Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments
hay, pumpkin filling, pumpkin pie, pumpkin seeds, pumpkins, pumpkin bars, pumpkin biscuits, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cakes, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie
Possible Vocabulary for this unit include but are not limited to:
blossom, carve, cavity, choose, crop, decoration, farmer, festival, flower, Halloween, hay, hayride, jack-o-lantern, leaves, orange, patch, pie, pulp, pumpkin, rib, round, row, seed, shell, shell, smooth, squash, strand, tendril, vine, wagon, yellow
Possible web categories include:
- Parts of a pumpkin
- Things to do at a pumpkin farm
- Foods to make from pumpkins
Literature Related to Pumpkins...
Apples and Pumpkins - Anne Rockwell
Five Little Pumpkins - Iris Van Rynbach
It's Pumpkin Time - Zoe Hall
Picking Apples & Pumpkins - Hutchings
Pumpkin Pumpkin - Jeanne Titherington
The Biggest Pumpkin Ever - Steven Kroll
The Pumpkin Book - Gail Gibbons
The Pumpkin Fair - E. Bunting
The Pumpkin Patch - Elizabeth King
Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater
5 Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate
Brochures from area farms about pumpkin patches
At the end of the unit, place extra jack-o-lanterns outdoors. Encourage students to check the pumpkins daily to observe what insects or animals are in or around it and observe the stages of decay.
Where pumpkins grow
Explain how the characteristics of different physical environments determine what plants can be grown there. Research what areas of the state or country produce the most pumpkins. Identify ways farmers meet our need for food.
Classify and/or sort a variety of pumpkins by physical properties (size, color, weight, texture)
Discuss careers related to unit – farmers .Discuss how farming is one type of job. Ask if the job provides a good or a service. Discuss how farmers sell their pumpkins at the farm, but also sell to grocery stores. Discuss how farming, like other jobs takes special training..
- The pumpkin is really a squash. It is a member of the Cucurbita family which includes squash and cucumbers.
- Six of the seven continents can grow pumpkins. Antarctica is the only continent that they won't grow in.
- The tradition of carving pumpkins actually started with the carving of turnips. When the Irish immigrated to the U.S., they found pumpkins a plenty and they were much easier to carve for their ancient holiday.
- Pumpkins contain potassium and Vitamin A.
- Pumpkin flowers are edible.
- In early colonial times, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling.
- The Connecticut field variety is the traditional American pumpkin.
- Pumpkins are 90% water.
- 80% of the pumpkin supply in the US is available in October.
- Native Americans flattened strips of pumpkins, dried them and made mats.
- Many people enjoy carving pumpkins. Carvings range from simple carved faces to detailed works of art.
Discuss different parts of a pumpkin
Discuss how pumpkins are a symbol of fall and can be seen everywhere during the fall season.
- Tendril During growing season, tendrils on the vine are green. They twist around objects on the ground in order to help anchor the vine and protect it from the wind. After harvesting, there are sometimes dried, brown tendrils on the stem.
- Leaves The leaves absorb energy from the sun for plant and fruit growth.
- Shell Both skin and pulp of the fruit. The skin is the thin, shiny, orange outer layer of a pumpkin is called the skin or the rind. It is a protective layer to keep insects and disease out of the fruit. It is not edible. The pulp is also called the meat. This is the yummy part of the pumpkin that you can cook with.
- Ribs The indented ridges are on the outside of pumpkin running from the top to the bottom.
- Cavity The cavity is the inside of a pumpkin.
- Blossom When the fruit is very young, a flower blossom is at the end of the fruit.
- Fibrous Strands The slimy, mushy, mass of strings and seeds. This includes guts, goop, goo, and slime!
- Seeds The beginning of next years pumpkins.
Discuss that food comes from places other than a grocery store. Discuss that pumpkins grow on a vine. (provide a pumpkin that still has a vine attached) Show how some pumpkins are big and others are small; some are smooth while others are bumpy; some grow tall, others grow round. Discuss what all plants need to grow. Explore different parts of the pumpkin by opening it up. Discuss what kinds of foods can be made from pumpkins (Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, etc.) Encourage students to hollow out a pumpkin. Study seeds and inside of pumpkins under a CCTV or with magnifying glasses. Have the students study the pulp and seeds. Discuss tools needed to carve a pumpkin.
If your school permits field trips, arrange to take the students on a field trip to a local pumpkin patch, hay ride and corn maze. Call ahead to make arrangements for your class alerting staff to unique needs of students. Arrange for a hay ride. During the ride describe surroundings and discuss a wagon as a form of transportation. Assist students in navigating there way through the corn maze or pumpkin patch. Incorporate concepts such as right/left/forward, over.
If you are unable to go on field trips, call around to different pumpkin farms to determine if any farmers would be willing to donate any pumpkins or hay to help create your own "mini maze" or pumpkin patch. Or the PTA may be willing to set up a pumpkin patch to raise money for the school.
Visit from Farmer
While farmers are discussing their jobs, encourage students to listen for information and obtain information from them. Encourage them to display courtesy and respect during the presentation.
Pumpkin Writing Activities
Prompt the student to write about the trip to the pumpkin patch or about what it felt like to clean out the pumpkin. Dictate and summarize for those who need additional support.
Pumpkin Patch Book
Assist the student in putting a together a tactual book on how a pumpkin grows from a seed to a pumpkin.
Pumpkin Math Activities
Present students with pumpkin shaped containers (these can typically be found at Dollar Stores or Walmart) that are labeled in print/braille with numbers 1 to 10 or more if able. Add tactual dots for students who need additional support. Have the students place the corresponding number of seeds in the numbered containers. Have the students arrange the containers in numeric order.
Sequence Pumpkins on a Vine
Create a pumpkin sequence activity on a poster board. Begin by create a tactual vine using yarn or twine. Glue it to the board with loops just as a real vine would have loops, twists and turns. Attach Velcro dots evenly along the vine. Provide students with die cut pumpkins that are numbered. Add tactual dots if students need additional help. Encourage students to sequence the pumpkins from 1 to 10 along the vine.
Provide the students with pumpkin products and encourage the students to taste each item. BE AWARE OF ANY ALLERGIES & SUBSTITUTE ACCORDINGLY!! Complete a chart depicting each item. Have students identify which items they liked and place a smile (or other indicator) on the chart. Engage the students in a discussion about the different tastes and textures. (salty, sour, sweet, bland, crunchy, soft, etc.) Discuss how results may vary if other classes or family members completed the graph. Encourage the students to read the completed graph and develop a summary sheet. What was the most popular item? What was the least popular?
Possible products include pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin seeds.
Pumpkin Seed Graph
Ask students how many pumpkin seeds they think there will be in one pumpkin. Have students pull out seeds and pulp; separate the seeds from the pulp and count the seeds. Students work as a group to create a chart showing the results. For larger classes, divide the class into small groups and provide each group with a pumpkin. Compare and contrast results.