Pumpkin experiment for your kindergarten classroom. Your students will have so much fun with this pumpkin volcano experiment with math activities to practice comparing numbers and making 10. A shared reading aloud idea, too!
Pumpkin volcano experiment? Yes, please! Your kindergarten students will absolutely love to see this chemical reaction. I had some fun with kindergartners in this cool science experiment. I also added some reading and math activities for a complete lesson! As an introduction to my lesson, I used a Scholastic Let’s Find Out reader to get students thinking about pumpkins. Do you use these? These are way cool!
You could also read a book about pumpkins! A nonfiction book gives students an opportunity to practice reading for meaning.
When reading an informational text, I like to practice word attack strategies with students. In a shared read aloud, cover a few words with post-it notes to allow for student guesses of what the word could be. It is important for young readers to use picture clues.
Here, students to think about how something might feel by looking at the picture and of course, using any prior knowledge about pumpkins.
You could also show a video about pumpkins. There are several on YouTube, but here is one I liked from Scholastic. It’s short and sweet!
Okay, on to the experiment! To get started, you’ll need to get a small pumpkin. The night before the lesson, I removed the seeds. You don’t have to, but I decided to. Once you’re reading to begin the experiment, place the pumpkin in a tray to collect the bubbling concoction. Then, step by step I added the ingredients. While I did this, students were recording on their paper.
Pumpkin Experiment Steps/Ingredients:
- 3-4 tablespoons of baking soda
- A few drops of dish soap
- Food coloring (optional)
- THEN, add the vinegar and watch the volcano erupt!
I did continue adding vinegar every minute or so, to keep the volcano going.
After the excitement, we moved onto more fun. Students played Stacking Jack and practiced comparing numbers. They loved this!
Once the cups fall, students line them up in 2 columns to identify who has more. One tip: have students stack their cups away from each other so it’s easier to know what cups belong to who. This will save you some you from solving LOTS of disagreements.
Students record and compare the numbers.
We also practiced making 10 with yummy pumpkins! Buy extra if you want to share some with your students! We had a serious conversation about NOT EATING THE CANDY. I let them know about the extra bag for eating, after the game. You can also use tiny erasers or even snap cubes if you want to eliminate the candy completely.
For more about pumpkins, take a look at these blog posts:
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