The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll
The Berenstain Bears and the Prize Pumpkin by Stan and Jan Berenstain
(Note: While Halloween is briefly mentioned in both stories, it is not the central theme, and is easily edited out if desired)
Field Trip – Go pumpkin picking.
Bible/Character – Discuss cooperation (The Biggest Pumpkin Ever)
Discuss envy and poor sportsmanship (The Berenstain Bears and the Prize Pumpkin)
Math – Discuss circumference, and have children estimate what they think the circumference of a pumpkin is. Measure it with a tape measure.
-Remove all the seeds from the pumpkin and count them. Place them in tens and ones.
– Review and practice writing ordinal numbers. Make prize ribbons for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. place, and award to the pumpkins that you picked.
Language Arts – Discuss personification, and how the animals in both stories are given human features.
-Write a short story or poem about something big that grew in the garden.
-Discuss the use of repetition throughout The Biggest Pumpkin Ever.
Science -Talk about the life cycle of the pumpkin, from seed, to root, to leaves, to flower, to fruit, to seed again. Break open a seed, and point out the living part, the embryo, that will grow into a new plant.
-Go for a nature walk and discuss the fall season. Point out the shorter days, the changing colors, the long shadows, the drying grass, etc. Find pictures in the two books that epitomize fall, and make a list.
Art – Design and carve your pumpkin.
-Referring to the Prize Pumpkin, paint a sunset scene with watercolors.
Nursery Rhyme – Read and color picture of Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater. Use for phonics (long e sound) or letter of the week (find and circle “p”)
Color of the Week – (orange) – Go for a walk around the house or outside and find things that are orange. Using handwriting paper, have children write out the word orange each day. Make a collage of pictures from magazines of orange items, and be sure to include a pumpkin! Have a snack of oranges, carrots, or pumpkin bread.
Home Ec – Whether you are carving or cooking your pumpkins, roasted seeds are super yummy! 1.) Scoop all the seeds you can out of your pumpkin, and place in a colander. Rinse off the pumpkin gook. 2.) Lay the seeds out on a few sheets of paper towel and pat them dry. 3.) Put the seeds in a bowl and coat them with about a tablespoon of melted butter. 4.) Spread the seeds out on a cookie sheet, and sprinkle with salt. 5.) Bake them at 225° for 1-2 hours, turning them periodically. Just bake till they are nice and crisp, but not brown or they will taste burnt.