Second-graders at Mountain View Elementary School merged their favorite story characters with the most seasonal of fall fruits.

The result was 126 decorated pumpkins, now decorating the school.

Students chose a book to read and worked with family members on the take-home project to create their pumpkin report before presenting to their peers.

Ben Berry made a cat face to go with a book called “Otis.” Classmate Max Byse made a bug-eyed “Franken Fly” to represent his monster book.

Alexa Myers painted her pumpkin red and pinned wings and pipe cleaner antennae to make a ladybug to illustrate the book “Ladybug Girl.”

“It was hard work,” said second-grader Berry. “We had to be careful with the paint.” Looking around Erin Mills’ classroom he said, “I think they are very nice.”

Byse explained that his pumpkin was naturally gray, not painted, and pointed out most of the additions were made from clay, including large protruding eyes.

“It was actually pretty cool,” the second-grader said of the project. “I like the big eyes.”

“It was really fun,” said Myers. “I liked making the wings.”

The pumpkins were based on characters in books and accompanied two-page reports, which the students presented.

“What I loved is that it required them to read a book and analyze a character,” Mills said. “It was also super fun and now we get to decorate the school. You can see the creativity and there was minimum guidance.”

All six of Mountain View’s second-grade classes took part.

Nathan Peterson and Robbie Rodriguez in Jennifer Kuehne’s class made a mummy and the Grinch with their pumpkins.

Peterson said he liked the history and mystery of the Magic Tree House book that presented Queen Hutepi, queen of the Nile.

“It was kind of challenging,” said Rodriguez of his effort to turn a pumpkin into the famous green-skinned, Christmas-hating Grinch. “I like books about monsters.”

“It gave them the opportunity to be creative,” said Kuehne. “It made them think and visualize the characters and they were able to work on their communication skills.”

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