I am on a flight to Austin, Texas, right now, but I wanted to share this Halloween circle time lesson that I created. I usually wait and post the lesson plans after I’ve used them in my preschool class, but I am traveling this week and wanted to share this with you all before all your Halloween plans are set. This is the lesson plan I left for my substitute that will be playing and learning with my friends while I pop on heels and learn more about the technical side of blogging this week. Hopefully you can use these free Halloween printables in your preschool class even if you don’t use them precisely as I have them in the lesson plan.
Every circle time starts the same way in my class with our good morning song followed by our chant, a story, and quick interactive activity. I try hard to set my students up for success by keeping our group time engaging and short.
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Free Halloween Printables & Prep
Sorting is a popular activity in my 3 year old classroom, it’s a fun way to involve many kids, and it’s easy to differentiate sorting activities. This one is all about emotions. Typically when we learn about emotions, we use photographs of people showing emotions, but now and then, I may use a cartoon, especially with more obvious emotions like happy and sad.
Print out the happy and sad jack-o-lanterns here.
If you need more small jack-o-lanterns, feel free to make copies. Oh, and yes, I did make the faces a little different on purpose, so they didn’t look exactly the same.
After printing out laminate the pumpkins.
Cut out and add magnets (these are my favorite for preschool) to the back if you have a magnet board like me. These pumpkins also fit nicely into a pocket chart ( here is my favorite one). If you don’t have either, you can always use a tray on the ground.
It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse! (If You Give) by Laura Numeroff is a Halloween themed book about emotions. Our favorite little mouse is busy painting his pumpkins and paints different faces representing different emotions on each. This is a great little book that gives teachers a chance to talk about different feelings when things are calm. I like to ask my students to mimic the emotion they see on each pumpkin as we read. There is one scary pumpkin that gives teachers a chance to start the conversation about how we might see some scary things on Halloween night but they are just pretend.
Halloween Circle Time Activity
After reading the book together, introduce the activity by saying something like this: “Do you remember how the pumpkins in the book had all different faces? Sometimes their faces looked happy; sometimes they looked sad or mad… well I have some big pumpkins with different faces on the board and smaller ones here in my hand. I need your help sorting them. Can you help me put the happy pumpkins together and the sad ones together?”
Then hold up a pumpkin and ask the children to shout out the emotion. If you want to prolong circle time, have the children mimic and/or ask the children why they think the pumpkin is sad or happy.
Continue until all the pumpkins are sorted. Count each and determine if they have the same or different amounts.
Art – Painting Mini Pumpkins
I love connecting any group art we might do with the circle time, and this activity fits this book PERFECTLY. Children can use whatever colors they want, paint faces like the mouse, or just all over. I have found that acrylics work best, so you will definitely need smocks.
Need more Halloween activities for preschoolers?
Check out this brand new round up of easy Halloween activities for your preschool classroom.