Pumpkin exploration, pumpkin investigation, or just pumpkin day! Whatever you call it, your students will love these fun, hands on science, reading, writing, and character education activities!
Pumpkin Exploration: Let them get messy!
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First, let your students explore the outside of the pumpkin. This is a great writing activity, and also a great chance to talk about adjectives!
One of the best parts of investigating pumpkins is that it gives students an opportunity to see nature up close and personal! Next, allow your students to check out the inside of the pumpkin. You can have them scoop out the pumpkin guts with their hands or a spoon.
This works well in pairs or small groups, so don’t feel like you need a whole pumpkin for each student.
Here’s another change for students to do some describing! Next, let your students use their senses to describe their pumpkin! You can give them a magnifying glass to examine the guts up close and personal. (Grab this free recording sheet in our Facebook group.)
Pumpkin math is such a great opportunity to do some estimating and measuring! Again, this could be completed in pairs or small groups, or you could work together as a class.
Pumpkin-Cano: Pumpkin Volcano Fun!
The Pumpkin-Cano is ALWAYS a hit with students. This is a little twist on the classic volcano.
Once the guts have been removed from the pumpkin, mix orange gelatin powder and vinegar and pour it inside of your pumpkin. (How much will depend on the size of your pumpkin, but the more gelatin, the more orange the color.)
Next, students add baking soda and watch the chemical reaction!
Just make sure to place the pumpkin on a plate or bowl big enough to contain the eruption (clearly we didn’t).
The Pumpkin Book & Student Mini Book
If your students aren’t already familiar with how pumpkins grow, I highly recommend starting your pumpkin day by reading Gail Gibbons’ The Pumpkin Book. It’s incredibly detailed, and gives students a nice basis of knowledge when it comes to all things pumpkin! I also have a great student mini book companion that they can fill out as you read together.
Pumpkin Life Cycle
You can’t do a pumpkin investigation without talking about the pumpkin life cycle! My one page (that’s right, one page!) pumpkin life cycle craftivity is a great way for students to show what they know, and it is a perfect bulletin board!
Ask students to write about the pumpkin life cycle using the provided writing paper after they’ve completed their craftivity. There are 4 craftivity options, so you can easily differentiate.. They could also write about what they learned during their pumpkin exploration!
Spookley Pumpkin Glyph
If you’ve never read Spookley the Square Pumpkin, it is a must read. It’s a great character education story that students will love! It’s all about how being unique is a good thing! My pumpkin glyph activity is a fun option to go along with this story.
Pumpkin exploration day is always a hit no matter which activities you choose!