Friday, October 07, 2011

Pumpkin Activities

Every October I do some activities with the class using pumpkins. The activities cover various math and science skills, including estimation, measurement, predicting, experimenting, and the growth cycle of a pumpkin.

I start by asking the class how they think a pumpkin grows: on a bush, under the ground, on a vine, or in a tree. I post their thoughts on a chart. This year the results were fairly split:

Then we headed to a pumpkin patch to find out for ourselves! As we took a wagon ride through the pumpkin patch, we looked closely at the pumpkins to see how they grow. No pumpkin trees in sight!

 The tour guide showed us the flowers, vines, and how the pumpkins change and grow. She also gave us a class pumpkin to take back to school.

On the next day of school, I carried the very large and heavy pumpkin to the carpet and set it down. I asked my students what they thought would happen to the pumpkin if we put it in our large classroom sink--will the pumpkin sink or float in the water?

Again, the results were mixed, but most were convinced the heavy pumpkin would sink:

So, I carried the big and heavy pumpkin to our large classroom sink.
And...it didn't fit!

I explained to my students that it would actually float in the water.
But they didn't believe me! They thought it was too heavy. So I explained that big boats are heavy and they float on the water...which led to a student reminding me about the Titanic.

So the next school day I brought my students into the school's kitchen {where the sinks are wider} and we tried the experiment again. This put an end to their doubts.

Then we headed back to class to talk about the height of our class pumpkin. Using this chart, I asked them how many Unifix cubes high they think our pumpkin is.




I wrote down each student's estimate on the chart.

Then we stacked the Unifix cubes to find out its actual height. We discovered that our pumpkin is 18 cubes tall.




2 comments:

Anna said...

Great blog! That's hilarious that it didn't actually fit! I miss having a child in SK. Few more years!

sunnymum said...

Great ideas! Thanks for sharing.

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