Pumpkin Week!

Monday, November 3, 2014

From apples to.... PUMPKINS!  October is my favorite month of the year, who doesn't love filling their house and classroom (okay, and mouth, too! hello, PSLs from Starbucks!) with the beautiful orange pumpkins and decorative squash.  Here is a look at some of what went on in KK during our two week pumpkin theme...

We kicked off our theme study with a trip to the local pumpkin patch on Wednesday.  After one rainy tractor ride and a walk through the corn maze we each picked out a pumpkin.  For the next two days, we explored the OUTSIDE of our pumpkins...

On Thursday and Friday, we talked about the ribs of a pumpkin and estimated how many ribs we thought our pumpkin had.  We also used unifix cubes to estimate the height of our pumpkin.  Lastly, we weighed our pumpkin using a good old fashioned food scale.   

Using the precious, time-honored book, Pumpkin, Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington we discussed the lifecycle of the pumpkin and did a little hands on craftivity to accompany the book.  Get those kinder fingers cutting!

{seed, sprout, plant, flower, pumpkin, ripe pumpkin}

Sprinkled though out this month we enjoyed playing my Pumpkin Hangman.  A fun way to integrate our letter study curriculum.  The students have to tell me the sound their letter makes before I can put it up.  Each incorrect guess we put up a piece of the pumpkin {1st wrong guess= pumpkin, 2nd wrong guess= piece of the face and so on and so forth}.

 I laminate all pieces and then add velcro so it can be used again and again.  I've had this particular game for the past 3 years! 

The kiddos love to mix it up and pick out their difference faces for the pumpkin.  

We also integrated our pumpkin theme into our math lessons.  I put out Pumpkin BUMPkin  and ROLL a PUMPKIN as math centers for the little ones to enjoy.  They loved them so much they wanted to play them during morning work! 

Next up was exploring the INSIDE of our pumpkins..

We carved our little guy; well, I attempted to carve.  I forgot how hard this was after about 15 years! 

 We examined the "guts" and talked about the pumpkin parts using the above diagram.  Next,  we read the book How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin by Margaret McNamara and made our own guesses. 

 We had everything from 21 to a billion.  We invited our second grade neighbors over to count the number of seeds in each pumpkin.  They were working on skip counting so my littles were in charge of scooping  out the guts and seeds then putting the seeds into piles of 2s, 5s, or 10s.  Perfect counting practice!  

The grand total was 534! 

This picture was taken AFTER a 20 minute cleanup.  My room was a DISASTER and smelled like raw pumpkin for about 48 hours ! 

Lastly, we got to my favorite part of this whole theme... COOKING AND EATING the pumpkins!


Scraping out the insides and roasting the pumpkin (350 degrees for 40 minutes flesh side down and skin on top). 

And..... drumroll please.... 

There wasn't a single crumb left.  It was so delicious!

Boil for 10 minutes in salt water (prevents inner seed burning and makes them crispier), dry then massage with salt and olive oil and toast at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  We have been snacking on these all week! 

When we were finished we all made a five little pumpkins poem book.  They loved being authors for the first time! 

As a grand finale we ended our pumpkin unit by completing the pumpkin life cycle.  In conjunction with the STUNNING book Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell  we brought our pumpkin out to our school's Seed to Table garden and planted him.  My littles can't wait to take next years crop of kindergarteners to pick the pumpkins that will grow.  

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