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Elementary Teacher Resources, Issue #008 -- Pumpkin Ideas
October 30, 2007

Welcome to
Elementary Teacher Resources

Pumpkin Ideas

It's that time of the year where teachers start dragging in pumpkins to teach. And why not? They are easy to find in most places and are full of amazing things you can teach with them.

Sink or Float

This year we tested 3 different sizes of pumpkins for our sink or float activity.

I took a large, clear bin and filled it with water. I added about 2 drops of blue food coloring so the students could see the water level and easily tell if they pumpkins were sinking or floating.

The question was asked of my kids, "Do you think pumpkins would sink or float? Why?"

Many kids said things like, "Small ones float, big ones sink."

Much to my student's surprise, they all floated! Even the pumpkin that weighted over 10 pounds!

We then discussed that inside pumpkins is air and how air takes up space but didn't create weight.

How many seeds?

This is a fun, smelly, hands-on activity to do with kids. Show them some pumpkins and make predictions on how many seeds they will have inside. Then, cut them open, "de-goop" them and count.

We were shocked to find that with our pumpkins the size didn't really directly affect the number of seeds!

Cooking Seeds

After you have all of the seeds out of the pumpkin, you should cook them and have them for a snack! I soak mine in really salty water for about an hour then drain and bake at 325 degrees until brown and crunchy.

My kids loved them! They store well in an air tight container too.


We took 4 pumpkins and made estimations on how many "links" it would take to get around the pumpkin.

The discussion also included ideas on how some are fat and some are thin... and if that would matter to their circumference.

Most of my kids thought that small pumpkins would all have the same circumference.

After we had our estimations we started to measure the pumpkins. We graphed our data on a sheet.

We were excited to see that two pumpkins were "tied". The kids also noticed that two pumpkins that weighed the same didn't have the same circumference.

Baked Pumpkins

For a yummy snack, we took the cleaned out pumpkins and added some brown sugar, cinnamon, and a pat of butter and baked them.

We baked them for about an hour at 325 degrees or until they are soft like cooked squash.

The pumpkins smelled wonderful and tasted great. I had one little boy that proclaimed, "This is my favorite food EVER!"

Counting with Pumpkin Candy

When trying to teach counting, there's no better tool than food! It's fun, exciting and yummy!

To do this activity, I gave each student a page with 10 circles on it. They had to draw one pumpkin in each circle. The kids then numbered the pumpkins they drew 1 - 10.

We then sang the "Little Pumpkin" song.

One little, two little, three little pumpkins.
Four little, five little, six little pumpkins.
Seven little, eight little, nine little pumpkins.
Ten pumpkins in a row!

We used the pumpkin candy to track our song. We sang it forward and back several times. They kids loved it!

I hope that you have enjoyed this newsletter. Please feel free to email it to friends and family who are teachers!

Also, don't forget to get your copy of my free new teacher handbook! It's full of great tips and tricks to make your year go great.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

See you next month!

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