Lynn Handshy
Apple This is Lynn Handshy. Lynn teaches first grade at Tularcitos Elementary School in Carmel Valley, California. She will write monthly articles about the major activities and projects of her classroom. We will feature those projects here on Leslie's website.

Making the scarecrows smile

By Lynn Handshy

As nights chill, tired scarecrows stand their fall watch over the last crops before the final harvest and gardens are put to rest for the winter.

In my 1st grade class we celebrate the season with one of my favorite books, The Six Crows: a fable by Leo Lionni. In this story, a wise owl tells a farmer and a flock of crows that there is a better way to solve the problem of who should get the grain than by trying to out scare each other. The fierce frown on the scarecrow's face is replaced with a smile when the crows and the farmer learn to compromise and share by using the magic of words.

Here's what we did to extend the literature:

Our display consists of a scarecrow made with children's clothing stuffed with paper and straw who guards the pumplkins in his garden, a treee with torn paper leaves and black torn paper crows in the style of Leo Lionni's illustrations.

To make the crows, each child had a 4 x 6 piece of black construction paper from which they tore on oval. The wing was outlined with white chalk by drawing a smaller oval on the side. A yellow oval about the size of a nickel was glued on for the eye and a V shape was cut from the black paper scraps and glued on for the beak.

The flock of crows surrounds the smiling scarecrow and rest on the tree branches. A large dialog bubble holds the owls magic words of advice so the moral of the story is not forgotten.
Nicholas's skeleton

The Owl told the crows to use words to solve their problems. "Owl said, "wods can do magic."

Owl's says - "Good job crows. You used the magic of words. Look at scarecrow's smile!"

The Scarecrow

The scarecrow stands

with hanging hands, beside the farmer's stile.

He scares the jays and crows away,

with just a painted smile.

Samantha's skeleton

The Six Crows: a fable by Leo Lionni

As the month progresses, we will invite Albert to visit the scarecrow's pumpkin patch and explain to him how to make and share Pumpkin Pizza Pie.

Enjoy the magic of fall,