Project Pumpkin - extension activities
This indicates resources located on The Teacher's Corner.
The activities, lessons and resources below are meant to extend student learning during this project. Please note that several of the activities may overlap subject areas.
Students write stories and use the pumpkin shaped books to publish them. You may want to pick a specific theme or topic for students to write about. (See display suggestion in the Bulletin Board section below.)
Students create their own pumpkin. (See the Paper mache Pumpkins activity in The Arts section below.) Display the pumpkins in a “Classroom Pumpkin Patch” and assign a number to each pumpkin. Students then write a descriptive paragraph about their own pumpkin. From here you have a couple of choices: you can read each paragraph aloud and have the students guess which pumpkin is being described, or you can have students swap paragraphs.
Students can create a journal of their pumpkin seeds. (See growing activity in the Science section below.)
Students write step-by-step directions on how to carve a pumpkin.
Students can create a story about the “Day in the Life of a Pumpkin.” Here are two lined journal pages you can use with students.
Have students write pumpkin poems. (These could be displayed on a bulletin board.)
Students can write captions for the photos you take during the project.
Students create a pumpkin postcard. Depending on the age of your students you can have them create their postcards from a variety of point of views. There are several different options you can use to create the postcards:
1. Use an index card.
2. Visit Postcard Creator – allows you to create postcard and then print to add picture.
3. Send an E-Postcard form PBS for Kids (doesn’t allow for as much personalization.)
Students write an adventure story. The story may have to do with a pumpkin or some other fall-related or Halloween-related character. Consider having students publish their work at KidPub. http://www.kidpub.com/
Students use a shape book for writing about fall – shapes related to the activity: apple and barn. http://www.eduplace.com/rdg/hme/k_5/shapebook/toc.html
Graphic Organizers – Use in a variety of ways before, during, or after reading.
I Like Pumpkins by Jerry Smath (a picture book) -
Find lessons for reading, social studies, science, and art lessons.
Creative Writing Halloween Theme -
Students create their own pumpkin story.
My Pumpkin Story -
Students use an online tool to "carve" a pumpkin. Then they write a story about their pumpkin.
Pumpkin, Pumpkin! -
This lesson goes with the book of the same title by Jeanne Titherington.
Storyboard of "The Biggest Pumpkin Ever" -
Students read the story and work on comprehension skills.
Build your classroom library during this project. Here are some suggested titles that you may want to check out.
by Erica Silverman
Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden
by George Levenson
by Helen Cooper
The Pumpkin Book
by Gail Gibbons
The Biggest Pumpkin Ever
Five Little Pumpkins (Harper Growing Tree)
Harper Growing Tree
From Seed to Pumpkin (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 1) (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1)
by Wendy Pfeffer
Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin
by Tad Hills
by Kevin Lewis
Too Many Pumpkins
by Linda White
The Pumpkin Patch Parable: Special Edition (Parable Series)
by Liz Curtis Higgs
The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin with CD
by Joe Troiano
by Ken Robbins
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (Peanuts)
by Charles M. Schulz
Biscuit Visits the Pumpkin Patch
by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Pumpkins: A Story for a Field
by Mary Lyn Ray
Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie (Picture the Seasons)
by Jill Esbaum
Great Pumpkins: Crafty Carvings for Halloween by Peter Cole
REMEMBER: You may also want to visit our Printable Worksheet page and create your own puzzles.
Once your students have collected the data for the three pumpkins, have them find the average for each category.
Have students count the lines on each of the three pumpkins. After recording these numbers, students can also find the average number of lines per pumpkin.
Challenge: Students take the total circumference of all three pumpkins together to calculate how many pumpkins they would need to travel around the Earth.
To help students practice their measuring skills, they can measure the distance between lines on the pumpkin.
While looking at your data, discuss odd/even numbers, along with divisibility rules, factors, etc.
Create a graph of the pumpkin data collected. (See the activity suggestions in the Technology section below.)
Students can practice their geometry skills. After students have completed their cleaning and counting, have them make suggestions of specific geometric shapes for the eyes, nose and mouth. You, or the students, can then draw those shapes on the pumpkin.
Students create a Venn Diagram comparing two, or all three, of the pumpkins.
Have students convert measurements between the standard system and the metric system.
Provide students with a variety of objects that they can use to practice finding the circumference.
BIG Pumpkins! -
Read a chart and solve word problems about big pumpkins.
Pumpkin Puzzler -
Students put their math thinking in writing with this pumpkin puzzler.
Jack-o-Lantern Glyph -
The glyph can be simply colored on the handout, using the legend, or students may cut construction paper shapes to create jack-o-lanterns. (PDF)
Pumpkin Math -
Each of these activities capitalize on students' love of pumpkins.
Pumpkin Glyphs -
it uses pictures to tell a story about the data collected. This is a fun way for elementary students to compare information about themselves and their classmates.
Positive/Negative Math -
This is a great way to teach symmetry and positive/ negative at the same time!
Students create a timeline of a pumpkin’s life cycle. (Software notes below.)
Using reference books, the Internet, and/or magazines, students can learn about the history and/or the uses of pumpkins.
Pumpkin Globe -
Help students identify longitude and latitude on maps and globes to create a globe using a pumpkin.
Students can grow pumpkin seeds. They can journal and sketch the growing process of the seeds and plants.
(Here is a link to a site with growing tips: http://www.sadako.com/pumpkin/activities.html)
Students research the life cycle of a pumpkin.
Pumpkin Science - This lesson gives English language learners a background in how plants grow. It also provides them with practice in estimating and in predicting outcomes.
Leftover Pumpkin Experiments -
Use this experiment to see how a pumpkin rots.
Pumpkin Science -
A lesson for parts of a seed and a plant book.
Use software like Excel or Graph Club to have students create various types of graphs to show the pumpkin data they collected. If you don’t have either of these software titles, you can use this free online resource: http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/createagraph/default.aspx
Students use Timeliner software to create a timeline of a pumpkin’s life cycle.
The Great Pumpkin Detectives -
A WebQuest for Kindergarten students.
Here are a few different online carving sites.
Virtual Pumpkin Carving (Flash Needed)- http://www.ncs-tech.org/pub/carve_pumpkin.swf
Spookathon.com - http://www.spookathon.com/halloween/pumpkin-carver.php
Virtual Carving - http://www.cyberhaunt.com/site/fun/attractions/pumpkin.html
(You may want to see the “My Pumpkin Story” in the writing section above.)
Pumpkin Multiples -
You know your multiplication facts and you've been step counting for years. This game tests that knowledge by challenging you to choose multiples from a series of falling numbers. Use the arrow keys to move the ghost left and right.
Students complete a Wacky Web Tale online (like a MadLib) that is related to fall and Halloween:
The Best Town in the World Has a Fall Festival: http://www.eduplace.com/tales/content/wwt_056.html
A Detective for Halloween: http://www.eduplace.com/tales/content/wwt_050.html
The Haunted Tower: http://www.eduplace.com/tales/content/wwt_035.html
Why I Love Fall: http://www.eduplace.com/tales/content/wwt_049.html
Main Wacky Web Tales page: http://www.eduplace.com/tales/
Paper mache Pumpkins -
Students paper mache a balloon to create their own pumpkin. Ask for students to brainstorm how they can create a stem at the top of the balloon. Once the pumpkin is dry, students can use orange, green and black paint to decorate their pumpkin. You can create a class pumpkin patch. (See the writing extension activity above.) We would love to see photos of your patch!
Hang a Jack-O'-Lantern Mobile -
Create unique pumpkin mobiles to hang from the ceiling.
Harvest/pumpkin Poems and Songs -
This is a great collection of songs and they don’t mention Halloween.
Pumpkin Crafts -
Basic and fun crafts that are pumpkin-themed.
Pumpkin Seed Mosaic -
An artistic way to use the pumpkin seeds you have counted.
Pumpkin Sewing Card -
Cute sewing card for little hands. Print on tagboard and laminate for longer use. (PDF)
Silly Pumpkins: Just for Fun (Or Fund-Raising) -
Have fun -- and raise funds -- with pumpkins. Get decorating ideas too!
Create a bulletin board to display your pumpkin stats – you can even tape up the strings from the measuring.
Students post the pumpkin shaped books/stories from the language arts section on a bulletin board. Use other cutouts and paper to decorate the board to create a pumpkin patch look. One great way to do this is to take long sheets of green butcher paper and twist it to create vines. (Use any of the pumpkin printables we have provided or ones available on the Halloween Printables page.)
Post completed glyphs from the math section on a bulletin board.
Take photos of your students and print them out. Use the pumpkin shapes below, cutting out the mouth region and mounting your students' photos from the back side of the pumpkin. (It will appear that they are in the pumpkin.)
ADDITIONAL LINKS & RESOURCES
Here are some printables that you may find helpful in your classroom during this project. You can find additional printables (many are more fall or Halloween related) on the Halloween Printables page.
Here are a few recipes that you may want to use for the pumpkin seeds after you get done counting them.
Pumpkins at Enchanted Learning -
An incredible collection of activities and resources.
Pump Up the Curriculum With Pumpkins -
Jump into pumpkin facts and pumpkin lore. Try pumpkin science, pumpkin math, pumpkin writing.
Kindergarten Kapers Pumpkin Unit -
A fun Kindergarten unit that includes songs, recipes and activities.
Pumpkin Unit -
A great collection of lessons geared toward 2nd grade.
Pumpkins and More! -
Learn the history of pumpkins, how they grow, fun, and more.
Pumpkins Theme -
This is a Kindergarten theme that includes activities across the curriculum.