It’s that time of year again, and I am not complaining at all. I love all things fall, especially pumpkins! There are so many fun pumpkin activities to do in the classroom. Kids love pumpkins too. Pumpkin activities are engaging and can be used to address so many standards.
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Building Background Knowledge
Before we start any of our pumpkin activities, I read them various nonfiction pumpkin books. I know that I usually have a handful of students who have never been to a pumpkin patch, so I want to be sure they have some background knowledge before we start our unit.
As we read pumpkin books, I displayed vocabulary words that we were learning and using in our conversation. As a kindergarten teacher, I like to include photographs when possible.
During our pumpkin week, I have my students bring in a pumpkin to use for our science activities. The rule is they have to be able to carry the pumpkin to the classroom. This limits the size! I always bring in a few baby and sugar pumpkins for any student who does not bring one in. I also bring in a large one for a class pumpkin. We use it to model the various activities we engage in all week.
Our pumpkin science consists of using our five senses to examine pumpkins. We keep our observations in a pumpkin journal.
In our journal, we have pages where we record how pumpkins feel, look, sound, smell, and of course taste. We also measure our pumpkins.
One of the best activities to do during our pumpkin science station time is making a hypothesis about if a pumpkin will float or sink in a tub of water.
My class is always amazed by the results!
Pumpkin Pie in a Cup
One of the favorite activities that we did in our class during our pumpkin week was making Pumpkin Pie in a Cup. Oh my! The cheers I got when I told them one of their stations would be making a pie in a cup.
A parent worked this station, helping students get all of the ingredients into their pudding cup. The last step was topping the pie in a cup with whipped cream and cinnamon. Most of them loved it, but there were a couple of them who did not.
Pumpkin Life Cycle Activities
We also learn about the life cycle of a pumpkin. We did this with apples, so it is fun to compare the two life cycles. I make an interactive anchor chart that can be used as a station when we are done with our whole class activity. Velcro is used to attach the pieces to the chart.
The class also made a pumpkin life cycle necklace. They were excited to wear this necklace home and retell the pumpkin life cycle to their family.
Pumpkin Seed Counting
One of the last things we do is cut open our large class pumpkin so we can count the seeds. The book I like to read for this activity is How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? I let each of my students reach in and help clean out the pulp and seeds.
There is always a mixed reaction to scooping out the pulp. Some kids love it and others are completely grossed out!
After the seeds are out of the pumpkin and cleaned, I put my kids into groups. I divide up the seeds for the groups to count. They put their group of seeds into groups of ten for easier counting. Once the groups have counted their group of seeds, we work as a class to add the totals up.
Finally, I take the seeds home to wash and roast. I bring the roasted seeds back in for the class to taste.
As one of my students said, “This is the funnest week ever!” I would have to agree. You can find many of these pumpkin activities in our Let’s Investigate Pumpkins pack.