A Pumpkin Patch in the Middle School Library

by Jenny Staller, Middle School Librarian

All students who came into the Middle School library this week got to enjoy a very special Halloween treat in the form of our first-ever literary pumpkin patch. Students were invited to decorate a pumpkin based on a favorite book or character from literature and bring it into the library, where they were put on display for all to enjoy. At the end of the week, the Middle School’s Library Advisory Board voted on winners for each grade, which was an agonizing task considering the amount of talent and creativity that was on display. Winners received Amazon gift cards (and bragging rights), and all participants got Halloween prizes for their hard work.

This activity combined students’ love of reading and books with artistic expression, and it was a pleasure to see how differently students interpreted the book-inspired theme. Some students chose to illustrate a favorite scene from a book, others made their pumpkins into characters, and a few even recreated a book cover they loved. Each pumpkin was completely unique, and students used a variety of materials in their creations, including pipe cleaners, marshmallows, feathers, construction paper, and felt. Because of their tremendous efforts, other students flocked to the library every day before school, at break, and at lunch, to talk about the pumpkins and the books that inspired them. The pumpkin patch included the entire Middle School community–one parent even commented that her whole family got in on the fun and created pumpkins together based on the book theme.

This was a fun event for students and staff, and it hopefully marks the beginning of a new Athenian tradition!