Pumpkins are easy to come by during the fall season, making them the perfect fall décor piece. But did you know they are also a perfect teaching tool? Take a look below at 7 science lessons using pumpkins that you can try. Kids will love learning these essential science skills while having fun with pumpkins at the same time. Take a look!
1. From seed to fruit journey.
Examine the journey a pumpkin takes when growing from seed to fruit. Look at various stages of growth online starting at the seed, then the flower, then the small pumpkin, then the large finished pumpkin. Children will enjoy seeing the changes the pumpkin goes through to become the finished product.
2. What makes a pumpkin grow?
Now that children see how a pumpkin grows, find out what elements must be in place for the pumpkin to grow. Talk about what kind of growing conditions the pumpkin needs. This would include discussions about soil, sun, water, fertilizer, pest control, temperature and more. This is a great time to explore these conditions and further discussions about weather and temperature.
3. What animals rely on pumpkins?
Pumpkins become vitamin rich meals for many animals during the colder winter months. Talk about how pumpkins play a role in the survival of these animals. Examples would include cold climate birds, squirrels, and even chipmunks and mice. You can even place pumpkin chunks out in the yard for your furry friends to enjoy.
4. What makes a pumpkin rot?
Once a pumpkin is cut into, it will slowly start decaying. Use this opportunity to talk about what makes items rot and decompose. Notice how the air causes the pumpkin to brown and start breaking down. You can even document the daily changes the pumpkin goes through once cut into.
5. How healthy are pumpkins?
Pumpkins are full of vitamins A and E. Take a moment to research what these vitamins are and how they can help us stay healthy. You can even prepare a pumpkin puree, perfect for using in soups and baked goods. It is a naturally sweet way to add some vitamins to your cooking.
6. Fun with famous pumpkins.
What was the largest pumpkin ever grown? See if you can find the answer. Then, discuss what may have caused the pumpkin to grow so large. What were growing conditions like? Did the grower do anything special? Was a special fertilizer used? Have children talk about what steps they would take to grow the biggest pumpkin ever.
7. What causes a pumpkins color?
Pumpkins come in orange, red, and green. But what causes this color? This is a great question to pose to children and let them search for the answer. What chemical changes cause the pumpkin to become the color it is? This is a great investigation discovery to go on.
Pumpkins make the perfect teaching tool, and now you know how you can use them to teach some fun science skills. Give these 7 science lessons using pumpkins a try!
How fun! I’m totally sharing this with my mother, a 6th grade science teacher. Thanks for sharing!