Teacher Resources, Lesson Plans, and Classroom Management Tips

Pumpkin Unit

Pumpkin Unit


Getting Started

Pumpkin Unit Family Letter: Before beginning our pumpkin unit, I send out a note to parents telling them about our pumpkin unit. I also send out a note asking for small pumpkins to be sent into school. We use these pumpkins to do many activities throughout the unit. We use them for sorting, sequencing, measuring, etc. Click below to download a printable version of our pumpkin unit letter and the pumpkin request note.

Literacy Activities

Painted Pumpkin Patch: (This activity is better accomplished in small groups.) For materials, you will need one large white sheet of construction paper for each student, yellow tempera paint, and red tempera paint. To add stems and vines to the pumpkins you will need one small green rectangular piece of construction paper and a half of a green pipe cleaner (you can also use green curling ribbon). Tell the children to mix the red and yellow paint to make orange pumpkins. Let the pumpkins dry and have the children cut them out. Have the children cut a stem from green construction paper and glue it on the pumpkin. Next, give the students a half piece of green pipe cleaner which will be the curly vine. I teach them how to make a coil shape by wrapping it around a finger. While they are making the coil, I go around and poke a hole in the stem. When the children are finished with the curly vine, show them how to attach it to the stem by putting it through the hole and bending the edge so it won't fall out (they may need some help :o). Tadah - You have beautiful, unique, kid-made pumpkins!

painting pumpkins
The children mix red and yellow paint to make pumpkins on a
large blank sheet of white construction paper. When the pumpkins are dry,
the children cut them out.
painted pumpkin patch
This is our diverse Pumpkin Patch. I love to see the uniqueness each child's artwork.

Pumpkin Bookmark/Puppet: Click below to download a printable pumpkin bookmark/puppet.

Pumpkin Bookmark

Pumpkin Museum: Find a corner of the classroom or empty table top to set up a pumpkin museum. Allow students to bring in pumpkin paraphernalia from home and display it proudly in the classroom. So much fun!

Five Little Pumpkins Art Project: To go along with the Five Little Pumpkins Poem, we do a modified TLC Art project. View the pictures to see what our art project looks like. These projects usually give a good picture of which students need additional help with fine motor skills and which students do not have have a well developed visual spatial ability. Click below to download the poem that goes with this project.

five little pumpkins project
This student wanted to have curly vines on some of his pumpkins instead of straight ones. :o)
five little pumpkins art

Songs and Poems

Pick a Pumpkin
(Tune: "London Bridge")
(from Mailbox Magazine)

Pick a pumpkin from the vine,
Pumpkin round, pumpkin fine.
Pick a pumpkin from the vine.
Let's pick pumpkins!

Pick a pumpkin from the vine.
You pick yours; I'll pick mine.
Pick a pumpkin from the vine.
Let's pick pumpkins!

Math and Science Activities

Pumpkin Ordering: Reproduce a set of different sized pumpkins. The students will practice putting the pumpkins in order from biggest to smallest or smallest to biggest. You can also write numerals or ordinal numbers on the pumpkins to practice additional skills.

Ordering Centers

Pumpkin Matching: Reproduce 2 sets of matching jack o lanterns. Glue one set of pumpkins to a folder and laminate folder and extra pieces. Use the extra pieces to match to the folder game.

Matching Centers

Pumpkin Counting Game: Use small treat pumpkins to make this simple counting game. Write the numbers 1-10 on the back of the treat pumpkins. Students will place popsicle sticks in each pumpkin to represent the number it is labeled with.

Counting to ten

Pumpkin Cycle Sequencing: Click below to print a pop-up life cycle activity from A to Z Teacher Stuff. I love this activity and do it every year! We make it into a book and the kids love the fact that it's a "pop-up" book. There is also a set of printable sequencing cards below from KizClub.

pumpkin sequencing

Pumpkin Science Observations: We use a recording sheet to record observations about our class pumpkin. The children draw a picture of our pumpkin from the outside, draw a picture of what they think we will see inside, and estimate how many seeds they think will be inside. After making our estimation and guesses, we cut the pumpkin open and look inside. The children record what they see and glue pumpkin seeds onto their paper. I allow each child to take a handful of seeds and put them on a paper plate. Each child counts their seeds and writes the number on a post it note. They put the post it note on the whiteboard and we add up the numbers to find out how many seeds were inside. Click below to download the a printable pumpkin observation sheet.

pumpkin science unit

Pumpkin Cycle Patch: After reading the story, The Pumpkin Circle, we decided to "recycle" a pumpkin and grow another. This a great and easy project to do but it will take a few months to grow a new pumpkin. You will need a miniature pumpkin, a carving knife, potting soil or compost, and a growing container with drain holes. Miniature pumpkins last a very long time, so you will have to cut it open for it to begin decomposing. When you cut open the pumpkin, you may want to take a few seed out and plant them to ensure that you have growth. Pumpkin sprouts will grow very fast and soon after, it will grow curly vines and flowers. If you are growing inside your classroom, you will have to "mate" your flowers by sticking them together.

IMPORTANT: If you decide to do this in your classroom, use a miniature pumpkin to avoid an awful stench. We learned this the hard way - we left our pumpkin for the weekend and came back on a Monday to a horrible smelling kindergarten building (neighbors weren't happy :o).

pumpkin garden
We voted and named our pumpkin Stephanie. You can see two sprouts.


Pumpkin Milk Shakes: This recipe is modified from an original recipe out of Mailbox Magazine. Put all ingredients into a blender (except for mellowcreme pumpkins) and blend together. For a class of 20, you will need:

  • 1 can of pumpkin
  • 1 pink of skim milk
  • 3/4 gallon of vanilla frozen yogurt
  • 1 mellowcreme pumpkin for each child

Upside-Down Pumpkin Pie: This recipe is also from Mailbox Magazine. Add 1/3 cup of vanilla pudding to a cup. Stir in a spoonful of pumpkin and add graham cracker crumbs to the top. For each child you will need:

  • 1/3 cup of vanilla pudding
  • 1 spoonful of pumpkin (one can for class)
  • crushed graham cracker crumbs

Pumpkin Toast: This is an easy snack for kids to make. I use this snack as a center during our pumpkin unit. The children spread pumpkin on a pumpkin shaped piece of bread. They add a candy corn for a nose, raisins for eyes, and cereal for the mouth. For each child you will need:

  • 1 pumpkin shaped bread (made by cutting bread with a cookie cutter)
  • pumpkin topping or cream cheese with orange food coloring
  • round cereal
  • raisins
  • candy corn

Pumpkin Popsicles: In small 3 ounce bathroom cups, add 3 tablespoons of vanilla pudding, one teaspoon of canned pumpkin, and a dash of pumpkin spice. Stir together, add a stick, and freeze. When frozen, peel the cup off and eat!

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