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It's almost October.... the pumpkins are coming!  Last year my K-1 students had a great time exploring pumpkins during the month of October. There are so many fun and interactive things you can do with pumpkins. I'm going to share some activities, videos, books, freebies, tips and other resources for your pumpkin exploration. 

Being able to incorporate some pumpkin books into this unit was a lot of fun for the kids and I. I'll list some of my favorite books with each topic below or, you can check out this idea list with all kinds of pumpkin books!

Check out some great books to pair with your pumpkin unit here!

Please note, this blog post may contain affiliate links. That means I can receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you purchase from one of the items linked. Affiliate links allow me to keep blogging and providing free resources! You can read more about this at the end of my post


First, students were given their own book to record what they learned  from the pumpkin exploration. I gave them some time to decorate the covers to personalize them a little. 

Keep reading to grab the book cover and pumpkin template for FREE!


While students color, you can show this video. It's a fun video that has a lot of information about pumpkins. 



Describing the Pumpkin:
To teach about the parts of the pumpkin, inside and out, I grabbed a pumpkin from our local flea market so students could see, feel, and learn about the pumpkin in a hands-on way. 




We passed around the pumpkin and took turns describing it. After this, students colored in the pumpkin page in their exploration book. 



After this, I cut the pumpkin open. Students were able to see and even feel the inside of the pumpkin. Then, they added this page to their pumpkin book. The kids were even able to add real pumpkin seeds and yellow yarn for the fibrous strands. 







To help students feel like real scientists, you can give them a small magnifying glass while they make observations about the pumpkins.




Labeling the Parts of the Pumpkin:
To take describing the pumpkin one step further, we learned some new words to describe it.


We passed around the pumpkin and took turns describing it. The beginning of the video below talks about some of the parts of the pumpkin. It includes a lot more information that you can use throughout your exploration so be sure to save this one! :) 






Then, we labeled the outside together. To do this, I drew a pumpkin on a piece of chart paper. I wrote the parts we needed to label on sticky notes. Students came up and labeled the parts of the pumpkin. This was a super simple and interactive way to review this!




After labeling the outside, we did the inside. 



Again, after we did this whole group activity, students labeled the pumpkins in their books. 






Life-Cycle:

To start off, I read a book from Scholastic about the life-cycle of a pumpkin



Below is a great kid-friendly video about the pumpkin life-cycle from Scholastic. I showed this to students when learning about the life-cycle. 


I used a few wonderful freebies from some amazing TpT sellers to help me teach this concept.
  • I used these free vocabulary cards from KinderCounts1 to preteach some of the vocabulary words. 
  • I printed and laminated pages 5-6 from this free resource from MsFultzsCorner on TpT. I added Velcro so students could put the steps in order together. She also has printable pages for your students to cut and glue on their own. 

After learning about the life-cycle, students were able to put the events in order in their pumpkin books.



Picking the Perfect Pumpkin:
To extend this activity in students' pumpkin exploration books, we read a book about a pumpkin patch and did a sorting activity. The sort focused on picking the right pumpkin. Students sorted if the pumpkins were ready to pick or not. 





Splat the Cat also takes a trip to the pumpkin patch. See it here.




Growing a Pumpkin:
Another book that students really enjoyed was, How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow? by Wendell Minor. This is a fun book about a giant pumpkin contest.



Along with this book, I found a fun video about the science of fall. If you skip ahead to 7:11 in the video it will teach about pumpkins. If you go ahead to 8:30 it will show some huge pumpkins and talk about contests to grow pumpkins, just like in the book!

Skip ahead to 7:11 in the video to get to the pumpkins. :)

After talking about growing a pumpkin, students were able to sequence the steps to grow a pumpkin in their books.


Eating Pumpkins:
Using the video above, The Science of Fall, we talked about how pumpkins are fruit and that they can be eaten. Then, we completed this sorting activity for some fun! Along with this, you can also roast pumpkin seeds for students to try. You can make this a class activity to prepare them after you open up the pumpkin or bring some in!



Getting Creative:

I included an activity where students can either design their own Jack-O-Lantern or color and design a pumpkin. If you do not use Halloween themed things, you will probably want to use the option where students can color on the pumpkin. 

I liked having this activity for early finishers. If a student finished one of the previous activities early, they could color and design their pumpkin. 




If you don't want to create book, you can grab this fun craft kid on Amazon where students can design their own pumpkin. 




If your students bring in pumpkins, you can have them add these fun foam pieces so you don't have to worry about carving. 




Grab a Freebie:

If you want to create your own pumpkin books, you can grab the FREE cover and pumpkin template for the book by clicking the image below. 




If you want to check out my Pumpkin Exploration Books, you can grab them by clicking here. They have all of the printables to add to the books!





More Pumpkin Fun:








Happy teaching!



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