Saturday, October 26, 2019

Pumpkin Investigation

Are you a pumpkin lover? Do you go for everything pumpkin? I am huge coffee drinker, but I don't really like Pumpkin Spice coffee. I know, I know, don't shout me! I pretty much stick to the basics - pumpkin cookies, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin pie. I love teaching about pumpkins though. It is a great way to tie in science and math standards, while keeping students engaged during the start of this crazy, crazy time of year.

Do you teach pumpkins in October or November? I have always done October, but this year, I might continue into November since Thanksgiving is so late this year. Today's activities come from my Pumpkin Activities . I also have a FREE Investigation Resource for you at the end.

First, we did this fun craft with the inside of the pumpkin. We cut a small pumpkin in half and pull out the insides. We talk about how it looks, how it smells, and how it feels. Then, we fill out or recording sheet and draw the insides. Next, we label the parts of the pumpkin. Then, we create this adorable craft. There are two ways to make this craft. You can simply do front and back or you can staple them stems together. When the kids created the insides, we used real pumpkin seeds and gold pipe cleaner. I like the gold because it adds a bit of sparkle! You could also use string and paper seeds.

We also talk about the life cycle of a pumpkin. We talk about how the seeds sprout and grow into a plant. The plant grows flowers and the flowers turn into green pumpkins, and eventually, by fall, they turn into orange pumpkins.

Have your started learning about force and motion? This is a great introduction. We talk about how to move the pumpkin in different situations. We also discuss if it would be easier to move a big pumpkin or a small pumpkin.

Then, we spend some time investigating out pumpkins. I set up these FREE pumpkin investigation cards around the room and they use the recording sheet. There is a recording sheet for predications about their pumpkins and for what they actually found to be true (we are little scientist). I like to have parents help, if they can, but if not, I will create groups with a mix of high and low kids to help each other out. First Graders should be able to do this independently, but Kindergarteners will need some sort of guidance. I definitely recommend you model how to do each activity for your class. 

This last activity that I am sharing is perfect for Halloween Day. We talk about how to carve a pumpkin. We sequence how to carve it, then we get to design our own. You can use these shapes or have students trace shapes you have (less prep for you, score). Then, have students count how many shapes they used. You can add more content to this lesson by making sure they know the names of the shapes, asking how many sides the have, and how many corners they have.

I hope you all enjoy teaching pumpkins with you class. It will help foster a love for science! You can find these Pumpkin Activities here.

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