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pumpkin lifecycle   Today is “Science” Day for our homeschool lesson, but of course we’re not too focused on anything scientific today. So we figured we’d do some Pumpkin Themed activities. To start I found a project for a Life cycle of the Pumpkin. To make this I used:     Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin Pie is a newer (2009) book about pumpkins that I used this year for the first time.  I bought my copy at Barnes and Noble this summer, but it can also be found on Amazon.  The photos in this book are amazing.  I especially like the huge photo of the yellow pumpkin flower. 51jfAt+ol6L__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_   My other current favorite is It’s Pumpkin Time by Zoe Hall and Shari Halpern.  It is a simple story with great illustrations that shows the pumpkin life cycle in a straightforward manner.  It can also be found on Amazon.

 

Literacy Activities

  Painted Pumpkin Patch: (This activity is better accomplished in small groups.) For materials, you will need one large white sheet of construction paper for each student, yellow tempera paint, and red tempera paint. To add stems and vines to the pumpkins you will need one small green rectangular piece of construction paper and a half of a green pipe cleaner (you can also use green curling ribbon). Tell the children to mix the red and yellow paint to make orange pumpkins. Let the pumpkins dry and have the children cut them out. Have the children cut a stem from green construction paper and glue it on the pumpkin. Next, give the students a half piece of green pipe cleaner which will be the curly vine. I teach them how to make a coil shape by wrapping it around a finger. While they are making the coil, I go around and poke a hole in the stem. When the children are finished with the curly vine, show them how to attach it to the stem by putting it through the hole and bending the edge so it won’t fall out (they may need some help :o). Tadah – You have beautiful, unique, kid-made pumpkins!   Pumpkin Bookmark/Puppet: Click below to download a printable pumpkin bookmark/puppet.  
Pumpkin Bookmark
  Pumpkin Museum: Find a corner of the classroom or empty table top to set up a pumpkin museum. Allow students to bring in pumpkin paraphernalia from home and display it proudly in the classroom. So much fun!  

Songs and Poems

  Pick a Pumpkin (Tune: “London Bridge”) (from Mailbox Magazine)   Pick a pumpkin from the vine, Pumpkin round, pumpkin fine. Pick a pumpkin from the vine. Let’s pick pumpkins!   Pick a pumpkin from the vine. You pick yours; I’ll pick mine. Pick a pumpkin from the vine. Let’s pick pumpkins!  

Math and Science Activities

  Pumpkin Ordering: Reproduce a set of different sized pumpkins. The students will practice putting the pumpkins in order from biggest to smallest or smallest to biggest. You can also write numerals or ordinal numbers on the pumpkins to practice additional skills.  
 
Pumpkin Matching: Reproduce 2 sets of matching jack o lanterns. Glue one set of pumpkins to a folder and laminate folder and extra pieces. Use the extra pieces to match to the folder game.  
 
Pumpkin Counting Game: Use small treat pumpkins to make this simple counting game. Write the numbers 1-10 on the back of the treat pumpkins. Students will place popsicle sticks in each pumpkin to represent the number it is labeled with.   Pumpkin Cycle Sequencing: Click below to print a pop-up life cycle activity from A to Z Teacher Stuff. I love this activity and do it every year! We make it into a book and the kids love the fact that it’s a “pop-up” book. There is also a set of printable sequencing cards below from KizClub.    
pumpkin sequencing
  Pumpkin Science Observations: We use a recording sheet to record observations about our class pumpkin. The children draw a picture of our pumpkin from the outside, draw a picture of what they think we will see inside, and estimate how many seeds they think will be inside. After making our estimation and guesses, we cut the pumpkin open and look inside. The children record what they see and glue pumpkin seeds onto their paper. I allow each child to take a handful of seeds and put them on a paper plate. Each child counts their seeds and writes the number on a post it note. They put the post it note on the whiteboard and we add up the numbers to find out how many seeds were inside. Click below to download the a printable pumpkin observation sheet.     Pumpkin Cycle Patch: After reading the story, The Pumpkin Circle, we decided to “recycle” a pumpkin and grow another. This a great and easy project to do but it will take a few months to grow a new pumpkin. You will need a miniature pumpkin, a carving knife, potting soil or compost, and a growing container with drain holes. Miniature pumpkins last a very long time, so you will have to cut it open for it to begin decomposing. When you cut open the pumpkin, you may want to take a few seed out and plant them to ensure that you have growth. Pumpkin sprouts will grow very fast and soon after, it will grow curly vines and flowers. If you are growing inside your classroom, you will have to “mate” your flowers by sticking them together.   IMPORTANT: If you decide to do this in your classroom, use a miniature pumpkin to avoid an awful stench. We learned this the hard way – we left our pumpkin for the weekend and came back on a Monday to a horrible smelling kindergarten building (neighbors weren’t happy :o).  
pumpkin garden

Recipes

  Pumpkin Milk Shakes: This recipe is modified from an original recipe out of Mailbox Magazine. Put all ingredients into a blender (except for mellowcreme pumpkins) and blend together. For a class of 20, you will need:  
  • 1 can of pumpkin
  • 1 pink of skim milk
  • 3/4 gallon of vanilla frozen yogurt
  • 1 mellowcreme pumpkin for each child
  Upside-Down Pumpkin Pie: This recipe is also from Mailbox Magazine. Add 1/3 cup of vanilla pudding to a cup. Stir in a spoonful of pumpkin and add graham cracker crumbs to the top. For each child you will need:  
  • 1/3 cup of vanilla pudding
  • 1 spoonful of pumpkin (one can for class)
  • crushed graham cracker crumbs
  Pumpkin Toast: This is an easy snack for kids to make. I use this snack as a center during our pumpkin unit. The children spread pumpkin on a pumpkin shaped piece of bread. They add a candy corn for a nose, raisins for eyes, and cereal for the mouth. For each child you will need:  
  • 1 pumpkin shaped bread (made by cutting bread with a cookie cutter)
  • pumpkin topping or cream cheese with orange food coloring
  • round cereal
  • raisins
  • candy corn
  Pumpkin Popsicles: In small 3 ounce bathroom cups, add 3 tablespoons of vanilla pudding, one teaspoon of canned pumpkin, and a dash of pumpkin spice. Stir together, add a stick, and freeze. When frozen, peel the cup off and eat!  

Related printables:

 
  1. Pumpkin Life Cycle Sequencing Cards Share/BookmarkThere are two sets of sequencing cards to choose from: 1. Pumpkin Life Cycle Sequencing Cards – Pictures are included for the seed, sprout, plant,…
  2. Pumpkin Compound Words Printable Activity Share/BookmarkPrint, cut apart, and then have students match the halves of the pumpkins to form the correct compound words. Available in both full color and…
  3. Printable Pumpkin Writing Paper – Portrait with Handwriting Lines Share/BookmarkThis pumpkin-themed writing paper has handwriting lines and portrait orientation.  We also have versions with big handwriting lines, simple lines, and landscape orientation. If the…
  4. Printable Pumpkin Writing Paper – Portrait with Big Handwriting LinesShare/BookmarkUse this pumpkin writing paper for pumpkin-themed activities and writing lessons.  This version has bigger handwriting lines and portrait orientation. If the PDF does not…
  5. Printable Pumpkin Writing Paper – Portrait with Simple Lines Share/BookmarkPumpkin writing paper – simple lines, vertical orientation If the PDF does not load, you can download it here: Pumpkin Writing Paper – Portrait with…

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