I did this activity with my first graders when I was a teacher and it was so much fun. The idea is for the kids to go through the 5 steps of the scientific method. I made papers for each of them with what they thought they would find and then a space for what they actually did find. Setting up centers before hand works best Some of the questions I asked were:
1. Will your pumpkin sink or float? try cucumbers, gourds and other veggies too!
2. How much does your pumpkin weigh?
3. How many seeds are in your pumpkin?
4.What is the circumference of your pumpkin? You can measure with a measuring tape or string and ruler if you don't have a bendable tape
To get an accurate weight I always had my first graders weigh themselves and then hold the pumpkin and weigh again. Then they made a math problem out of it. for younger kids just placing the pumpkin on and reading the scale is great learning opportunity. After they have measured, weighed, and water tested the pumpkin, we measure and cut the top off to count seeds. I also asked my boys how it felt and what they thought about it. I got gushy, and icky right away, then we had a lot of fun adding synonyms to those as well. To probe them a little more I asked them:
Is it hot or cold?
wet or dry?
what color is it?
We then designed our pumpkins on paper before carving them into Halloween jack'o'lanterns!
They did prove themselves wrong with a couple of the questions last year and I am wondering if they will remember this year what they found last year. I will add the boys answers once we do the scientist part with our pumpkins. Below I have added some pictures of our trip to the pumpkin patch and our pumpkin design night!
We decided to skip the carny celebrations with rides and bounce houses and take the boys to a real farm where we could pick our own pumpkins straight from the vine this year. We were worried they would really miss the rides and bounce houses but so far it hasn't even come up and they had so much fun playing in the hay, riding the hay ride and picking veggies.
Have I mention this kid wants to fly when he grows up...
He wasn't quite finished here, he added more to the mouth. Tukker wanted him to be saying "aaaaaaa!!" It was really fun to create the pumpkin that he designed!!