumpkin. They came across a wizard that had their pumpkin. The wizard turned their pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern and also made them a pumpkin pie. Everyone ate the pumpkin pie.
  • Story elements - list title, author, characters, setting, beginning, middle, end, or problem & solution.
  • Summarize - {someone} the old man {wanted} wanted a pumpkin pie {but} but their pumpkin was missing {so} so they went in search of it. They {finally} finally found it with the wizard that had turned it into a jack-o-lantern and made them a pumpkin pie.
  • Visualize – The old man said that the sun reminded him of pumpkins which reminded him of pumpkin pie. When you look at the sun what does it make you think of?  
Happy planning,

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for the review - another great Halloween book to add to my bookshelf!

    Love to Learn

    ReplyDelete

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