Inside: Use this kindness pumpkins hands-on activity to help students decide what is kind and what is not kind in this sel curriculum sort.
Fall to me has always involved pumpkins, lots and lots of pumpkins.
It helps that I love all things pumpkin spice so I’m already craving pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin pie and pumpkin pancakes just writing this.
But since my mom’s birthday was on Halloween, we always had tons and tons of pumpkins around us in the fall.
It’s the vegetable-fruit that keeps on giving all through October and November. The only thing my family hasn’t done yet with pumpkins is try to grow them.
And whenever we can connect pumpkins with learning (like with this Pumpkin Acrostic Poem Activity), it makes everything a little more fun and a little more hands-on for our kids.
So we’re connecting pumpkins to social emotional learning and character education by helping kids decide what is kind and what is not with our Kindness Pumpkins Kind or Unkind Sort.
Great Ways to Teach SEL in the Fall:
The beauty of teaching social emotional learning and character education is that it can be taught anywhere, to any grade, for any amount of time. And it connects to any holiday, season, or “traditional” curriculum like reading and writing.
So while you can teach kindness at any time of the year, fall is a great time to dig in; with kids coming back to school and meeting new friends and dealing with new social situations.
We also use this Fall Kindness Challenge where we do a fall-themed act of kindness every week, all throughout autumn.
How to Use the Kindness Pumpkins:
1. Purchase and print the cards and the Kind or Not Kind Gates on cardstock paper.
2. If you print them in black and white, you can color in the cards first. Make sure to use skin color crayons like these to ensure the students on the pumpkin cards are diverse.
3. Cut apart the cards.
4. Go over the pictures on the cards to ensure children understand what the picture depicts. You can use these as discussion starters before or after the activity.
5. The students will sort the cards by kind actions or unkind actions by placing the cards near the correct gate.
They can do this during independent centers, small groups, or as a whole group in a pocket chart.
6. To follow up on the activity, students can complete the worksheet to show their understanding.
7. To connect this sel activity to writing standards, students can draw a picture and write how they will choose to be kind this season. Pre-writers can dictate their sentences.