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Pumpkin Unit

Compiled By: luv2teach77

October is a great month to do a pumpkin unit with your students. Here's a collection of pumpkin ideas!

Posted by: L.P.

I just finished my pumpkin unit and sprouted pumpkin seeds in sandwich size zip-locs. Simply toss in two cotton balls, moisten them, and drop in several seeds. I put the bags in a shoebox sized plastic bin and set in on top of my computer monitor which kept it just the right temp. In a few days we had pumpkin seedlings. We kept journals and drew pictures of their growth. I did have to explain to my K's that they couldn't plant them outside right now, since it was fall. They really enjoyed doing the project, though. I featured the pumpkin seeds in a patterning lesson and we also did seed mosiac pumpkins using beans and dried yellow peas.

Posted by: Helen

-Have students guess whether a pumpkin will sink or float..drop into a tub of water (it floats)
Then try other objects.

_make pumpkin bread or pie in class

_Carve a pumpkin, take out seeds and count(tally), then roast the pumpkin seeds..serve as a treat .

-Write stories about your pumpkins or about what you did.

-Give each child a minipumpkin (available at some grocery stores) and let him/her look it over carefully...then put in a pile and have them find their own pumpkin. Talk about attributes, descriptive words etc.

-have several small pumpkins available and have children estimate which is heavier etc..use balance scale and check the answer.

-have students measure the circumference of pumpkins using yarn then graph the results.

-do same as above but measure height.
-You might compare these results to the results of the weighing.

-Plant pumpkin seeds

-Do a sequencing cut and paste, showing seed to fruit.

-There is a book called FOOD FOR THOUGHT. Mine is at school...cannot remember publisher. But it has many good activities with apples, ice cream, pumpkins etc. You might look there for some good center activities. I will be using some this week on pumpkins/apples.

Pumpkins with personality
Posted by: Cathy

I do a vocab lesson on feelings (angry, melancholy,frustrated, scared, hopeful, excited, horrified, etc...) I have the students look up the word in the dictionary and write it on the bottom of the pumpkin. Then, they have to decorate the face of the pumpkin to match the word they looked up. On the back they have to use the word in a sentence--I feel _____________ when_____________. I hang them on a board with the title "PUMPKINS WITH PERSONALITY."

Carving Pumpkins
Posted by: Sarah

When I did pumpkin carving in my room, I divided the class into small groups. I had some parent volunteers help so that each group got to carve a pumpkin. There ended up only being a couple of kids in each group. I also asked parents to donate the pumpkins. It seems like every year someone has a friend or relative that grows pumpkins and is willing to bring some in. But, back to the carving... the kids LOVED it! They got to feel the squishy "guts" and smell that pumpkin smell. They even tasted small bits of it.

"Pumpkin Seeds" and Place Value
Posted by: Debra

On Halloween Day, my class had a pumpkin day. We spent the whole day with our pumpkins brought in the day (week) before. We measured (height, weight, circumference), graphed results, wrote descriptive paragraphs about our pumpkins, etc. PLACE VALUE part: I cut open three pumpkins the night before and cleaned the seeds allowing them to dry overnight. For this activity, I partnered with a 1st grade teacher who did the same thing, we grouped our students in twos (1 secondg grader, 1 first grader). Each group received a handful of seeds until all the seeds were handed out. The groups counted out seeds, seperated them in groups of ten. First, students were handed styrofoam cups to hold groups of ten, once they had filled 10 cups they transferred the tens to one (styrof.) bowl for 100's, students had to work together as a class to find enough 100's bowls to combine to fill a ziploc bag with 10 groups of 100's for the 1000's. Teachers carried the bags to make sure that students were counting by 100's as they filled the bags. Students would call out, "I have 3 hundreds. I need 7 more." and they would combine several group's seeds as they made the 1000's. It was a very busy, loud, exciting adventure in the world of counting!
NOTE: We estimated the number of seeds in various size pumpkins before cutting them open to open. Students always pick the larger pumpkin to have the most seeds. BUT, the smaller pumpkins usually do because as the pumpkins grow they absorb the seeds. Its interesting.... DEBRA

Posted by: Jennie

I do a display each year that might work for you. It isn't a door display, but I think you can adapt it to use for your door. I copy two pumpkin patterns for each child on orange paper. One pattern has lines for the child to write on. They write a description of themselves on the lined pattern. (I have blonde hair and wear glasses. My eyes are blue, etc.) Then, I take a picture of each child and they glue it to the second pattern. They staple the pumpkin with the description of themselves on top of the pumpkin with their picture. I display them with the title "Guess Who Is Hiding in the Pumpkin Patch." The other kids in the school love reading the descriptions and trying to determine who is being described. Just an idea!

pumpkin week
Posted by: judy

Cut up a pumpkin and count the seeds, either by ones or fives, or tens. Make symetrical jack o lanterns, Read aloud "Pumpkin, Pumpkin".

I take digitals of the different steps to make pumpkin bread and as a targeted writing or interactive writing lesson the children will write the captions under the picture to make a time line. I also make pumpkin masks and the children get the opportunity to develop oral language by finshing the sentence "If I were a pumpkin...." We treat it like a reader's theatre.

Pumpkin idea
Posted by: Sue

Guess how many seeds are in the pumpkin. As you clean out the pumpkin to carve it, put the pumpkin seeds and pumpkin innards on paper plates. Put the children in groups or as they go to a Station have them separate the seeds from the innards and count them. Add all the responses. Wash off the pumpkin seeds and place on a tray on a windowsill. Allow the seeds to dry (it only takes a few days) and put them in a labeled container. Next spring you can plant the pumpkin seeds as part of a plants unit. I teach Kindergarten and I ask the children when they get to First Grade to bring back pictures of the pumpkins they planted from our classroom seeds. some years children have brought in pumpkins they gre for me to carve the next year.

pumpkin math
Posted by: maryellen

There is lots of math/science to do with pumpkins too, if you wnat to avoid the candy issue. You can have the children work in three or four groups, each group with a pumpkin, or use only one pumpkin and have the whole class work together om it. Have them cut yarn to estimate the pumpkin circumference (a pumpkin "belt") and test it, sorting onto a sticky tape banner that says "too long" "too short" "just right". Estimate which of 3 or 4 will be heavier, weigh on a scale and compare, or if you only have 1 pumpkin, how many apples or whatever will weigh the same. Estimate then count the lines on the pumpkin's skin, (are there more lines on a bigger pumpkin?) does it float or sink (interesting answers as to "why"). the number of seeds, are the seeds facing pointy end up or down? Taste the raw pumpkin and then cook it with a sprinkle of water and brown sugar. Or take a vote on what kind of face they want on their pumpkin and then let them each design a face, transfer the winning face design to the pumpkin and carve it. Re-weigh the pumpkin after carving. You could limit the face design to squares, triangles, rectangles, circles if you're doing geometry. Test float and sink again after carving. Why the change? Compare the # of seeds to the weight of each pumpkin. Toast and taste the seeds, saving a few untoasted for each to take home to plant next spring. Have some kind of contest to see who wins the pumpkin to take home, or donate them to a hospital or nursing home. What happens to a candle lit inside before the pumpkin face is carved, then after. Why? Hope these ideas are some help. Don't use them all, pick the ones that fit your classroom, number of helpers, and curriculum. Your principal will be pleased if you involve parent volunteers or some from a leadership class at your junior or senior high to help with the small groups. Have fun....your principal probably picked this day to have some fun him/herself!!

pumpkins on a vine
Posted by: Amy P

We paint small dessert paper plates orange, (paint the back), glue on a brown stem and green leaves and then i made a fence and cut green construction paper in a corkscrew fashion so that when it is cut it is a long twisted piece and those make great vines. The children write on a half piece of construction paper what they see as they sit on the pumpkin vine. Most are only two or three sentences. It turns out great and using the half sheet of paper (fold like a book and cut) is a great way to make it a smaller assignment.

cute pumpkins
Posted by: pj

Take brown paper lunch bags and stuff with paper towell or newspaper. Use green pipe cleaners to tie the bag shut...sponge paint the bags orange add either paper eyes and mouthes or sponge paint them on. add green leaves to the pipe cleaners and there you go a pumpkin patch...they can be hung or strung together or just set about. the kids love making these and they're so cute!

Posted by: 4th grade teacher

One year, while studying hemispheres, we painted small globes out of pumpkins! They were really cute and a great visual for the kids. We used acrylic paint instead of tempra so it wouldn't wipe off. I don't know how long they lasted before they rotted, but it was a big hit.