from Shirley Jamelle-y-Picokens, who teaches at Northrup Elementary in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Materials Needed: a pumpkin for each team, a scale, a tape measure, a record form for each team member, a ruler, tempera paint, paint brushes.
Activities: A. weigh and record weight of pumpkin in pounds; B. use tape measure to measure distance around pumpkin (circumference), record in inches; C. use ruler to measure height of pumpkin, record in inches; D. count the ribs, or "pumpkin longitudes"; E. paint a face -- eyes, mouth, nose, hair, ears.
2. Future Class/Team Activities
A. count seeds -- base ten work; B. choose a recipe for cooking pumpkin.
3. Individual Classwork
The directions and the materials needed are the same as for the team work. Be careful -- the pumpkins aren't the same ones. Record the information below:
1. Weight of pumpkin: ___________lbs.
2. Circumference of pumpkin: _____________inches
3. Height of pumpkin: _____________ inches
4. Number of ribs: ____________
A. Write an answer to the question: "Where do Jack-o'-Lanterns go after Halloween?"
B. Illustrate your written ideas. Be creative; let your imagination soar!
Attributes of a Pumpkin -- the Senses
from Maura Tschida, kindergarten teacher at Expo Elementary, St. Paul, Minnesota
1. What Shapes Do We See?
A: Show globe. Discuss how it is similar in shape.
B: Jack-o'-Lantern -- Discuss how we see shapes in the face.
2. How Does a Pumpkin Feel?
On the outside? (Hard? Smooth?) On the inside? Use your imagination to think of how it might feel inside: wet? cold? slippery? slimy? mushy?
Cook pumpkin. What do you think -- will fresh pumpkin taste like canned pumpkin? Who would like to make a guess? Who would like to try a taste of canned pumpkin? Who would like to taste the fresh pumpkin? Compare taste and texture.
Make pumpkin-orange muffins (receipe on Cooking page). Make a batch with canned pumpkin and a batch with fresh pumpkin. Compare the taste.
4. Does a Pumpkin Have a Smell?
What does an uncooked pumpkin smell like? How about canned pumpkin? How about the cooked pumpkin? How are they alike? How are they different?
5. What Colors Are Pumpkins?
Stem and Vine (green)
Young Pumpkin (green or yellow)
Mature Pumpkin (orange or white)
Pumpkin Pie (brown)
Float Your Gourd
Put a small pumpkin in a sink or bucket full of water. Does is sink or float? Now clean out the inside of the pumpkin like when you are going to carve it, and fill it with water. Now does it float? Finally, cut the pumpkin into small pieces. Do the pieces float?
Some books about pumpkins, or with pumpkin themes:
"It's a Fruit, It's a Vegetable, It's a Pumpkin"
by Allan Fowler, Children's Press, Chicago, 1995
"The Pumpkin Patch"
by Elizabeth King, Dutton Childrens Books, New York
"The Pumpkin Fair"
by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Eileen Christelow, Clarion Books, New York, 1997
by Helen F. Cooper, Farrar Straus Giroux, New York, 1999
"The Great Pumpkin Switch"
by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Ted Lewin, Orchard Books, New York, 1992
Check out this website for pumpkin songs and poems for pre-school and elementary school kids.
Check out this page for some teacher resources on bees and honey (thank you to Mrs. Fowler's class)
Teachers: send your pumpkins-in-the-classroom ideas via e-mail to:
mail ["at"] downingpumpkins [.com]
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e-mail: mail ["at"] downingpumpkins [.com]