Halloween Fun with Main Idea and Details

During the month of October, your students definitely have Halloween on their mind. Instead of fighting it, we embrace it. Prior to Halloween we read these five books and learn about main idea and details. This week is sooo much fun and I get excited just thinking about it. 


Here is how we start this unit! We begin with a little witch's brew. I ask for donations from my families who always love to step up (I know I'm fortunate). For the brew you need the following items below.  

Then using the cards I created, I print enough so each student will have a baggy to help. I divide the items up amongst the baggies and we are ready to begin. 


 We all sit in a circle and I sing a song I created. As we sing the song, the students help to add the ingredients to our brew. I do have a video of this in action over at First Grade Roars Facebook Page
You can see their excitement in these pictures below.


 Once we have made our brew, we discuss the main idea and details of what just happened. 


Then of course we enjoy our yummy snack. All of the items are peanut free but some are made in a peanut factory. Before mixing it, I make a little baggy for those who need special accommodations.

This activity leads into our entire week of guided reading whole group. The focus for the week is main idea and details and of course our theme is Halloween.  

This unit includes activities for loads of books but my 5 main go to books are featured at the top. I will share just some of the things we do with these five books.


My very FAVORITE Halloween story is Room on the Broom.  This book is so much fun because it is filled with rhymes and repetition. If you heard me read it, you might think I was a bit crazy! Before reading it, we make predictions. That is a focus skill we work on the week prior with monsters. 

After reading it, we discuss the main idea and details. When teaching the main idea, we discuss what the story is mostly about. I tell them to think about sharing this book with a friend. I ask them to tell a friend, in a sentence or two, what this story is mostly about.  We also refer to our witch's brew daily looking at the overall picture and then the parts or details. Then make these fun little witches.


My second favorite book is The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything.   For this story, I pass out the cards I made below. Each student gets a card. As I read the story, the students raise their card when their part happens. This is another fun way to keep them engaged in the story and be active participants. 


We do very similar activities all week: predicting, discuss main idea and details together, and writing the main idea and details.   


For this story, we make pumpkin scarecrows like the book. Here are a few that the kids created. 


I like to put the retell of the story in one of my centers. I leave the book out too. The students practice retelling the story with the picture cards as a review.



We also read Scaredy-Cat Splat. I love any Splat story but this one is very fun! We make these cute paper toppers too!


 Another story we love is Froggy's Halloween. We read Froggy Goes to School the first week of school. The students love revisiting characters and familiar authors. It helps us also make text to text connections and become familiar with authors. 


On the last day, we read Doreen Cronin's more recent story, Click, Clack, Boo! Again, we have already read a lot of her stories during our Farm week and also when we read Diary of a Spider during Spider week. They love to see what the animals are up to again. 


For this fun story, we create our costume on this blank kiddos. Then we write a descriptive piece. This photo below was taken a few years ago. Last year I took out construction paper and they were hilarious. (I forgot to take pictures) I will do that again this year. It helps to cover up the black lines a little bit better. They do a nice job writing because they have a great visual! 


Whatever you do during Halloween week, make it fun and engaging. I know my students will have a great week this year and I know they will learn too.  

As always love what you do and do what you love.
To see more from this week click HERE.

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