Home >> A Earlychildhood >> Newsletters >> Early Childhood Newsletter Archive: Volume 1 Issue 2

Search form


Home > Early Childhood Newsletter Archives > Early Childhood Newsletter



Volume 1 Issue 2
September 30, 2003


Pumpkins -- The Fruit of the Month!

WELCOME! to Education World's Early Childhood Newsletter. Each month, I'll share some ideas on a familiar teaching theme. Hopefully you will find a new activity idea or two -- or a new twist on one of your old favorites! Since I know you are very busy, I'll be short and sweet -- like most of activities I suggest.

Tell a friend about us! Invite them to sign up for their own FREE subscription at /newsletter_form

The Early Childhood Education Newsletter is brought to you by The Education World DVD Store.

Choose from hundreds of educational DVDs with free, downloadable Learning Guides. Each Learning Guide contains Discussion Questions, Lessons, and Learning Resources to save you TIME and MONEY.

There are never any late fees and no commitments. Simply make your DVD rental selections on-line and in 2 to 4 days your rentals will arrive by 1st class mail. Keep the DVDs as long as you like. To return them, place the DVDs in the self-addressed, prepaid envelope and drop them in the mail. Join today! /


Pumpkins are everywhere this month -- on farm stands, in grocery stores, at flea markets, and on front porches. In classrooms too! And while we all know about visits to pumpkin farms, guest pumpkin carvers, and the mess rotting jack-o-lanterns can make, we often forget that this orange October icon can provide more than a month's worth of activities. We can weigh, measure, paint, trace, count, describe, feel, cut, cook, and carve pumpkins -- and that's just the beginning!


Background for Teachers
Did you know that...?
* Pumpkins are fruits (the edible reproductive body of a seed plant; the ripened ovary of a seed plant and its contents).
* Pumpkins are indigenous (originating in and occurring naturally in a particular region or environment) to the Americas.

Build vocabulary
Collect pumpkins all month long.
* Create a pumpkin display where children can easily observe and touch them.
* Display pumpkins in a variety of sizes, shapes, weights, and a range of colors.
* Involve parents by having each child contribute a pumpkin to the display. Ask parents to talk with their children about the pumpkins, listing words that describe their pumpkins. Children can share their word lists with the class.
* Combine word lists into a master list on chart paper. Add to the list as the month proceeds and refer to it whenever "pumpkin talk" occurs.

Wax Poetic
Write "pumpkin" vertically on chart paper. Ask children for two or three words describing pumpkins that begin with each letter of the word p-u-m-p-k-i-n. You have a poem!

Sort and classify
When you have a good collection of pumpkins, children can sort them into two groups by similarities and see if classmates can figure out the sorting scheme. (Are they sorted by big and small? Stems and no stems? Smooth surface and bumpy surfaces? Flat spots and no flat spots? The sorting opportunities are endless!)

Order by Size
Using 5 or 10 pumpkins, children can set a timer to see how fast they can arrange the pumpkins in order from largest to smallest. Record the times and create a graph from the results. (You can make this easy or difficult by your selection of pumpkins.)

Organize a collection of pumpkins of different sizes. Then...
* Working in teams, children can wrap string around the widest part of each pumpkin and cut it to the length of the pumpkin's circumference.
* Set children on a classroom quest to find one object shorter than their string, and one object longer than their string.
* Arrange the strings in order of length.
* Measure the strings with a ruler, yardstick, or measuring tape.

Count Seeds
Cut open one pumpkin each week and count the number of seeds. You might photograph each pumpkin (with an item beside it to show the size) for a scrapbook. Record the number of seeds found in each pumpkin.

Get Creative
Invite students to "Just Imagine." How would they make...
a pumpkin chair?
a pumpkin bed?
a pumpkin house?
a pumpkin desk?
a pumpkin car or SUV?
a pumpkin _____?

Pumpkin Life Cycle
Learn about the life cycle of a pumpkin by reading aloud Pumpkin, Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington.

Read a Classic
Mousekin's Golden House by Edna Miller, difficult to find, is a heart-warming story about a mouse taking shelter in a discarded and decomposing jack-o-lantern as winter approaches. (If you have this book, don't lose it. It is a classic and has become quite valuable!)


Looking for some great online resources for pumpkin fun?

101 Things to Do With a Pumpkin
Recipes, carving ideas, facts, pumpkin boats, decorating tips, clip art, centerpieces, pumpkin history, pumpkin costumes, and even more!

Pumpkin Nook
See a photo of a 1458-pound pumpkin! Find tips for growing giant pumpkins