As a first year teacher, you usually don’t have a lot of old tricks in your bag yet; luckily we have the internet and Pinterest to find fun activities and projects to use with our students.
When I was a first year teacher, I was taking over the classroom of a teacher who was retiring and she graciously left me with lots and lots of files. Teachers and crafters are very much alike – they hoard and save everything…because you never know when you might need it! So I’m doubly cursed!
Anyways, as I was going through the filing cabinets, I noticed some fun Halloween activities. The one that caught my eye was a story, “The Little Orange House”. After reading it, I knew I had to do this with my class on Halloween – it would be a great listening activity!
At the time, I was teaching 5th grade and they absolutely loved it!! This activity has a coveted spot in my bag of tricks and I have used it in both primary and intermediate grades; and they all have the same reaction.
So here it is… The Little Orange House …there is also a free printable of the story at the bottom of this post!
Once upon a time a very small witch was walking in the woods. The cold wind was blowing the dry leaves all around her. The little witch was frantically searching for a house for the winter. She could not find one. Suddenly a piece of orange paper blown by the wind landed at her feet. (make the paper fly through the air to your feet as you are telling the story).
She picked it up. The little witch looked closely at the paper and then she said, “I shall make myself a house from this piece of orange paper.” She folded the paper in half (fold the paper) and took her scissors (she always has a pair in her pocket) and cut off the two corners to make a roof (cut the two corners at the top of the paper.. not at the fold line).
“This will do just fine” she said as she looked at her new house. “But I will need a door.” She always wears pointed hats so she cut a special door that looked just like this (a few inches in – cut a rectangle with a half triangle at the top for the hat).
The little witch walked through the door and into the little orange house. It was very dark inside. She quickly hurried back out. “I will need to make windows to let in the light,” said the little witch. She cut a front and a back window that looked just like this (cut a rectangle in the middle of the paper)
Oh, it was a fine looking house. Her very own little house with a roof, a door, and windows was all finished. But just as the little witch started to go inside for the winter, she saw a tiny ghost floating down the windswept path. As the tiny ghost came to a stop near the little house, the little witch saw that she was crying.
“Why are you crying?” asked the little witch.
The tiny ghost stopped crying and answered. “It is cold and windy. It is getting dark. And I have no place to spend the winter.”
“You may spend the winter with me in my new house,” said the kind little witch.
“Oh thank you,” said the happy tiny ghost as she peeked through the window. “This is a very nice house.”
“First”, said the little witch, “I will need to make you a little door of your very own. She took her scissors again and began to cut. She cut a very tiny door. It looked like this. (cut the tiny door as a triangle shape in the fold between the other door and window).
The two happy new friends went inside. The tiny ghost went in the very little door. The little witch went through her own special door. All winter long they lived happily together inside the little orange house.
If you want to see the inside of their house, unfold the paper.
Because everyone cuts each part a little different, it’s so fun at the end of the story to see how everyone’s pumpkins turned out!