Saturday, October 8, 2011

October Traditions: Chick Lit, Songs, Activities

Absolute Favorite Halloween/Fall Book List
It's Fall!, Linda Glaser 0761313427
Ox-Cart Man, Donald Hall 0590422421
The Teeny Tiny Woman, retold by Jane O'Conner 0394883209
Big Pumpkin, Erica Silverman 0590477609
The Headless Horseman, adapted by Natalie Standiford 0679812415
Picking Apples and Pumpkins, Amy and Richard Hutchings 0590484567
Piggie Pie!, Margie Palatini 0395866189
Georgie, Robert Bright 0590421263
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Charles M. Schulz 068984607X
The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat, Stan and Jan Berenstain 679804625
The Berenstain Bears and the Prize Pumpkin 0679808477
The Berenstain Bears Go to School 679815295
Squirrels, Brian Wildsmith 0590204408
When Autumn Comes, Robert Maass 0590968254  So many wonderful memories reading this to my three children every autumn!

I've never met a kid (big or little), who didn't love these carols and chants!
Halloween Carols

Great Pumpkin is Coming to Town
(be sure to sing in a shriek, grown, howl, and moan as you sing those words!)

Oh, you better not shriek
You better not groan
You better not howl
You better not moan
Great Pumpkin is coming to town.

He's gonna find out
From folks that he meets
Who deserves tricks
And who deserves treats
Great Pumpkin is coming to town

He'll search in every pumpkin patch
Haunted houses far and near
To see if you've been spreading gloom
Or bringing lots of cheer

Oh, you better not shriek
You better not groan
You better not howl
You better not moan
Great Pumpkin is coming to town.

Deck the Patch
Deck the patch with orange and black
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Take along your goody sack
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Don we now our gay apparel
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Troll the ancient pumpkin carol
Fa la la la la, la la la la

See the Great One rise before us
Fa la la la la, la la la la
As we sing the pumpkin chorus
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Follow him as he ascends
Fa la la la la , la la la la
Join with true Great Pumpkin friends
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

~Finger Plays or Chants~

Five Little Goblins On a Halloween Night 
Five little goblins on a Halloween night
Made a very, very spooky site
The first one danced on his tippy-tip-toes
The next one tumbled and bumped his nose
Then the next one jumped high up in the air 
The next one sang a Halloween song
Five goblins played the whole night long.

Five Little Pumpkins
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate
(hold up fingers for pumpkins)
The first one said, "Oh my!  It's getting late." 
 The second one said, "There are witches in the air."  
The third one said, "But we don't care."  
The fourth one said, "It's Halloween fun."  
The fifth one said, "Let's run, and run, and run!"  
Then ooooooh went the wind
And out went the lights (clap hands to the word "out")
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight! (roll arms)

On a Dark, Dark Night 
(Get quieter and quieter, then shout "GHOST!")
On a dark, dark, night
In a dark, dark wood
In a dark, dark house
In a dark, dark room
In a dark, dark cupboard
On a dark, dark shelf
In a dark, dark box
There was a 

Pumpkin, Pumpkin
Pumpkin, pumpkin
Sitting on a wall (have children sit down)
Pumpkin, pumpkin
Tip and fall (have children tip over)
Pumpkin, pumpkin 
Rolling down the street (child rolls on floor)
Pumpkin, pumpkin
Trick or Treat!!!

Three Little Witches 
(sung to "Ten Little Indians," use fingers for numbers)
One little, Two little, Three little witches,
Fly over haystacks, fly over ditches,
Sliding down moonbeams without any hitches,
Hay Ho Halloween's here.

Big-Time Scary Activity!
Because I love her art and especially because autumn is so dear to my heart, one of my all-time favorite books is Susan Branches' Autumn from the Heart of the Home. Here is a hilarious excerpt from this book (that everyone should own!): favorite fright night took place at a Girl Scout Halloween party when I was about 11.  We were seated in a half-circle out in the garage with a leader at each end & the storyteller facing us in the middle.  There were towels placed in our laps & all the lights were turned off.  Mrs. Johnson (obviously a sick person, just like my dad) began to tell us about a dark and stormy night when a man named John Brown, who lived just up the street, was murdered by an escaped convict.  She did this in a slow, low voice.  "They never found Mr. Brown's body" (she told us in that pitch-dark garage), "only pieces of it buried all over town.  We're going to identify the body tonight and bring it back together so the ghost of Mr. Brown can stop wandering the neighborhood late at night knocking on doors."  (Right then she KNOCK-KNOCKED on a piece of wood!)  "Brrrr," she said, and then she told us, "Here are the remains of John Brown" and began passing his body parts down the line.  "First they found one of his ears" (and in the dark we felt a dried apricot); "And then, his nose" (a cold raw chicken wing); "now here are his brains" (a bowl with wet squishy tomatoes). "They found both eyeballs" (two large, cold peeled grapes) ~THIS IS THE ONE THAT ALMOST DID ME IN, BUT IT GOT WORSE WHEN SHE SAID, "And here's his liver," which was a hunk of raw liver (no bowl) passed down the line.  ...  "They found his hair too" (a piece of wet fur) and "here's his hand" (a latex glove filled w/ice-cold mud) and last but not least, "here are the worms that ate the rest of him" (a bowl of overcooked spaghetti, cut up and dressed with a little veg. oil).  Then she said, "That's all we, repeat after me:  On Halloween night-  the banshee howls-now poor John Brown- is wrapped in towels-  GOODNIGHT, JOHN!"  We jumped out of our socks when they suddenly struck matches to relight he pumpkins, but soon were laughing again and off we went to bob for apples, throats parched from all the SCREAMING!

As October ends, most of the branches are bare.  We see more sky.  ~Gladys Taber

Can You Tell October is My Favorite Month of The Year?

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