Pumpkin Day!

We had the perfect fall day for Pumpkin Day! Before school, I set up a little pumpkin patch in the backyard on campus.

When the bell rang, the kindergarten students came into our classroom for a quick lesson on the lifecycle of a pumpkin. All the written activities for the day are included in this fun pumpkin-shaped book.

Then it was out to the patch we went! Each student selected a pumpkin of their choice.

Once we were back inside, we used our five senses to describe our pumpkins.

Next, we broke into groups where the students participated in five pumpkin-themed activities. Here is how I organized our centers:

Students measured the height of their pumpkins using unifix cubes.

They predicted the circumference of their pumpkin, used yarn to measure, and compared their results.

Students listened to several stories about pumpkins using QR codes.  They completed a mystery picture using a hundred chart.

Finally, students practiced rhyming by matching pumpkin pairs.

But, we were not done celebrating all things pumpkin! We completed a survey that answered, “How do you like pumpkin best?” Students in kindergarten like pumpkin bread the best.

We also enjoyed a science experiment where we investigated whether or not a pumpkin would float. Most students thought pumpkins would sink! Even after I placed a pumpkin in water and they took turns watching it bob up and down, many students still did not believe that their pumpkin would float. I gave each student an opportunity to try! They were simply amazed!

We wrapped up Pumpkin Day with a yummy pumpkin muffin treat!

Pumpkin Day!

We made lemonade out of lemons today! Usually, this is the day we take our first field trip of the year to our local pumpkin patch, Lane Farms. With field trips on hold right now, I wanted to make a special day where the kindergarten students still got to visit a pumpkin patch…only the pumpkin patch would be in the backyard of the school! I shared my idea with our class Room Parents, and they offered to deliver a load of pumpkins from which the children could each choose a pumpkin. The next step was for me to create a festive pumpkin patch. Thanks to Pinterest, I was inspired by fall decor and decided to paint some signs and build a pumpkin stand.

I found the instructions to build this stand on Pinterest…it uses two wooden craft crates and several other pieces of wood. My husband and I constructed it in less than 30 minutes…the best part is we added eye hooks to the sign, and now I can switch out the signs quick and easy!

Here is a sneak peek of the pumpkin patch before the students arrived:

And here is a video of the students coming to the patch!

I loved and appreciated how excited they were!

 

So I called today “Pumpkin Day” to create more excitement, and I was sure to plan lots of pumpkin-themed activities! In addition to choosing a very special pumpkin, students also made playdough jack-o-lanterns.

Students were introduced to the concept of estimation. I showed them a mason jar that I had filled with candy pumpkins and asked them to estimate or make a best guess of how many pumpkins were in the jar.

Estimation is SUCH a tricky concept, and often children struggle to take the risk of making a guess for fear that they will be incorrect. I was proud of how these students confidently approached this activity with 100% of them participating! To clearly demonstrate how many pumpkins were in the jar, I turned on my new document camera and, while counting aloud, arranged the pumpkin into columns of 10. This was a perfect extension to our math lesson yesterday, which focused on counting by tens! We soon discovered that the jar was filled with 72 pumpkins! The children were surprised that there were so many!

Students also received a very special pumpkin book today that organized their pumpkin learning!

We learned about adjectives during an activity where we brainstormed words to describe a pumpkin using the letters in the word pumpkin. It was hard work, but we came up with:

P: Pie

U: Umbrella (because the yellow flower looks like an upsidedown umbrella!)

M: Mushy

P: Plump

K: King Size

I: Icing

N: Nice

Another activity was for students to predict how tall their pumpkin is using unifix cubes. This prediction activity supported our pumpkin candy estimation activity as well. Once the students made and recorded their prediction, they took unifix cubes and built a tower, measuring the distance from the bottom of their pumpkin to the tippy top of the stem.

We also took a survey. How do you like to eat pumpkin? was the question I posed. I asked students to first write their answers using the sentence frame, ‘I like…” Then I called them up to the SmartBoard one at a time to record their response. Meanwhile, students recorded the information we collected in their pumpkin books!

We explored the pumpkins using our five senses. Can you guess which sense each group describes?

Finally, students listened to a pumpkin read aloud and then chose four facts to record. Some students chose to record what I had written, while others chose to record their own pumpkin information.

I’d say it was a very successful Pumpkin Day!