Teacher Review: The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin

2-Minute Video on Teaching About Self-Love, Accepting Differences, and Bravery

“I like using this story in my classroom because it shows the children that each and every one of us has an important job and can contribute to our classroom community.” —Natasha Ciron

Being different can feel tough sometimes—but our uniqueness is also what makes each one of us special and allows us to contribute in meaningful ways to our communities.

Natasha Ciron, a kindergarten teacher from AmPark Neighborhood School in the Bronx, New York, has made The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin, written by Joe Troiano and illustrated by Susan Banta, a fall tradition in her classroom.

Natasha believes the story offers a wonderful way to teach her students the value of being unique, the importance of self-love, and the role of bravery. Play Natasha’s teacher review video to discover how you can incorporate this fall-time tale into your class curriculum!

• Arts and Crafts: Encourage students to create their own unique cutout pumpkins that demonstrate how they would like to be represented within the classroom community

Give your students pumpkin cutouts with a choice of shapes—triangle, square, or circle—then let them color and decorate their pumpkins.


You can also try a draw-and-write version of this activity in Cooked Up from a Book.

• Explore Differences: After students make their pumpkins, they can present them to the class and share what makes their pumpkin (and them) unique

Have students sit in a circle. Each students can take turns sharing their drawings and one special thing about themselves that makes them unique.


• Sequencing and Retelling: Encourage students to retell the events of the story in order using words such as firstthen, and last.

How do you plan to use The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin with your class this fall? Please share with the Scholastic Book Clubs community on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #ScholasticBookClubs.

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