“Five Little Pumpkins” is fun little song. While it’s a nice fit for the Halloween season, it can be sung any time of the year and is one of our autumn favorites.
Five Little Pumpkins Lesson Plan
Need a quick and easy autumn lesson plan? Use the “Five Little Pumpkins” song to teach about counting, emotions and action verbs in a fun and playful way. Combined with other Halloween songs from Super Simple, you’ve got a great lesson ready to go.
Choose your favorite hello song. For Halloween, we recommend “Hello, My Friends“. Even if you haven’t used the song before, students can follow along as you gesture. See this blog post for some gesture suggestions.
Kids energy levels change from day to day (hour to hour). Sometimes kids have the wiggles (for example on a rainy day when they can’t go outside and play) and we need to give them a chance to burn some of that energy. Sometimes their energy is a little low and they need a boost. Using an active song early on in the lesson will help balance energy levels so students can focus. A short and easy active song like “Walking, Walking” is perfect. No need to pre-teach, just put it on and hit play.
Circle Time Activity:
Follow up “Walking, Walking” with “Make A Circle“. At the end of this song, the kids will be seated and ready for the next part of the lesson.
Introduce “Five Little Pumpkins” with these picture cards. Talk about the cards one by one. “How many pumpkins are there? Yes, that’s right! There is one pumpkin. Does he look angry? No. Sad? No. Happy? Yes, that’s right! He’s happy! Look, he’s smiling! Can you smile? Let me see your big smiles! Why do you think he’s smiling?” Introduce all of the cards, looking at the pumpkins and talking about their feelings.
Next, have fun making faces! One fun thing to do is to make a “pumpkin” out of cardboard and cut out a circle in the middle where you can put your face. Watch this great video from the students at MILK English in Seoul, Korea to see a great (and very cute) example. Teacher first! Make a face and ask the students, “How do I feel?” Elicit the right answer and then pass the pumpkin to the next student. “How does she feel?” The student makes a face and the other students guess the emotion. Continue around the circle giving all of the students a chance.
Another fun activity is to give the students small mirrors and have them make faces into them. “Can you make a happy face? Show me a grumpy face. Let’s see your sad face!” Talk about what makes you feel happy, sad, scared, etc.
Or, bring a camera to class (your phone camera will work just fine). As you hold up each of the activity cards, take pictures of the students making that face. Show the students the picture on your camera screen…they’ll love it! Later, print them out or display them digitally for parents and students to share.
Hand out the attached worksheet and have students draw faces on the different pumpkins. “How do you make a happy face? Let’s draw the mouth. Let’s make a big smile!” As the students are drawing, you can also play “Five Little Pumpkins” quietly in the background so that students become familiar with the melody.
Clean Up Song:
Clean up the worksheets and pencils or crayons. The “Clean Up!” song is great for letting students know that it is time to put things away and get ready for the next part of the lesson.
You’re ready to sing! Play “Five Little Pumpkins” and act it out as you sing. The first time through, just have the students follow along with you.
The songs includes a lot of space between verses for acting out the emotions. After introducing the song, you can try assigning roles to each of the students. If you have a large class, divide them up into groups of five and let each group act out the song.
A great book that is a nice compliment to the “Five Little Pumpkins” song is Pumpkin Faces: A Glowing Book You Can Read in the Dark by Emma Rose. It shows a variety of jack-o’-lanterns expressing different emotions. It can even be read with the lights off! But any age-appropriate emotions- or pumpkin- themed book will work here. You can read any of your favorite picture books and talk about how the characters feel at different stages of the book. For example, read No, David! and talk about how David feels on different pages.
Always remember with picture books that you don’t have to read all words on the page. You can make the story your own, and adjust it to fit the level of your students.
Finish up your lesson with a good-bye song. Try “Goodbye, My Friends“. A good-bye song ends the lesson on a fun and positive note and sends the students home with a song in their heads ^_^.
Have any other “Five Little Pumpkins” activities or teaching tips? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.