Pumpkin Pumpkin

by Jeanne Titherington

read aloud kindergaren, readability grade one

Jamie plants a pumpkin seed and it grows and grows really big. In the fall, Jamie harvests it and carves it into a jack-o’lantern for Halloween, but he makes sure that he saves six seeds so that he can plant them in the spring. This book is a simple book to read during Halloween or even for a seed unit because it emphasizes the cyclical nature of plants. It also has beautiful illustrations that capture the feelings of spring, summer, and fall.

Pumpkin Math

  1. Display a real pumpkin. Have students estimate the number of vertical lines on the pumpkin, and record their estimations on chart paper.
  2. Count all of the lines with the class and record this ‘actual’ amount. Whose estimation was most accurate?
  3. Trace your finger around the circumference of the pumpkin, and explain that this is the circumference.
  4. Label the pieces of paper with the titles “too short”, “just right” and “too long”.
  5. Get children to cut a piece of string based on their estimate of what will be necessary to go around the pumpkin.
  6. Have each child come up with their piece of string and let them try to wrap it around the pumpkin.
  7. Place a piece of tape on the end of their string, and let them tape it to the appropriate paper- “too short”…
  8. Cut out the top of the pumpkin and have students come up, look inside, and estimate how many seeds are in it.
  9. Record estimations.
  10. Gut pumpkin, dry out seeds, and count them the next day with the class. Whose estimate was the closest?
  11. Roast some of the seeds with butter and eat, but remember to save some so that you can plant them in the classroom in the spring time.