Ugly Pumpkin,

Saving Pumpkins and Turkeys: Holiday Persuasive Writing

I love the fall holidays, especially Halloween and Thanksgiving. That is the time of year that I am the most creative! As we go through October and November, it becomes difficult to keep my students engaged and excited about learning. That is why I designed two writing activities for my classroom. The first one is Spyderley’s Oogly Pumpkin Patch  Pumpkins so ugly, you need an extra ‘o’ to describe them!

My kids in 2nd and 3rd grade enjoyed this activity. Their mission was to save pumpkins from the “horrors” of Halloween carving. They would be safe at Spyderley’s Pumpkin Patch if they could disguise themselves as ugly pumpkins.

My students had to design their ugly pumpkins and use their pumpkins as inspiration to write a persuasive letter to a potential customer. You can imagine all of the lifeforms and oozing materials that came out of their pumpkins!

Another favorite humanitarian effort in my classroom was saving turkeys around the Thanksgiving holiday. That was how Disguise-A-Turkey was born!


First I tell the students that our class has been chosen to rescue America’s turkeys from the perils of Thanksgiving. We have been asked to design costumes that will hide the turkeys, so they will not be chosen for Thanksgiving meals. I shared my own design, Chef Gordon Ramturkey. My students came up with everything from stop signs, Abraham Lincoln, and even a Dunkin Donuts® cup.

After designing their costumes, the students had to write a testimonial statement from their turkey. I have also had my older students write a persuasive letter, explaining to customers why they should not take them home for Thanksgiving.

Both were great activities that helped me to teach creative and persuasive writing. You can find both products at my Teachers Pay Teachers and Teacher’s Notebook stores.

First Published September 28, 2014