Cat, Duck and Squirrel live in an old white cabin, with a pumpkin patch in the garden. Every day Cat slices up some pumpkin, Squirrel stirs in some water and Duck tips in some salt to make perfect pumpkin soup- until the day Duck wants to do the stirring.
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- Can you perform the story with a group of friends?
- Try a hot seating activity where you pretend to be one of the characters. Answer questions in role, e.g. Why did the duck decide that he wanted to stir that day? How did the squirrel and the cat feel about the changes?
- Retell the story from the duck’s point of view.
- Write a set of instructions to teach people how to make pumpkin soup (see Resources below). You could also use this video to help you:
- Write a set of instructions to teach people how to grow a pumpkin.
- Look through the story for examples of rhyming words.
- Make a list of the different words that are used instead of ‘said’ in the story, e.g. murmured, snapped, squeaked, wailed.
- Ellipses (…) are used regularly in the story. Why has the author done this?
- Make a poster to advertise ‘Duck’s Kitchen’.
- Write a sequel for the story, in which Duck does start to play the bagpipes.
- Retell the story to a friend. Can you use different voices and expressions? Listen to the audiobook version of the story.
- The duck scoops up a ‘pipkin’ of salt. How much is this? What other units do we use to measure things?
- Find the clocks in the illustrations. What times do they tell?
- Find out about plant growth and reproduction. How long does it take for a pumpkin to grow?
- In the illustrations, there is steam rising from the Pumpkin soup. What is this? How does evaporation work?
- Use a paint program to draw pictures of Cat, Squirrel and Duck.
- Make a ‘Missing’ poster to help Cat and Squirrel find Duck.
- One of the illustrations shows the animals making their soup, as seen through the window. Can you draw a picture with a view through a window (looking into or out of a building)?
- Design a new quilt for the animals’ bed.
- Look at the illustrations of Cat and Squirrel waiting on the steps. Could you draw a series of pictures like this to show some events that have taken place in a morning / afternoon?
- Lots of the illustrations show musical notation. Can you find out what these symbols mean?
- Cat plays a bagpipe and Squirrel plays the banjo. How do these instruments sound? How are they played?
- Think of a song that the animals might play and sing together.
- Draw a map that shows the different locations shown in the story.
- Draw a plan view of the inside of the old white cabin.
- Everyone is happy when they have their own job to do. What jobs and routines do people do to keep everything organised? Do you have any classroom jobs?
- Look at the facial expressions of the characters in each illustration. How are they feeling? What might they be thinking?