Mentor Monday: Halloween and Pumpkin-Themed Books and Resources

I just love this time of year. The crisp, cool autumn air is settling here in New England and the foliage is amazing. A neighbor just passed along a tray of baked apples to us for dessert last night…heavenly. I just finished decorating the front of my house with corn stalks, mums, decorative cabbage, gourds, wreaths, a big bale of hay and of course…pumpkins! It’s my favorite season to decorate my house. Low maintenance, no rigging up lights and timers, and it lasts a long time!

This week’s topic is Halloween and pumpkin-themed books and resources. I’m going to share a favorite Halloween read aloud with you. Each year, I took my third graders to Plimoth Plantation on Halloween. It was a great day for a field trip because you don’t have the excitement in the classroom all day long, and less schools tend to go on field trips that day. Less crowds=win win.

When we returned from the field trip, we’d have a small party and I would always read The Widow’s Broom by Chris Van Allsburg. If you haven’t picked this one up before, please do!! Minna Shaw, a widow, finds a the broom of a witch who has fallen from the sky one night and landed in her garden. The broom proves to be very useful to Minna, but has trouble with some very suspicious neighbors.


You and your students will LOVE the surprise ending of this book. It’s great for making inferences of asking questions, too. The look of wonder on my students’ faces was absolutely priceless as I read this book to them. The black and white illustrations, in classic Allsburg from, really set the mood for this spooky and mysterious picture book. After you finish The Widow’s Broom, your class may enjoy watching an interview with him from Reading Rockets. Click here to view it.

One other tradition is to read lots of spooky or not so spooky poetry. The boys in my class especially loved learning the words to “Hello, My Name Is Dracula” from Laugh-eteria by Douglas Florian.
Here’s a copy you can download and share with your own class. Click here to download.

Here are two more poetry resources from my store. They’re great for fluency practice and will be sure to tickle a few funny bones.

I hope this post has inspired some spooky ideas. Be sure to check out the other teacher blogger posts who have linked up this week, or link up your own post. See you back here next Monday!

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