Take “Pumpkin Bones” beyond your music classroom!

Fall is here! “Pumpkin Bones” is soon to be on repeat in classrooms across the country.

Originally written and released by QuaverMusic in 2016, it is one of the most played songs in the curriculum. Each October – and other months as well – teachers use “Pumpkin Bones” to engage students. They also utilize the Orff score, rhythm cards, and 2019 Halloween Costume Reveal.

In recent years, QuaverMusic teachers have creatively found ways to take “Pumpkin Bones” to the next level. Through their efforts, students, teachers, and families fell even more in love with the song. This year, we’re spreading their ideas so that you too can bring joy to your school this fall!

Find resources to implement your own Pumpkin Bones experience as well as ideas from fellow educators!

Pumpkin Bones Activity Printables

Try these Pumpkin Bones Activity worksheets to go along with the “Pumpkin Bones” video. These worksheets are a great way to check for student understanding. They can be completed individually, with partners, or in groups.

Get your Pumpkin Bones Swag!

Ideas from QuaverMusic Teachers:

Mrs. Curry’s Pumpkin Bones Scavenger Hunt

Mrs. Curry provided five staff members (bookkeeper, reading specialist, speech pathologist, SPED teacher, and custodian) with a laminated capture card. She shared homeroom teachers with this video (right) that included clues and rules. Students may only ask teachers/staff, “Have you ever heard of Pumpkin Bones?” If the staff member says “yes,” they are given the Capture Card and can return it to Mrs. Curry for a reward. The reward was a Halloween-themed tiny bucket with a pencil, sticker, and candy. Mrs. Curry had the buckets on display in her room, so students could count and see if there were any cards “still out there.”

Mrs. Curry also used her social media to share the videos, rules, and clues, for students’ families to follow along. One thing she might do differently this year is space out the clues rather than releasing them all at once.

Wanted Poster hung on brick wall
Teachers classroom with pumpkins

Mrs. Tolley’s Pumpkins Go Missing!

Mrs. Tolley started by adding new pumpkin themed items to her classroom each week. She then removed pumpkins and “blamed” Pumpkin Bones. The student excitement was high and their imagination ran wild with speculation about who was taking the pumpkins each week (Quaver, Pumpkin Bones, or just me).

At the end of October, her students “caught” the principal returning all the pumpkins. She shared with the younger classes that Pumpkin Bones felt guilty and returned them to her. Parents even reached out to Mrs. Tolley to share how engaged their children were. They were singing the song nonstop and had come up with theories about Pumpkin Bones!

Mrs. Burton’s Pumpkin Bones’ Lessons

Mrs. Burton cut out and laminated multiple Pumpkin Bones (Flat Stanley style) and hung up Wanted posters around the school. Her principal allowed her to “interrupt” the morning announcements to share that Pumpkin Bones had stolen all of the pumpkins. Students were informed that Pumpkin Bones was hidden around the school and to turn him in to Mrs. Burton for a special reward (candy). She strategically hid the Cut-Out Pumpkin Bones around the school so that different classes and grade levels could find him.

When the students came to her class, Mrs. Burton used the time to discuss important takeaways such as how it’s not okay to take things that don’t belong to you. Mrs. Burton also used this time to stress the importance of sharing. Pumpkin Bones had so many pumpkins that he could have shared with others and still have pumpkins for himself. Lastly, she had her classes watch the end of the song where Pumpkin Bones returns the pumpkins. At this time, she emphasizes that we all make mistakes, and we can correct our mistakes by being accountable for our actions and behaviors.

To keep the tradition alive, Mrs. Burton took advantage of a pre-planned assembly. A human-sized Pumpkin Bones arrived and the Principal talked with him about doing the right thing in front of the whole school. At the last second, Pumpkin Bones snatched a pumpkin from her and took off down the hallway! Now, students have to look for him again next October!

Ms. Theisen’s Life-Size Pumpkin Bones

At the end of October, Ms. Theisen hid Pumpkin Bones on the playground with a pumpkin bucket of Capture Cards. She then put up these Wanted Posters that had a hint and basic instructions. Students returned the Capture Card to her for the reward of QuaverNotes and glow sticks.

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Pumpkin Bean Soup

Did you know we have a Pumpkin Bean Soup recipe? As the song goes, find one fun night and make Pumpkin Bean!

What will Pumpkin Bones look like at your school?

Show us on social media by tagging @Quaver_Ed and using #PumpkinBones!