Category Archives: Autumn

Teacher Gift Ideas

Well, it’s the end of September now… Your child’s teacher has written your child’s name dozens of times by now on papers and bulletin boards. Her hands and wrists may be sore from all her work. (I know mine were when I was teaching.) Your child’s teacher is likely in the middle of assessments and thinking of ways she can differentiate instruction based on all the needs of her children. She may be feeling nervous, over-whelmed… Maybe even a bit unappreciated. When is the last time you said something kind or did something truly thoughtful for your child’s teacher? If we want our teachers to stay motivated, we need to work as a team. Not only do they need parent volunteer support in the classroom, but the teachers need to feel cared for as well.

When gift-giving be sure to keep in mind that even though the teacher has the grace not to tell your child that the earrings you took out of your jewelry box that say, “You are special”, and you gave her because you won’t wear them aren’t really what she wanted, doesn’t mean you should go ahead and give it to her. Be as kind with your gift-giving as you would expect her to be in teaching your child. If you expect a lot, you need to give a lot.

Here’s a free, printable Teacher Gift Idea handout. Give it to the teacher, and after she fills it out make copies of it and send it home with all the children.


Life Cycle of a Pumpkin Mini Book

Grades: Preschool – 2nd Grade


  • Crayons
  • Scissors


  1. Complete a prior knowledge assessment. Toward the top of poster board or your white board write “K-W-L”. With vertical lines separating each letter. Ask what the children know (K) and want to know (W).  You will complete the learned (L), after the lesson.
  2. If it’s still appropriate learning, have the students read the My Little Seed: What plant will it be? book with you.
  3. Students complete the book, read and discuss it.
  4. Complete the K-W-L chart with the children, What did they learn (under L)?

Folding Instructions for the Mini Book:

This book is convenient, because it does not require staples.

1. Cut on the dotted…. lines around the edges.
2. Fold on the gray, solid line, so you see the
text and pictures.
3. Cut the center, dotted ….. line.
4. Open and fold in half the opposite way,
(pg. 1 back-to-back with the cover & page 4
back-to-back with page 5.)
5. Make a fan fold and then open again.
6. Fold the dotted pages so they are open,
like a diamond.
7. Push the diamond closed, so the cover is
on the front and the last page is on the back.

Your Coupon Code for $10 Off: STMMMS6943

My Trick-or-Treat Ghosts Mini Book and Puppets

Grades: Preschool – 2nd Grade

Depending upon the needs of your children, you can differentiate this art, writing and reading activity. You will find notes about this next to each part of the activity.


  • My Trick-or-Treat Ghosts Mini Book
  • My Trick-or-Treat Ghosts Puppets
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Crayons
  • popsicle sticks
  • pencils



Before you present the lesson, make your own My Trick-or-Treat Ghosts mini book and ghost puppets as an example. (You will find a color set of puppets for you, so you don’t have to color the ghosts. This will save you preparation time.)

As you do the activity yourself, you can think about the needs of your students. You can have each student make one ghost (splitting the children into groups of 6), or you can have each child make an entire set. It just depends on what your child’s needs are.

Preschool children may only have time to make one ghost, unless you copy the ghosts onto colored paper and/or cut out the ghosts for them ahead of time. (You can either use the ghost template and print the ghosts onto the colored construction paper (or use color ink) from your computer, or make your own ghost design and cut ghost shapes onto colored construction paper.) So, for a preschool child, I’d recommend either doing that or have the child choose their favorite food/color and make one ghost. Then, the children can act out the story as a group.


My Trick-or-Treat Ghosts Mini Book

Read and fill in the colors for each ghost. (e.g. “I give him a strawberry. He turns red.” The student colors the ghost red. Other ideas for colors/foods are: orange/orange, green/cucumber, blue/blueberry, rainbow/rainbow sherbet.) The mom ghost stays white.

My Trick-or-Treat Ghosts Puppets

After the book is complete, the students color the puppets to match the book.

  1. Color the ghost puppets to match the colors of the ghosts in the book.
  2. Cut out the puppets.
  3. Glue ghosts onto the popsicle stick. (Colorful ghost on one side, white ghost on the other side. The mom ghost is white on both sides.)

Dramatic Play

Students read the book and act out the story.

Extension Activities:

  • Draw, color and cut out each food , so your puppet can pretend to eat it (like the glasses of milk). Write the name of each food on the page of the story.
  • A group of students can act out the story together, either with the puppets or in different colored sheets made to look like ghost costumes.

My Little Pumpkin Photo Frame Craft

Here’s a free My Little Pumpkin photo frame craft.

Teacher  parents, feel free to print out this PDF template, and share with friends.



1. Write your name towards the top of the pumpkin.
2. Color the pumpkin.
3. Cut out the pumpkin and center.
4. Tape a photo inside.
5. Glue the photo frame onto brown
    construction paper. This is the back of the frame.
6. Laminate the photo frame (optional).
7. Cut around the brown construction paper.

My Little Pumpkin Phot Frame Display Ideas:

  • Create a bulletin board pumpkin patch. Create a blue background. Then, roll pieces of green butcher paper for vines across the bulletin board.  Attach the pumkins to the vines.
  • Add to the Classroom Memory Book, which is sent home towards the end of the school year.

Makes a great gift for parents!








My Jack-O’-Lantern, Art and Writing

This gallery contains 1 photos.

This Fall activity is perfect for a classroom bulletin board. Your children will love to see their unique jack-o’-lantern faces on your classroom wall. Ages: Preschool-2nd Grade (For 2nd graders, extend the activity by creating My Jack-O’-Lantern stories during Writer’s … Continue reading

Family Tree Activity

Free Family Tree, Click and Print in Color. Your children will enjoy this fun activity for Fall. Don't forget the leaves below.

Grades: Preschool – 5th Grade

Here’s a Free Family Tree printable activity for your children. Your children will love creating their own family trees this Fall. This is a great activity for teachers to send home over the Thanksgiving break, or for parents looking for a fun and educational activity for their children. The Family Tree is perfect for a Classroom Memory Book activity!

Why a Family Tree is Important

Cut out and glue the leaves on the tree. Draw family inside the leaves or glue photos on the leaves. (Free!)

Children who feel emotionally supported and safe in their homes and schools are better able to focus on their studies. Parents and teachers can help children feel safe when they listen, care and understand. To do this, you need to know where each child is coming from. For example, if you see Mary crying at an assembly about drunk driving, you’ll already understand that her mother was killed by a reckless driver over the summer. You would have known because you had Mary complete a Family Tree, which you had locked away in your file cabinet. The Family Tree is not designed so we can go into the teacher’s lounge and announce that Mary is crying because her mom died. It’s so we can look Mary in the eyes, show her we care and that we are there for her. That is what’s at the root of this family tree… An opportunity for the parents and teachers to listen, care and understand. So, that means that this is a confidential activity. Teachers, keep it locked away in your files in your classroom. Family dynamics are a sensitive issue, and the children and parents are trusting you to keep it confidential.

The Flexible Family Tree

As you can see, this Family Tree is flexible. The children can place the photos on the tree anywhere they wish. That’s intentional. We all have different types of families. Let the children create what they see as their family, without having to fill in pre-determined boxes that may not fit and make the child feel uncomfortable. Let the children be free in expressing where they are coming from. This is just one example of what I mean by “differentiated”. Depending upon the needs of the child, each family tree will be different.

Another important reason for children to complete the family tree is for them to answer the question, “Who am I?” That’s exactly what our children are learning every, single day. A very important part of our self-identity is knowing our roots. This can be fun and it can be painful. It just depends on where the person is coming from and what they have experienced in life. We need to be sensitive to that and use the confidential information to help the child feel cared for and understood.


  • Family Tree and Family Tree Photo Leaves 
  • Photos of family members or allow students to draw their family members.
  • Construction Paper (optional, any Fall color, such as orange, yellow or brown)
  • Glue or tape
  • Pencil or crayons



  1. Print one family tree and set of photo leaves for each student.
  2. Explain to the children that they will complete the family tree as a homework assignment and that it will be confidential. You just want to get to know them better.
  3. Send the family tree home with a note to the parents explaining that you are asking the families to complete the family tree. Explain that it will be kept in your confidential, locked file and not posted on the wall. Tell the families that you would like to learn more about their family, so you can help their child feel cared for and understood. If you like, explain that you will send home the family tree in a classroom memory book at the end of the school year.

More about Classroom Memory Books will be posted soon! Bookmark this site or become our friend on Facebook!