My pumpkin has grown so much! This is the first time I've grown a pumpkin in my garden. It takes a LOT of water, but seeing it grow is oh so satisfying! It's got me thinking about the activities I used to do with my kindergarteners with pumpkins.
"Measuring the girth" by 1lenore is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
1. Measure them!
I used to set up “stations” with pumpkins around the classroom with various size pumpkins and measuring tape. Students rotate to the different pumpkins in small groups or on their own to measure and record them.
"appropriately sized pumpkins" by 1lenore is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
2. Graph them!
I had students share their measurements with the class on a poster. (I labeled the pumpkins at each station to refer to on the poster. I put the poster where they could reach and write their measurements under each pumpkin label on their own.
You could also simply have the kids physically put them in order from smallest to largest.
3. Count the seeds!
My class chose the biggest pumpkin for this activity. I recorded their guesses of how many seeds they thought would be in the pumpkin on the board. Then, they counted handfuls of the seeds using ten-frames. We collectively calculated the total by counting the ten frames. Every time we surpassed a guess, I erased it from the board to see if we came close to the exact total.
4. Make seed art!
We saved some of our seeds to make art. My students were in a "mandala" phase, but you could make a picture of anything with the seeds using white glue and construction paper. (Just make sure you've set them out to dry for at least a day!)
5. Plant them!
We planted some of our seeds in a big container. Of course, we had to compost the seedlings because it's too late in the year to grow pumpkins from seed, but the investigation was fun! They learned that these seeds have a "pointy" end where the sprout comes from. They loved checking and watering them every day. It was like an easy class pet!
6. Make geometry art!
This one may not have been with the pumpkins themselves, but it's a must. The kids love this activity, and it's a simple way to incorporate math into a Halloween-themed craft. I had my kids record how many of each shape they used on a little record sheet taped to the back.