We started off by reading the mini book and filling in the blank spaces with the correct life cycle terms.
We then reviewed the vocabulary using posters and vocab cards, then added some activities to our interactive science notebooks. We also filled out a life cycle sheet as a check-in assessment.
Then, I brought a pumpkin to school and we got started on the experiments. There are 4 experiments that follow the scientific method. As practice, we walked through the steps of the method and did Stephanie's egg experiment from her Life Cycles pack as practice.
First we found out if a pumpkin could sink or float. Boy, were those kids surprised when it bobbed in the sink!
Then, we read the book How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?, then we predicted how many seeds we thought were inside our pumpkin.
Here are my kids counting out the seeds on laminated 10's frame mats. I divided the seeds into 5 bowls, then gave 1 bowl to each table and had them work together to fill up their mat. At the end, each group reported out how many seeds they counted and we added them all up (by 1's, 10's, and 100's!) to find the total amount. We had 674! Only one kid got a close prediction, he thought 602. Most kids chose either 100 or 1000! :)
After we counted them, I collected all the seeds and filled the bowls with water. I walked around to each table and dropped a spoonful of seeds into each bowl so the kids could see if they sank or floated. Only one boy predicted that they would sink. I think he wanted to go against the majority :)
Our last experiment we will do on Monday, because I had to take the seeds all home. Our school permits teachers and parents to bring in food cooked at home, so I roasted all the seeds in my kitchen, then flavored them 3 different ways: salty, savory, and sweet.
Lucky for you, I made a freebie for this last experiment, as well as a How-to writing prompt: Pumpkin Seed Experiment, Recipe, and Writing Freebie!
Three different writing pages:
I love teaching about pumpkins around Halloween time! The kids love it, too! I have a Jehovah's Witness student this year, and since I don't want him to feel left out, I am not doing any traditional Halloween activities. This unit is a perfect alternative to Halloween, or even a perfect supplement!
What other things do you do with pumpkins?
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