As an important predictor of literacy success writing should be constant in an early childhood classroom. (National Center for Family & Literacy 2008; Puranik & Lonigan 2012). So why not incorporate some fun writing projects as you celebrate the season of fall and Halloween. These writing projects include craftivities, prompts, a variety of genres, and developmental levels to meet your students needs each year.
1. Fall 5 Senses Poem
There are so many wonderful things in fall to experience with our 5 senses. Take your students for a 5 senses walk outside. Encourage them to crunch in the leaves, feel the frost on the grass, hear the honking of the geese as they fly by, see a scarecrow in a corn field, watch the wind as it blows, smell dried leaves, pumpkins, and apple spice, and let them snack on pumpkin pie and apple cider. After this experience students will have lots of language to share and write with the class. Use this language to write a 5 senses poem about what fall looks like, smells like, sounds like, tastes like, and feels like.
2. Leaf Man Class Book
"Leaf Man" by Lois Ehlert is a favorite children's book for the fall. After reading it to your class and showing how the leaves make all the pictures. Students can make their own picture using leaves, showing what the leaf man blew past. They will write about their leaf picture to finish the sentence, "The leaf man blew past...". Combine these pages into a class book to show another adventure of the leaf man.
3. Grandma or Grandpa Opinion Writing
Whether it's grandparents day or a theme on family this opinion writing is perfect for the fall. Students will choose to write about either grandma or grandpa. What about grandma or grandpa makes them special? Why did they pick either grandma or grandpa? How are they the best? These would be fun to hang up in the hallway or to send home as gift for a beloved grandparent.
4. Farm Labeling
Labeling is an important skill for an emergent writer, and the farm has a lot of things to label. Students can sound out the words or use a word wall to copy the words for the objects in the picture. Use colored copies to focus on the writing or the black and white copies (also available for purchase) for students to color themselves.
5. If I were a firefighter...
There are so many opportunities to write about firefighter's in the fall. From September 11th, Labor Day, Fire Safety Week, or just a community helper theme firefighters are sure to come up in the classroom. Students can draw themselves in a fire truck and write either facts about firefighters or what it might be like to be a firefighter. This firefighter writing is very open-ended to be adjusted to meet any unit you will be teaching this fall.
6. Halloween Character Adjectives
Halloween is a great time to use adjectives as you describe the various Halloween characters. They can be spooky, silly, green, scary, funny, orange, bright, dark, mean, ugly, nice, etc. Students can choose a Halloween character to write about. What adjectives could describe their character? Have students write adjectives to describe the character they chose.
7. Jack-o-Lantern Emotions
Jack-o-Lanterns can be carved with many different faces. And the face of a Jack-o-Lantern can show a wide variety of emotions. Students will choose an emotion to show on their Jack-o-lantern and then write about a time when they felt that way, or something that makes them feel that way. Writing about emotions can be difficult for young writers because they may not know the emotion words to label their feelings. It is helpful to have students talk out the emotion verbally before writing anything. Very young writers would benefit from just labeling the emotion shown.
8. I'm not a Turkey
Right before Thanksgiving all the turkeys try to hide. If you were a turkey, how might you disguise yourself? Students can use crayons, paper, fabric, etc to disguise their turkey to avoid being found on the Thanksgiving table.
9. Pilgrim Facts
Students can make this cute pilgrim with non-fiction text. Read a variety of books about pilgrims and watch documentaries about pilgrims. Identify facts about these early settlers. Write about the pilgrims on the pilgrim hat. Then glue the hat onto the cute face you created. Show students how fun non-fiction can be.
These are just a small sample of the writing projects, prompts, and papers you can include in your fall writing. For more writing projects and detailed instructions check out each product on Teachers Pay Teachers. Each product has over 10 projects, prompts, or papers to make festive writing projects and centers all month long. Writing doesn't have to be something we dread or leave out of the classroom. Emergent writing is needed and necessary in every classroom.