Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pumpkin Unit Science Activities

This year we were fortunate to grow pumpkins in our backyard. It was wonderful for the boys to watch small seeds grow to large pumpkins. Plus, our front porch looks gorgeous this year with all of our homegrown pumpkins. We've read about the life cycle of a pumpkin in two of our favorite fall books, "From Seed to Pumpkin" by Wendy Pfeffer and "Pumpkin, Pumpkin" by Jeanne Titherington. It was fun to finally see that process in real life. After observing our pumpkins and reading about the life cycle of a pumpkin, we created a pumpkin life cycle craft. This was a part of our pumpkin unit.

pumpkin unit, life cycle craft

Pumpkin Unit: Science Activities

Read "From Seed to Pumpkin" by Wendy Pfeffer

From Seed to Pumpkin, pumpkin unit
From Seed to Pumpkin is a informational text about the life cycle of a pumpkin. It can be found in the Common Core State Standards Exemplar Texts. The book follows the life of pumpkins on one farm. Simple text and clear illustrations help explain basic concepts about plants.

Read "Pumpkin, Pumpkin" by Jeanne Titherington

Pumpkin Pumpkin, pumpkin unit
Pumpkin, pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington is the story of a young boy, Jamie, who plants a pumpkin seed and observes the lifecycle of a pumpkin. Children can relate well to Jamie as he watches his plant change and grow with hopes of having a pumpkin that is big enough for a jack-o-lantern.

Pumpkin Life cycle Craft

1. Begin the lesson by having students paint a paper plate with orange paint.
2. After students make the pumpkin, determine background knowledge by asking students, “How do pumpkins grow?”
3. Read the book, “From Seed to Pumpkin” by Wendy Pfeffer.
4. Introduce the life cycle of a pumpkin to students. Review the life cycle and utilize vocabulary for each stage. (seed, sprout, vine, flower, pumpkin, ripe pumpkin).
5. Check student’s comprehension of the lesson by having the students pictures of the life cycle in the correct order.
6. Have students explain the sequence of a pumpkin life cycle and then glue pictures in the correct sequence around the outside of the pumpkin.
7. Allow student to create jack-o-lantern faces for the pumpkin.

pumpkin unit, life cycle craft

If you would like a pre-made set for this lesson, you can get it in my Pumpkin unit in my teachers pay teachers store.

Pumpkin Sequencing Activity

We also read the book "Pumpkin, pumpkin". I created some story retelling cards in my pumpkin unit to review the life cycle of a pumpkin as well as practice sequencing a story. This is a great way to focus on beginning, middle, and end of a story.
Provide printed story retelling strips. Work with the child to read the descriptions and have the child sequence the cards.
Cut the strips apart. Give the child just the picture cards. Have the child tell the story using the picture cards
pumpkin unit, sequencing

A pumpkin unit can be a fun way to explore the science concept of life cycles. Exploring life cycles leads to a natural discussion of sequencing. Thematic learning is sure to occur when you explore pumpkins. Plus, your kids will be really happy to do the exploring!

You can find more ideas on my Pinterest boards
You can also find me busily pinning on Pinterest, tweeting on twitter, and chatting about the best Children’s literature on facebook and Google+.



  1. I think it's awesome that you have your own homegrown pumpkins, and these activities are wonderful complement to looking, touching and tasting :)

  2. I love the pumpkin life cycle ideas!

  3. Our kids loved watching our pumpkins grow in our garden this year. However my husband decided to cut a few life cycles short when they were overtaking the rest of the garden :) Thanks for sharing at After School!

  4. Hi Jackie. I love how you incorporated your lessons with printables. Your boys must have really enjoyed watching them grow. So many wonderful lessons too. Thank you for sharing on our page.