Pumpkin Life Cycle Lesson Plans
Enjoy these pumpkin lesson plans, where we explored the life cycle of a pumpkin. This week’s pumpkin activities include science, math, literacy, and fine motor skills.
Just as fall brings out the fans of all things pumpkin spice, it’s time to break out the pumpkin-themed lesson plans for kindergarten! Just ask Cinderella; she knew there was something magical about pumpkins! Pumpkins have a unique way of being perfectly cast in the starring role of so many engaging books, lesson plans, stories, and activities for your kindergarten class. These pumpkin lesson plans are a small part of a larger fall unit with fun ideas, lesson plans, and activities—perfect for getting kids excited about autumn while learning.
Pumpkin Circle Book Summary
Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden by George Levenson is a beautiful children’s book that explores the life cycle of a pumpkin. It’s one of my favorite nonfiction books discussing the plant life cycle.
The book follows the journey of a pumpkin seed as it grows into a full-fledged plant. From a pumpkin plant to a green pumpkin before becoming a beautiful orange beauty! Through stunning photographs and with a lyrical tone, it teaches kids about essential concepts of the life cycle of the pumpkin.
Pumpkin Life Cycle Interactive Read Aloud Book
This perfect book about the life cycle of pumpkin had to be included in our Engaging Readers Reading Comprehension units for October. An interactive read-aloud encourages multiple readings of the book. The teacher leads in decoding the text while students actively engage with the story through thoughtful discussion questions, allowing for a deeper connection to the text.
Pumpkin Circle – Pumpkin Life Cycle Schema
When discussing reading comprehension, think of a schema as the mental toolbox filled with stuff you already know and your experiences. It’s like the foundation you build on when learning something new from a book. Teachers and parents use this idea by asking questions like, “What do you know about the life cycle of pumpkins?” This helps you connect what you already know with what you’re reading.
On the first day with this pumpkin book, we ask students to think about what they already know. Then, as we read more on the subject, we can confirm or adjust our thinking. Here are a few examples that were written by second-grade students. In each of our reading comprehension units, we offer various response options. For kindergarten, the students make their meaning known through the pictures they draw.
Here are a few examples from kindergarten students. As you can see, students can respond by illustrating their ideas. This is a simple way to see their thinking on paper.
Pumpkin Life Cycle Anchor Chart
We also created a chart that shows the life cycle of a pumpkin with the cards placed in the correct order. After we complete this chart together, students get knee-to-knee with their partner as they discuss the pumpkin’s life cycle. As the teacher, it is a great time to eavesdrop. I like to support their oral language and the use of transition words. It might sound a little like this (this is an actual conversation that took place in a first-grade classroom):
“First, the seeds come out of the pumpkin. Then, they are planted, and the seedling spouts out. Next, the plant grows into a vine, and pumpkin flowers grow. The flower is called a pumpkin blossom. The pumpkin blossom turns into a small pumpkin. The pumpkin starts out green, but finally, it grows into a beautiful orange pumpkin!
Each student must be able to orally practice telling about the text details. This will quickly become your favorite part of the day with time and practice.
Then, students are given a pumpkin life cycle worksheet to demonstrate their understanding. If they get stuck, they can always refer back to this chart. These different stages of a pumpkin mirror other plant life cycles.
Pumpkin Informational Text Anchor Chart
As we continue to explore pumpkins and pumpkin books, students work on completing this chart by adding pumpkin facts. This chart is pinned to a bulletin board and added to each day.
Then, students use this informational support to write their own pumpkin books. They will spend several days writing their All About Pumpkins book. We included a page where they can label the parts of a pumpkin.
Pumpkin Art Project
Students also participated in a directed drawing of a pumpkin blossom. Here is an example of the watercolor pumpkin craft.
Pumpkin Science Center Exploration Activities
We also love exploring pumpkins using Deanna Jump’s Pumpkin unit. It is filled with fun pumpkin activities. Fall is the best time to explore pumpkins:
As part of our pumpkin investigation, we placed pumpkin seeds in a bag so they could germinate. We observed pumpkin seeds sprout. This took several days, and we documented our observations throughout the week.
We measured real pumpkins of various sizes and also discovered the pumpkins float! The little pumpkins and even the large ones! You can do this activity as a whole group or break your classroom into small groups.
This is one of our favorite pumpkin poems about going to the pumpkin patch (one of our favorite fall activities).
You can find this poem by clicking:
Pumpkin Fine Motor Activities
Often times in kindergarten, young students need some extra practice with fine motor skills. Their little hands have little muscles that need some exercise! This is a fun pumpkin-themed activity! Students will spin the spinner and then trace the line.
Pumpkin Math and Literacy Center Ideas
Here are a few of the pumpkin center ideas for the week.
Students color by letter in this letter worksheet. Letter identification is one of the key literacy skills we try to master in the fall. Young children need to have lots of practice in fun ways!
Students are putting these pumpkins in numerical order. The response page has a number line to support them if they need help.
Favorite Books About Pumpkins
Here are a few other nonfiction texts you may wish to include in your pumpkin unit. These are affiliate links, but the suggestions are my own.
This book will get you in the fall spirit for sure! This book shares each stage of the pumpkin life cycle:
From the publisher: In this book, pumpkins aren’t just a fruit. They’re a symbol, a scent, a flavor of the entire season. Celebrate the flavor of fall on every page of this beautifully photographed picture book. Follow along as National Geographic takes you from seed to sprout, pumpkin to pie.
This book tells how pumpkins grow from a tiny yellow seed to a pumpkin in this nonfiction picture book.
From the publisher: This is a clear and appealing environmental science book for early elementary age kids, both at home and in the classroom. Plus it includes includes a find out more section with activities such as an experiment to show how plants use roots to drink water from the ground and a recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds.
This is a fantastic book to add to your pumpkin lessons! It is filled with fun facts and an interesting illustrations! We love including Gail Gibbons in our science units!
This is an excellent story about what happens after Halloween! We loved it so much that we created an Engaging Readers Reading Comprehension unit around it:
This is a fun fall book! Here is what the publishers have to say:
What can you do with too many pumpkins?
Rebecca Estelle has hated pumpkins ever since she was a girl when pumpkins were often the only food her family had. When an enormous pumpkin falls off a truck and smashes in her yard, she shovels dirt over the pieces and forgets about them. But those slimy pumpkin smithereens sprout up in autumn, and Rebecca Estelle finds a sea of pumpkins in her garden.
Desmond and Clayton have to work together to win the biggest pumpkin contest. Desmond, a field mouse, and Clayton, a city mouse, fall in love with the same big pumpkin!
This book is a classic!
Mr. Tiffin and his students use different ways to count to determine the number of seeds inside a pumpkin.
Charlie is the smallest kid in his class and ends up with the small pumpkin to count. He was thrilled to find out that the smallest pumpkin had the most seeds.
Fall Themed Activities
I hope you found a few new ideas to add to your fall ideas. Here are a few additional activities for fall.
Free Pumpkin Seed Emergent Reader
We love this little reader about pumpkin seeds. You can even have students use pumpkin seeds with this book. You can grab your own free download by adding your email to the box below.