Lower Group: Pumpkins

In the autumn when school begins is a perfect time to learn about pumpkins in the Lower Group. We begin with a field trip to Smith Family Farm to pick pumpkins, and other fruits and vegetables and have a rip-roaring good time. We return to school with our wonderful pumpkins, photos, and memories. A collage of all our favorite photos from the trip helps keep our memories fresh and vivid. Back in the classroom we talk about, write about, read about, and draw pumpkins. We live and breathe pumpkins. We discuss each other's pumpkins, as well as the different types of pumpkins. Our classroom has examples of different kinds of real pumpkins in abundance for us to hold and smell, look at and thump. Stories and nonfiction books about pumpkins fill our reading time. We study pumpkins scientifically, comparing them to other fruits and vegetables, clarifying the difference between fruits and vegetables, and learning how to tell them apart. In our pumpkin experiments we see which fruits and vegetables float or sink. We make predictions, test our predictions, keep check sheets, and make journal entries about our observations. We weigh and measure pumpkins. Children compare the size of their pumpkins with their heads, generating comparison statements using concepts like bigger, smaller, shorter, and taller. There is lots of messy fun to be had when we craft our own art pumpkins from newspaper, paper bags, and paint. Our pumpkin unit culminates at the school-wide Pumpkin Carving Festival where families carve pumpkins together, sing, listen to stories, and enjoy soul cake. When our unit is complete, children take home a big Pumpkin Book full of their words, charts, graphs, drawings, and photos about pumpkins.