Friday, October 25, 2013

Pumpkin exploration

Because it is getting close to Halloween and Autumn is in the air, pumpkins are all around us.  The children have seen them in the environment at the store, at the orchard, and even on our shirts!  What exactly are pumpkins?  Where do they come from?  They are a part of our lives, so it is a great opportunity to really think about them.
I started off by reading a book that, in simple pictures, showcased how pumpkins grow from seeds.  We discussed that book often and referenced that throughout the week.  We then spent time just observing the pumpkin.  What does it look like?  How is it shaped?  What colors?  How does it feel?  We drew our thoughts.

"The pumpkin feels cold.  You crack it and take a bite."
"It's smooth and the stem feels hard."

We then opened the pumpkins.  Some children had previous experience with pumpkins and they were familiar with them.  Others, this was their first experience seeing the inside.  

"It feels like Juice!"
"It's sticky, it's wet, I'm feeling it."
"It smells bad, it sounds like a drum."
"It's full of stuff.  It's wet inside.  I'm scooping.  We are going to make apple pie."
"Both the inside and the outside are cold."

After spending time collecting the seeds, I got a chance to cook them.  I took pictures of my process for those who were not there that day.  We referred back to those pictures as we talked about how I cooked them.  Introducing new foods is always tricky, so I made sure to keep it exciting.  We tried the seeds together and talked about how they crunched.  

Hopefully your children  have been telling you about the seeds and how delicious they are!