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Start off by introducing your students to pumpkins, gourds, and the pumpkin life cycle using the first 5 slides of the packet. I project these photos onto my whiteboard to facilitate class discussion.
Activity 1 – Make scientific observations about pumpkins and gourds. Record data in an 8-page mini-booklet made of just 3 sheets of paper! You will need 7 mini-pumpkins and/or gourds for this activity. Please note! I always buy 8 fruits but ask my students to record data on only 7. Reasons: there is always an extra one around for those that work faster than others and I only have to use 3 sheets of paper for the booklet instead of 4. If you are unable to obtain real pumpkins and gourds, I’ve included 8 color photos that can be laminated as well as a black and white sheet that students can color. Allow students to work at their own pace, they do not have to do the fruit in order, they can start with #5 then do #2, whichever is available! This is an independent activity – the teacher should be there as a guide but encourage your little ones to work on their own. They can work in pairs or groups. I have my students work in pairs to collect data about each sample: color, shape, texture, height, circumference, mass, sink/float. Students record their data in the 8 page mini-booklet. I included a revised mini-booklet in case you do not use real fruit. Things such as sink/float, circumference are omitted.
Activity 2- After the measurement/observation activities, I read the book, The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano. This is a wonderful book about acknowledging and celebrating our differences. First I read the book to my students and we discuss the message of the story. Then I show my students each page again and I ask them if they can find certain things that allow me to get a little science in!! Students must find 11 things and record their findings on the worksheet I included. Students will be searching for things such as the only mammal that can fly, an animal related to dinosaurs, an arachnid, etc. There is a science find on each page of the book! Afterwards, we make a 3D model of Spookly using the pattern provided. Students name and measure their square model. These come out so cute!!
Activity 3 – Make a Pumpkin Life Cycle Wheel! See photo above. Students cut out an adorable pumpkin with a candy corn on the front. Lift the candy corn to reveal the pumpkin life cycle: seed, plant, flower, pumpkin. Life cycle wheels are secured behind the pumpkin using a metal brad.
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Please note: these units are for the use of one educator.
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Sue from Science for Kids :)