Mrs. Dingman... PLEASE Don't Choose Me!!
We began our exploration of different types of creative writing by reviewing friendly letters, using a persuasive format. Children created two paragraphs, written from a pumpkin's point of view. They included vivid descriptions and persuasive arguments for me not to choose, buy, or carve them to decorate my front porch for Halloween. 
We continue to practice writing process skills using the available technology, meeting the following Pennsylvania State Standards:
1.4.5 Types of Writing
1.5.5 Quality of Writing
3.7.5 Technological Devices

... Hmmmmmm... Now, which little pumpkin should I choose?!
October 7, 2004

Dear Mrs. Dingman,
I am a pumpkin on Farmer Ben’s farm in Dingmans Ferry. It is a very nice place to grow. I’m right next to all my friends, which is very nice. I am one month old. I am a plump little pumpkin but mom says that’s what real pumpkins look like. I feel very comfortable here because the grass is very soft, snuggly, and warm and the sun hits me in the perfect place. Every Wednesday Farmer Ben trims our leaves and waters us. It is very quiet here. All I ever hear is the crows cawing and in the early morning I hear Farmer Ben’s tractor in the distance. Other than that, it very peaceful. Since it is the middle of October it is a bit nippy in the air but I’ll live. There are only five other pumpkins in the patch, which is nice. The smell of autumn is in the air. The field is very big. It is as long as the eye can see and stretched as wide as the heavens. 
I am a very nice looking pumpkin, so perfectly round and such a pretty shade of orange, so I know why you would like to buy me but apparently a big, slimy worm thought I looked good too so you would not want to look inside me. I also have a few moldy spots on the bottom of me so I will probably rot by the time Halloween rolls around.  I do know Cindy in the next pumpkin patch is almost brand new and has no moldy spots. Also my mother would be sad if you took me. I’m sure you wouldn’t want me to take Rachel away would you? Plus I have so much goo inside of me that it would probably take up your whole kitchen table. Also if you are looking to carve me I so short and stubby you won’t be able to make a good carving. Just between you and me the pumpkins here are a little bit pricey. Plus a flock of geese just flew over me and you can guess what happened. All in all I would not be a good choice but thank you for considering me anyway and thank you for listening to me. 

Very Thankfully Not Yours,

Pam Pumpkin of Farmer Ben’s pumpkins 
AKA Marygrace 

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October 7, 2004

Dear Mrs. Dingman,
Konnichiwa! My name is Kagome and I am a very bubbly pumpkin!  Well, let’s start with the view. It’s not very impressive to me since I am a pumpkin. You’re probably wondering what the view is right? My view is pumpkin city man! Big pumpkins, rotten pumpkins, small pumpkins, year old pumpkins, leaves that aren’t even adult pumpkins yet and you’re probably getting the message that my life is one gigantic pumpkin! If you aren’t getting the message there is definitely something wrong! Oh yeah, I almost forgot about my BFF Heather; she’s a pumpkin too! Let’s see here…. oh no it can’t be… it’s somebody making pumpkin pie! NOOOOOOO! I hear a lawn mower… wait… no, it’s a tennis ball getting shredded up by a lawn mower. I feel the soft dirt under my body. Yeah, this is probably the only thing that I enjoy here. Well, I do enjoy watching my enemies get turned into pies, muffins, pancakes, and believe it or not ice cream! MAJOR YUCK!
You will be making a big, huge, and gigantic mistake if you’re going to choose me to carve, eat, etc. If you choose me you’ll be in a state of shock when my seeds burn up in your oven! I’m a very sickly pumpkin and my seeds are as delicate as fine china. If you choose to carve me I will melt! But only if you expose me to light! Like I said before I’m very, very sickly and I have a ton of medical issues. Then if you cut me open I will rot and smell and stink up your entire household! I’m so not kidding! You’ll never be able to get rid of the smell even if you buy all of the vanilla air fresheners from Super WAL*MART! That’s not the end of my smells… it’s not even close! I’ll stink so much that your entire neighborhood will complain!! Speaking of WAL*MART, why don’t you go and buy a pumpkin there. They are less if you see the smiley face guy and at the same time you can get an awesome InuYasha video game! Not that you’d want one or anything since you’re an adult. Anyway, the whole point I’m trying to make here is DON’T COME AND BUY ME! That’s all I’m really trying to say. If you still want to buy me, you are risking your life, but what the heck, I warned you! But anyway, thank you for considering my reasons!

Yours Truly,
Kagome* 
AKA Star 

 October 7, 2004

Dear Mrs. Dingman,
I am Peter Pumpkin. I was born in a pumpkin patch. I am a medium sized pumpkin with a cool face and an even better smile. I am always feeling hands all over me when it’s near Halloween. I hate when people touch me because I don’t know where those hands have been! I also hear people talking about which pumpkin to choose. Thankfully I’ve never been picked. When people are seeing which pumpkin to pick it smells so awful! People really have stinky shoes! Sometimes I see little kids running around the pumpkin patch and it really annoys me. They sometimes step all over the pumpkins and the bad part is that I’ve been stepped on. Last but not least, I taste the water being given to me. It tastes like stinky stale water.
You shouldn’t pick me because I’m not meant to die. You should pick someone that has a large body and looks good. My body is so strong you won’t be able to cut it, so why buy a pumpkin and not even cut it! You couldn’t paint me because I’ll distract you by throwing a pumpkin at you! Plus my body will just roll off of the front porch once I see a paintbrush. I am also very famous. I play Pumpkin ball for the Pumpkin Patch Pulverizers! If you take me, once you start carrying me the pumpkins will attack you. I have no idea how a pumpkin can attack someone, so just don’t pick me! Thank you for not picking me!

Thank You,
Peter Pumpkin
AKA A.J.

October 7, 2004

Dear Mrs. Dingman,
I’m in Farmer McDonald’s Pumpkin Patch and I’m the roundest pumpkin here. It’s very quiet around here except when Mr. McDonald pulls out his tractor. Sometimes I hear him drive so close I think he is going to squish me. Occasionally I’ll hear a car go by on the lonely street. Every day   Farmer McDonald will take my friends away, put them on a table with a scale, a jar for money, and a colorful sign that says PUMPKINS $1.00 A POUND. Yesterday he put my best friend Patty Pumpkin out on the table along with Paul, Peter, and Pam. Today I’m out on the table, and I miss the warm soft grass. I also miss the way the dented bigger pumpkins used to push me (I think they were jealous of my shape) and I would hit the flat rocks. I’m very round and my stem is (almost) perfect. This table is very rough and I hope you don’t buy me or carve me because I want to go back in my bed on the soft grass.
I hope you don’t choose me to carve and decorate your porch because I’ll get homesick and I’ll make such a nuisance of myself by rolling down the stairs. You also shouldn’t choose me because I’m so round that I will be so hard to carve. Another reason you shouldn’t choose me is if it gets too cold I will get ruined and the picture that you will carve in me will get all squishy and gooey and oozy. Then it will fall apart. You shouldn’t choose me because I have feelings too. Thank you for considering all of my reasons.

Hope You Don’t Choose Me,
Paula Pumpkin
AKA Amy
                       
October 6, 2004

Dear Mrs. Dingman,
Hello, my name is Tanya and I’m a pumpkin lying in a pumpkin patch. I’m lying in a bundle of weaving vines. The vines are pointy, so sometimes I’m comfortable but sometimes I’m not. I’m a round, shiny and bright orange pumpkin. I see wide-open fields and a lot of farmland. I live in mountains of hay that are sometimes scratchy. I live with my mom, dad, and sister. There’s a farmer with a beard that is down to his knees and curls at the end. He is always happy for some reason. I don’t know why! Maybe it’s because he always talks to us, thinks we listen, and he always loves to make my little sister cry! I’m always joyful, considerate, and anything else you could think of except hateful. I never did and never will hate anybody. I am a very happy pumpkin!
I’m a spoiled rotten pumpkin. You don’t want me. I’m not a pretty pumpkin and I don’t have hair! I’m deaf in my left ear. I have spots on my back! I wouldn’t take you away from your family. I don’t like the fall. It’s way too cold. My shirt’s on backwards. I’m very ugly and my back hurts. You shouldn’t pick me because I have a broken arm and it hurts very badly and a broken stem. I have a family. Don’t you? By the way, I like your hair. I’m a bad pumpkin. I stole from my sister’s piggy bank. I’m from California and the pumpkins are not good there. Oh! Look at the time. Well… gotta go… I wish you well… So long… Farewell… BYE!!! AHHHH!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for listening to my thoughts. I’m Tanya and I approve this message.

Sincerely,
Tanya 
AKA Caitlin D.

October 7, 2004 

Dear Mrs. Dingman,
Hi my name is Peter Plump Sr. and I’m a pumpkin. I’ve got brown spots and I’m all mushy.  I like my spot on the ground perfectly in the middle with all my other pumpkin friends. I like my owner Farmer John. I like being a bright orange color.  I’m the pumpkin that won the biggest pumpkin contest.  I’m about 15 inches tall and about 12 inches wide.  In fact I’m the biggest and fattest in the pumpkin patch.  I love to talk to the other pumpkins.  My pumpkin patch is beside the horse pen and the cow pen. I’m 7,985,647 years old so I’ve met some T-Rexes in my life.  I think I might be losing some hair because I’m getting old.  I’ve got some arthritis in my stem.  I love digging in the mud and dirt.  I’ve got a wife named Pretty Plump Sr. and I have two humongous kids named Peter Plump Jr. and Pretty Plump Jr.
I ask you please not to pick me, buy me, or carve me.  As you can tell I have a family and lots of friends. If you buy me they will all miss me as much as I would miss them. I may be the biggest and oldest pumpkin in the patch but that doesn’t mean you have to pick me.  I mean why would you buy pumpkins anyway? The troublemakers just smash us in the road or run us over with their HUMMERS.  Maybe you should go pick a different pumpkin at a different patch.  I think McHenry’s farm has some nice pumpkins that you would like a lot. Why would you pick me if there are millions of other pumpkins out there? I’ll give you 5 good reasons not to pick me… 1, I’m old, 2, I’m out of shape, 3, I’m all mushy, 4, I don’t look good with a face, and last but not least I don’t want to go.  Now I must eat my meatloaf. Thank you for listening to me. Good-bye. 

Sincerely,
Peter Plump
AKA Jeremy
   
October 7, 2004

Dear Mrs. Dingman,
Hello my name is Pumpkiy and I am a pumpkin. I live in Nort Pumpkin Patch. It feels great to be a pumpkin. I have the wind on my face in the fall, I have my friends with me… well I used to. I have been in this spot for a very long time and I don’t plan on moving any time soon. I see many pumpkins around me. Off to the north of the patch is lots of grass. My farmer Miss Jenny Apple feeds me every morning and afternoon. It’s October 15th,and it’s almost Halloween. A few more days and I can wait. Every year someone else always gets picked and I’m glad it’s not me. Most of my friends are gone, and now their mush and slugs have crawled into them. I feel very lonely sometimes. People are putting up their decorations and people (I can’t believe I’m going to say this!) are carving their pumpkins! How horrid! I can see them outside playing with our insides. It’s horrid! I can see them carving us, cutting part from part! Who will it be next? Will it be me??!!! Come to think of it, I’m scaring myself …Kinda… 
I know it’s near Halloween and you’re getting ready to pick your first pumpkin, and you come to this patch every year to pick one. Most of the pumpkins are gone! Please, please don’t pick me. I beg you not to. I see you in your front yard putting up your Halloween decorations. It would be a gift if you didn’t buy me, because it’s Wednesday Don’t-Pick-Me-Day. I don’t know why on earth you come to this farm every year. Why can’t you go to a different farm? I now know why you come here. It’s because Miss Jenny has the best pumpkins in town! It’s like I’m the only pumpkin left and there are no more (but Miss Jenny plants new ones every year, and some people just eat them.). I beg you!  I’m just a pumpkin! Please don’t pick me! Thank you for reading this letter. I hope you understand that you can’t pick me!

Sincerely,
                                                                                     Pumpkiy
                                                                                     AKA Kendall

October 7, 2004

Dear Mrs. Dingman,
Hi! I am Pick Me Pumpkin. I am a big round orange pumpkin. I was born inside a pumpkin patch with hundreds of other pumpkins. At first I didn’t look like a pumpkin, I looked like a flower, but as I grew I looked more and more like a pumpkin. The only thing I see is a tiny stand where the people bring the pumpkins when they want to buy them. I hear a lot of farmers on their tractors in the day but in the night I hear crickets. I taste dirt 24/7,  that means 24 hours, seven days a week... What I smell is hay and a lot of it. A few of the other pumpkins that were born before me were starting to rot and stink. That was bad because that means that there are less pumpkins to choose from in the pumpkin patch, which means I have a greater chance of getting picked, bought, and carved.
One day I was just sitting there looking at the stand and I saw a very old woman with black and gray hair and clown pants on. She said that she was looking for a pumpkin to pick, buy, then carve. She started to look all over the big field for a pumpkin. She started to look up and down the row I was in. This was the last row. She did not like anything so she went back to her car and started to pull out. She looked out her rear view window and saw me. Right when I thought I was safe, she pulled back in. She came up to me, said give me a reason why I should not pick you, buy you, or carve you. I said don’t pick me, pick my best friend Pet the Pumpkin. Besides he is bigger than me and rounder than me. And, he is 2 minutes older than me. Don’t buy me because I’ll rot in a few days and the younger pumpkins will rot in a few weeks. And don’t carve me because I am too young to be carved. She said that she has made her mind up. I closed my eyes and heard the cash register. Then I opened my eyes and saw Mrs. Dingman buying my friend Pet the pumpkin. Stories do have a happy ending.

Good-bye,
Pick Me Pumpkin
AKA Dylan H. 
           

October 6, 2004

Dear Mrs. Dingman,
Hello Mrs. Dingman, my name is Purr the Pumpkin. I am a fabulous and beautiful gold pumpkin. I am a pumpkin in a smelly, icky, and very soggy pumpkin patch. When I woke up this morning, I tried to smell the beautiful flowers that grow around the soggy pumpkin patch. I felt the breezy wind go through my face. I heard the noisy birds chirping around me. I saw the leaves on the trees waving nice and easy in the wind. I’m not too big and not too small. I’m just right there, smack dab in the middle. If you’re wondering where I am in the pumpkin patch, I’m on the right end, just in case you want to write back to me or something.
You know how I told you that I’m on the right end of the smelly pumpkin patch? Well, I didn’t mean to tell you that, so you can come pick me and carve me. I only told you that so you can write a lovely letter back to me. I hope I didn’t give you any ideas. I’m not going to be so happy if you come and pick me. I’m not saying, “Please don’t come and pick,” like a little crying sissy would. I’m saying you better not come pick me and carve me! If you try to pick me, you’ll get kicked out of the pumpkin patch for sure. If you want to know why you’ll get kicked out of the icky, soggy, and really smelly pumpkin patch, I’ll never tell you, maybe someone else, but never you. So I’m just telling you, YOU BETTER NOT COME PICK ME AND CARVE ME! By the way, Mrs. Dingman, thank you for letting me persuade you about not picking me or carving me for a decoration on your front porch.  

Your Gold Pumpkin Friend,
Purr the Pumpkin
      AKA Caitlin H.    

October 6, 2004

Dear Mrs. Dingman,
Hi! I’m Lily. I hope you won’t choose me, buy me, jostle me in the car, or carve me. I live in a pumpkin patch with my magnificent mother. You may call her Jelly. My dad’s name is Glaze. He’s nice. I have lovely light blue eyes, and pretty short blonde hair. I like playing cards with my family and friends. My mom home-schools me on Saturday and Sunday. I have a sister named Kid and a brother named Billy-Bob.
I’m very rotten. You don’t want me. I smell like one thousand dirty diapers! I have a big family. Please don’t take me away from them! How would you feel if you got taken away from your family? I have a lot of friends. As a matter of fact I’m going to a sleepover tonight with my best friend, Daisy, so please don’t pick me! PLEASE!! I love my home, my family, my friends, and my stuffed animal, Snuffy The Elephant. If you don’t pick me I’ll love you too! Getting carved must hurt. I don’t want that. Nah, I’ll wait until next year to whine about getting carved. That’s okay with you, right?

Not Yours Truly,

Lily The Pumpkin
AKA Sarah

October 6, 2004

Dear Mrs. Dingman,
Hi, my name is Orangey Girl. I am a very humongous orange pumpkin that has the greenest, curliest stem on top of my head. I sit in a pumpkin patch fifth from the left, in the eighth row every single day, twenty- four hours a day. I am in a dirty field looking at all the poor pumpkins getting picked by all those evil humans who torture us by carving us, painting us, or making us into pumpkin pies! The trees around the pumpkin field are beautiful this season. The leaves are orange, red, yellow, and brown. The only part about the leaves I hate is that they keep falling on me and making me wet with dew. Every day my caretakers feed me buttermilk to make me grow big and strong. My best pumpkiny friends are Curly Stem (on my left) and Orangey Boy (my little brother, on my right.) Our caretakers are John, Bob, and Mary-Sue-Ellen. They are very, very nice people until they decide to sell you. My only favorite activity was talking to Curly Stem and Orangey Boy. My worst fear is getting picked. My favorite color is orange and my favorite season is fall. I am writing this very important letter to you because we have some important business to discuss. I do not want you to buy me, carve me, paint me, or even TOUCH ME. I do not want to get picked by anyone (and boy do I mean ANYONE.) You do not want me because I am ugly and I would also make the house smell like rotten pumpkin. You really don’t want me because if you carved me I would scare every last one of those trick-or-treaters away. You shouldn’t buy pumpkins like me because we carry TWENTY different kinds of diseases that could kill you. Wouldn’t that be just awful? I am thinking so! I think that we pumpkins would make terrible plants or decorations. You don’t want to buy me to bake me into a delicious creamy pumpkin pie with whipped cream because I am poisonous and I would kill you if you looked at the pie! Please, please don’t buy me! It is for the sake of your own life and mine too! Thank you for reading my letter. Please take heed of my warnings!

With All Due Respect, 

Orangey Girl the Pumpkin
AKA Alyssa

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