It’s October and that means Pumpkins everywhere!! Today I am sharing a handful of awesome, engaging, and interactive Pumpkin Activities for the Kindergarten Classroom.
I love this time of year! I always do a unit of apples in September and a unit of pumpkins in October. I enjoy teaching these units, since it is something almost all kindergartners have experience with and it is easy for me to cross curricular. Both of these units are perfect for labeling, informative writing, science experiments, and taste testing! 🙂
Whole Group & Shared Reading: The first thing that I do when introducing my pumpkin unit, is to create a simple KWL anchor chart. (Although, I just do the K and L, for what we already know and what we learned.) I created the one above, in the shape of a pumpkin and used 2 different colors to delineate what we already knew and what we learned. This is a great introduction activity. I also like to use both informational and non-information texts to compliment our units. Here are a few books that I read in my classroom. (Click for Amazon Affiliate Link)
I love to show my students pumpkin videos that I find on YouTube. I also like to use past and current issues and videos from Scholastic Let’s Find Out magazine. So, after our initial kwl anchor chart, a few informational videos and books, we are ready for our hands-on investigation and experience!
I lay out some butcher paper, so I can cut open the pumpkin in front of the students. First, we pass around the pumpkin and my students describe the pumpkin. Then they all get a chance to smell and touch it. Next, we make predictions about what we think is on the inside and how many seeds we think there will be. Next, I cut the top of the pumpkin out and my kiddos are so amazed at what the stem looks like. Usually the stem has some seeds attached to it, as well as fibrous strands, so the kids are ecstatic at what they actually see! Next, I cut the pumpkin in half and open it up. This brings on another wave of oohs and aahhs from the students. I let the students touch the insides and help take out all of the seeds. Most of my students have never had this experience, so they are so excited and amused. After washing our hands, we are ready to discuss the parts of a pumpkin and create our interactive, 3-D pumpkin anchor chart.
I have been making a label the pumpkin anchor chart for years, but I wanted to try something different this year. I decided to make a peek-a-boo pumpkin chart! I made two pumpkins and stapled them together around the edges. I then cut a flap in the middle of the top pumpkin. I also used green butcher paper for the vine and brown for the stem. (I did these steps ahead of time.) When it was time to label the pumpkin together as a class, I had the rest of the materials ready and available to use. I added the ribs with a marker, and scrunched up orange paper, orange yarn, and ‘white pumpkin seeds’ to the inside of the pumpkin. I had pre-made the labels as well, so they were ready too. Then my students took turns labeling the different parts of the pumpkin. This was the BEST EVER interactive anchor chart!
This is an anchor chart from a previous year.
After our pumpkin investigation and labeling our pumpkins, we still have our seeds that we removed from our ‘real’ pumpkin. It’s time to create a pumpkin window and watch/journal our pumpkin seeds growth!
I have a parent volunteer pre-make these fun pumpkin windows! It’s a pumpkin cut out, that has an attached plastic baggie. Each student gets to choose 3 pumpkin seeds and put them into their pumpkin window with a wet paper towel. We then watch and journal the changes that our seeds make. Sometimes the seeds mildew, but most of the time, the seeds end up sprouting and again, the students are so amazed! It’s such a fun project to do and incorporates writing and science investigation. We watch our pumpkin sprouts for about 2-3 weeks and then each student takes their pumpkin sprout home!
Poetry Station: I always like to include a weekly poem and of course, the poem has a pumpkin theme! I just use ones that I have found online, as I haven’t written one myself. Just search for pumpkin poem on Pinterest or TPT and you will find a ton!
Writing Station: I like to have labeled pumpkin pictures along with the pumpkin life cycle posted in this station. I give students the option of writing a pumpkin story or making a list of pumpkin words. (Of course, they have other options too, like handwriting practice and making a list of friends.)
Sensory Bin Station: I changed out my colored rice, for 40 pounds of corn kernels! I purchased it at an animal feed store for $10! Then I added my differentiated pumpkin cards! There are alphabet letter cards, in both capital and lowercase letters, and then cvc picture cards. Each activity has it’s own response sheet. My students who cannot read cvc words will continue to work with the abc cards and my other students can read and color cvc words.
Creation Station: My students get a chance to paint their ‘pumpkin shell’ at this station, which we then label and hang in our room or on our outside bulletin board. (This craft requires 2 paper plates and orange paint.) When it is dry, I staple it together to make a pumpkin shell.
Then on another day, we add a stem, leaves and vines to our pumpkin. We then glue labels or use post it notes to label their pumpkin and add real pumpkin seeds and orange yarn for the fibrous strands.
Love these ideas? You can download these pumpkin activities and response sheets HERE!
Make it a Pumpkin Investigation Day
Are you tired of pumpkins yet?! LOL! I usually do 2 weeks of pumpkins, so I can fit all of these activities and books in. In years past, I have done an entire day of pumpkin investigation and pumpkin tasting. I had parent volunteers come in and run a pumpkin station. Some of the activities included:
Sink or Float
Roll a Pumpkin
Measure & Weigh a Pumpkin
Paint a Pumpkin
Eat a pumpkin! (canned pumpkin, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, etc.)
Yes, you can make learning purposeful, as well as engaging, interactive and fun in kindergarten! We hit so many different standards in this pumpkin unit. Plus, my students have so much fun! I love teaching pumpkins in kindergarten! Do you have any other pumpkin activities that you do in your classroom? Feel free to leave a comment or a link to your blog or social media post in the comments section below!