Kindergarten and first grade children find pumpkins naturally interesting so it is a great age for a special pumpkin unit with crafts, fun read alouds and more! Here are a few easy pumpkin ideas for kindergarten and first grade that will create a quick but enjoyable learning experience for everyone.
Predicting Pumpkin Weights Activity
Bring in an assortment of pumpkins of various shapes and sizes. Weigh the pumpkin your students think is the “middle-sized” pumpkin. Based on that information, have students predict what the other pumpkins will weigh. The student who makes the best prediction can take one of the pumpkins home!
Reinforce the life cycle of pumpkins with a fun craftivity! It can be printed in black/white and colored or printed in color. The Pumpkin Life Cycle Craftivity is easy to assemble with directions included! This pumpkin life cycle craft is included in my complete Pumpkins Unit or can be purchased separately.
Torn Paper Pumpkin Craft and Bulletin Board
Give each student a small paper plate, orange construction paper and glue. Students tear the paper into ragged edged pieces and then glue them on to the paper plate. When the plate is covered with overlapping orange paper, students can then add a green stem. It is also possible to provide black paper for student to cut out eyes, a nose and a mouth to make their pumpkin a jack-o-lantern. Or use the individual pumpkins for a bulletin board and connect them all with green vines!
Pumpkin Sticker Story
Give each student a sheet of pumpkin stickers. Students write a short story about a pumpkin, using a sticker instead of the word “pumpkin” each time it comes up in the story. Children who aren’t able to write their own story can dictate to an adult.
Picking Apples and Pumpkins by Amy and Richard Hutchings is the story of Kristy, her family and friends as they go on an outing to an orchard and pumpkin patch. Told through beautifully photographed illustrations, the children and adults have a great time picking apples and then selecting pumpkins to bring home. Once they arrive home, they carve the pumpkins and illuminate them with candles.
Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie is part of the National Geographic Kids Picture the Seasons series. Full of great photos, it shows both the life cycle of pumpkins as well as the various ways pumpkins are used such as in food and for Halloween.
Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell follows the outing of a little girl and her parents as they go out to a farm to pick apples and pumpkins. The little girl selects her pumpkin and takes it home to carve it. They light it in celebration of Halloween when the little girl goes out trick or treating with her dad. The book is warmly illustrated and the story is told simply and briefly.
From Seed to Pumpkin (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 1) by Wendy Pfeffer is a great introduction to the science behind pumpkins. Written at a level appropriate for early elementary, the books traces the growth of a pumpkin from the beginning to the harvest. The story focuses on the farmer and three children who help him plant his hundreds of pumpkin seeds. The warm and inviting illustrations are likely to produce a very positive response from young children.
Don’t forget this fun Little House story! In County Fair, Almanzo Wilder competes for the blue ribbon by entering the pumpkin he has carefully grown all summer. This is a great book for tying in a bit of history to your lesson!
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