Pumpkin Math

Suggested Grades



Students will examine a pumpkin and make several estimations based on the number of lines around it, its circumference and the number of seeds it has.


  • 1 pumpkin
  • chart paper
  • 3 pieces of paper
  • string
  • scissors
  • tape
  • markers
  • knife
  • big spoon for gutting


  • Display the pumpkin. Have students estimate the number of vertical lines on the pumpkin, and record their estimations on chart paper.
  • Count all of the lines with the class and record this ‘actual’ amount. Whose estimation was most accurate?
  • Trace your finger around the circumference of the pumpkin, and explain that this is the circumference.
  • Label the pieces of paper with the titles “too short”, “just right” and “too long”.
  • Get children to cut a piece of string based on their estimate of what will be necessary to go around the pumpkin.
  • Have each child come up with their piece of string and let them try to wrap it around the pumpkin.
  • Place a piece of tape on the end of their string, and let them tape it to the appropriate paper- “too short”…
  • Cut out the top of the pumpkin and have students come up, look inside, and estimate how many seeds are in it.
  • Record estimations.
  • Gut pumpkin, dry out seeds, and count them the next day with the class. Whose estimate was the closest?

Additional Resources


Here are two non-Halloween pumpkin books that you may want to tie in:

Pumpkin Pumpkin, Jeanne Titherington, Pub. Green Willow Books, 1986, ISBN: 0688099300

The Mare’s Egg, retold by Carole Spray, Pub. Camden House, 1981, ISBN: 0920656072