We begin the day with a jigsaw vocabulary activity. I create a brace map of a pumpkin with the vocabulary words for parts of the pumpkin. Each group uses a dictionary and looks up their word and becomes the "expert". After each group finds its word, they then "jigsaw" it back together by teaching us about their word. Students then complete a matching activity with all the vocabulary words. After that, we break into math. We estimate and then measure the height and circumference with standard and non-standard units of measurement. We estimate then count the ribs and predict how many seeds will be inside. I do this with 4 pumpkins and students have their investigation packets that they use while they rotate through each pumpkin station. This usually takes the morning. After lunch is where the fun begins! I cut those babies open and the kids get to dig inside and take out all the pulp and seeds. It is so fun when they all get inside! This year I had a student almost throw up! Oops! He was fine after he got into it and started having conversations with his table group about how it felt and what he was experiencing! Most of my students never get an opportunity to feel the inside of the pumpkin, so I love providing this experience for them.
After we get the pumpkin cleaned out, they count the seeds (by grouping) and then record their answers in their investigation packet. We have a discussion so that everyone can record the number of seeds for each pumpkin. Then we create an adjective bubble map describing the inside of the pumpkin. The students then wrap up the day with a writing activity about their experience throughout the day. At the end of the day, I draw names to see who will get to take the pumpkin home.
This is one of my most favorite days in the year. It's a fun day, full of learning! It's also a great way to celebrate the upcoming holiday!