Yum, Yum, Pumpkin Pie!

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Students will be able to follow a set of given directions to make a product and recall the steps in a logical sequence.

Big Idea

Sequencing steps correctly helps students perform a yummy task.


15 minutes

Gather students on the rug using a preferred classroom management technique. I like to use my “Stop, look, listen.” The students stop what they are doing, look at me and listen for the direction. I usually preface the direction with, “When I say go…” This reminds the students to listen to the whole direction before moving to follow the directive.

In this case I would say, “When I say go I would like you to clear your space, push in your chair and go take a spot on your dot. Walking feet go.” By saying walking feet I am reminding the students to use walking feet in the classroom to ensure safe movement between areas.

When all of the students are seated on their dot in the rug area I show them the Harry Kindergarten song Five Orange Pumpkins.

Once the video clip is over I tell the students there was a clue in the song as to what we are going to be doing today after we have read the main story for the day. The song helps arouse my students curiosity and they also begin to think about pumpkins which will help them make a connection while listening to the story. 

They are very quick to pick up on the fact that we will be making a pumpkin pie.  

“Who has ever made a pumpkin pie at home?”

“A few of you. Okay, can any of you tell me one of the steps you recall in making your pumpkin pie?”

I use the Fair Sticks to select a few students to reply to this question. 

“Well in the story today the pie maker has a very special recipe she uses and I doubt if it is anything like the recipes we are used to.”


35 minutes

“The book for today is called Miss Fiona’s Stupendous Pumpkin Pies, by Mark Kimball Moulton and illustrated by Karen Hillard Crouch. Looking at the cover is there anything you can tell me about Miss Fiona?”

“She most certainly is a witch. This gives us a clue as to what type of story this is going to be. Who can tell me what type of story this is?”

“You are right Rachel it is a make-believe story. Because it is a make believe story we know this is a fiction book. Does anyone have a guess as to what the word “stupendous” means?”

“That is a good explanation Finnley. Stupendous is just like being super special. Well let’s go ahead and read the story and find out what makes Miss Fiona’s pumpkin pies so special.”

During reading we will discuss vocabulary words such as, stubbled, occupants, doodads, and kooky, etc. I discuss the vocabulary words to help the students make sense of what is being read to them which helps with comprehension. 

The students always like the end when they find out three of the secret ingredients in Miss Fiona’s famous pies. We all agree that we would most likely not eat her pies if we had the chance.


Now I tell the students that we are going to be making a special No-Bake Pumpkin Pie right here in the classroom.

I pull out the recipe and read it to the students.

  1. Crush one graham cracker in a Ziploc bag.
  2. Pour into a plastic cup with your name on it.
  3. Mix the following ingredients in your plastic mixing cup
  • ¼ cup pumpkin pie pulp
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1T vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 pinch of pumpkin pie spice

      4.  Pour on top of the crushed graham cracker.

      5.  Chill in the refrigerator to eat a little later.

“Now that you have heard our recipe, can anyone tell me what is different about our pumpkin pie compared to the pie that Miss Fiona makes?”

Of course the students like to point out that our recipe does not have toads, lizards or bat wings in it. Our recipe does not get baked so it does not need to wait to cool. I will occasionally get students who will point out that we will not eat our pie at midnight because we are not in school at that time.

“Those were all great differences. What is one thing that is the same between our recipe and Miss Fiona’s?”

Just about every student points out that both recipes have pumpkin in them. I occasionally get a student who may have picked up on the word “spicy” in the text and will say spice is the same.

“Now that we have compared the two recipes I am going to let you know that when you get to the pie making station you will find all the things you need to make our pie."

"You will find the recipe, a box of graham crackers, a bowl of pumpkin pulp, a jug of milk, a small bowl of vanilla instant pudding and a little container of pumpkin pie spice. There are also some measuring cups (I only have ¼ cups available so students do not have to figure out which ones to use), measuring spoons (Once again I only have tablespoons so students do not need to figure out which spoon it is) and plastic cups. Please use the sharpie markers to put your name on one of the plastic cups so we know whose pie is whose. A grown-up will be there to help you with the directions if you need them.”

"Does everyone understand what they are going to be doing?"

"Before you get to the pumpkin pie station what is one of the most important things that you think you should do?"

I allow the students to call out, "Wash your hands!"

"Very good. We need to wash our hands to make sure they are clean just like a real chef."

 Now I send the students over one table group at a time to maintain a safe and orderly classroom. It usually sounds like this;

“Table number one go have some pie making fun.

Table number two, you know what to do.

Table number three, hope you were listening to me, and

Table number four, you shouldn’t be here anymore.”


Allow the students about 15 minutes to complete the task. Remind the students to check the visual timer so they use their time wisely.


Students need to be able to follow a sequence of events because this helps them build skills towards being able to follow directions. Following directions is important both when trying to put together a store bought item, following a recipe, or even completing a task at your place of employment. Cooking in the classroom is a fun way for students to develop this essential skill.    


10 minutes

When the time is up I blow two short blasts on my whistle and use the “Stop, look listen” technique mentioned above. “When I say go, I would like you to clean up your space remembering to take care of our things, push in your chair, and use walking feet to go and take a spot on your dot.”

I remind students to make sure their space is clean and tidy and that their “pie” cup is on the tray ready to go to the refrigerator.

Once everyone is seated on their spot I tell the students the “exit slip” for today is to tell me one step from our recipe. It can be any step they like, but they have to tell me if it was the same or different to any of the steps that Miss Fiona took to make her pie.  

I use the fair sticks to select the order in which the students go. If a student is unable to give me a recipe step they can do one of two things;

  1. Get a friend to help out, or
  2. Wait until the end and we will come up with a solution together.

Once a student has given me a recipe step they are able to use the hand sanitizer and go to get their snack.


Using this type of exit slip process allows me to see if the students are able to recall the steps taken to make their pie and also if they are able to reconnect to the the text we had read during the first part of the lesson. This repetition of activity will help the information "sink" in as the students will have to recall the information during the assessment part of the lesson.      


15 minutes

The next morning I place a copy of the Steps to Make a No Bake Pumpkin Pie paper at each students work space. The students are directed to recall as many of the steps they took to make their No-Bake Pumpkin pie from the previous day. I then collect in the work and use the Sequence Events Checklist to go over their work. 


Looking at the student’s work with the checklist helps me to stay focused on the point that I am looking to see if a student was able to recall the steps in a logical order or perhaps they recalled the steps but they were out of order. I am also looking for a reaction in the students illustration. Did the student draw themselves enjoying the pie or not enjoying it? I also take note of what resources the student used to write their words – word wall, books, friends, phonetic spelling, dictation etc? I also make comment on how neat and tidy the work is.

The checklist helps me because the work sample provides me with evidence of students learning as to whether the student met the objectives or not. The checklist helps to convey information to the student’s family as to how well they are doing in class, and finally it helps the student by letting him/her know how he/she did and if there are areas where he/she could improve. 


To help the student reconnect with the text I have a compare and contrast activity later on in the day at one of the work stations. The students need to come up with one thing the same between our pie and Miss Fiona’s and one thing that was different. 

Recipe same and different worksheet

I then check over the student’s work, make any appropriate anecdotal notes and place it in the student’s working folder.  


Teach the class some more pumpkin songs to reinforce the concept of rhythm and rhyme.

Pumpkin Songs


Read the book The Perfect Pumpkin Pie, by Deny Cazet. Be aware the book is a little freaky but it is very funny.  As long as you read it in a light funny tone the students generally think it is hilarious.