Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lesson Theme: Pumpkins!

We've spent almost two weeks on a pumpkin theme!  

Here's a picture of a pumpkin patch we made from an egg carton.  We painted the outside orange, colored the bottom brown (for dirt), drew lines on each pumpkin with brown marker, and added a stick stem and pipe cleaner vine for each.  

We then wrote descriptive words about the outside of pumpkins on the outside of the pumpkin patch and descriptive words about the inside of pumpkins on the inside of the carton.

I also wrote some story prompts (each pumpkin related) and placed them inside the carton.  On certain days, Miss A would choose one and complete a story to go along with it.  

Here's a picture of our silly symmetrical pumpkin/jack-o-lantern patch.

To make these, we placed blobs of paint on ONE side of a folded paper near the fold, closed it, rubbed it, and opened it to find a symmetrical pumpkin design inside!  

After the orange part dried, we added black paint to one side (for an eye, part of a mouth and nose), closed it again, and opened it to find a CrAzY looking jack-o-lantern face each time!  :)

We visited a really fun pumpkin patch the first week of our theme, and the kids were allowed to each pick out a pumpkin.  They were quite pleased with said pumpkins which eventually led me to the idea of having a day of pumpkin contests (I picked up a pumpkin for my wonderful husband and I so we could participate as well).  

The contests were great for educational purposes - measurement, weighing, etc.  The results were recorded and the winning pumpkins were each awarded a gold medal/blue ribbon (found a package of winner medals at Walmart in the party section for about $1, and I just switched out the ribbons for blue ones) for each category won! 

If you do this - some other good categories would be number of seeds, cutest, most creatively decorated, best carving, most unique carving, etc.

Speaking of carving... here is what one pumpkin ended up looking like this year!  I saw this first on this site and loved the idea of trying something a little different than a face (last year we made a little house which looked a lot like this without the wheels).  So my daughter and I decided this would be a cute idea and love the way it turned out (by the way, it is balancing on toothpicks stuck underneath).

This was a cute lacing idea I found here.  I decided to trace some pattern blocks onto black paper and let my kiddos practice making different funny faces on their jack-o-lantern plate.  Then they made a final choice and glued it down!

Jack-o-lantern math!  I decided these orange cups needed a face AND a stem!  I wrote number sentences on popsicle sticks (and colored the ends of the sticks a light brown).  The number sentences equal the number on the jack-o-lantern nose.  Then it was up to Miss A to match the number sentence "stem" to the correct jack-o-lantern (popsicle stick "stems" are inserted through a slit I cut in the bottom of the cups)!  

(BTW - the noses can be removed and changed so this activity can be completed more than once with a different set of number sentences.)

More pumpkin math!  Miss A came up with number sentences to equal the number of real pumpkin seeds found in each pumpkin.  

This was a Venn diagram we made.  It would have been neat to use real pumpkins but that could have become expensive so we used pictures instead.  We compared colors - orange, white(ish), and a mix.  :)

This was one of my favorite activities.  We melted orange crayon and poured it on a paper.  Miss A added seeds to make it look like a pumpkin that had SPLAT on the ground.  I added the bottom phrase "and the pumpkin went SPLAT!"  and then Miss A came up with several short stories which could end with that phrase.  

I typed out the stories as she dictated them.  I then printed the stories, cut them into strips and stapled them together.  Finally, I glued the whole thing to the top of the orange splat page so a person looking at it could flip through the stories and see how each one ended the same but the first part was always different.  I guess you could call it a Choose-Your-Own-Beginning story.  ;)

Linking up to:

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  1. Wow! such great idea. I may have to use some of these with my son. It makes learning fun. I love the pumkin patch made with the egg carton. So clever!

  2. So many awesome ideas! Going to pin this so I remember for next year. :)

  3. Your egg carton pumpkin patch is adorable!

  4. Love your spin on the pumpkin lacing activity by using the shapes for the faces. How fun! Thanks for linking back to me. And oh my, what an awesome idea to use the egg carton as the pumpkin patch. I love it!!

  5. You always have such creative ideas with the most GORGEOUS pictures!! I love the pumpkins from the egg carton and the jack o lantern math is genius!!

    Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Have a GREAT weekend,
    Beth =-)

  6. I always love your activities! We are going to do some since next week has been declared pumpkin week here :)

  7. This is a great unit!! Love the math idea:) We are working on our addition facts right now:)

    Just posted on Craft Gossip!!

  8. Great ideas! I no longer teach now that I have two little ones, but I still try to do educational activities like this at home!

    I would LOVE for you to link this up at my Ginger Jamboree Link Party!!

  9. What fun ideas! The carriage is my favorite. I co-host a weekly link party, tip toe thru tuesday. I would love to have you come join, if you have time. Have a great week.

  10. This is a fabulous collection of pumpkin ideas. I am stopping by from Hip Homeschool Moms. Please consider adding this to the home school resource website, "Look! What We Did!" I know that other Moms would benefit from these ideas. -Savannah

  11. Thanks for linking this to Look What We Did. As a gesture of appreciation, and so that I might find this next fall, I have pinned this on my autumn fun board.