When it comes to fall in the classroom, what do you think of? Besides a pumpkin spice latte to start the day, I immediately think of pumpkin activities and investigations. When you use pumpkins in the classroom, you can easily integrate reading, writing, math, and science. Who knew one vegetable could provide so many learning opportunities?!
Fall is also a busy time of year for teachers. One way to find time in a busy schedule is to integrate subjects where you can. To help make planning easier, I wanted to put together five of the best pumpkin activities for your kindergarten and first grade classroom (including a great freebie!). Some of these would be perfect for second grade, too! Most of these suggestions integrate science to save time!
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1. Kick-Off Pumpkin Activities With Read Alouds
One of my favorite ways to introduce pumpkins is through read alouds. When you integrate reading and science, you can double up on teaching standards to make more room for science! Plus, science read alouds provide background knowledge, help support academic vocabulary, and give students a context for their new learning.
Here are three great read alouds to include in your pumpkin unit:
- Pumpkins by James Tandy
- From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer
- The Pumpkin Patch by Elizabeth King
- Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington
You can find read aloud suggestions for every science unit by downloading my FREE Science Mega Read Aloud list. Grab it HERE!
2. Pumpkin Activities for Science
If you’re looking to explore pumpkins in science and integrate literacy, the All About Pumpkins Science Unit is for you! It has a week-long teaching guide to make lesson planning a breeze. Then, there is everything you need for teaching and student materials like teaching posters, graphic organizers, pumpkin life cycle activities, a science experiment, anchor charts, a unit assessment, and more.
Next, this pumpkin resource has literacy-based activities to making integrating reading, writing, and science simple! It has:
- All About Pumpkins Shared Reading With a Teaching Plan and Student Poem Copies
- Shared Reading Phonics Activity
- All About Pumpkins Mini-Book
- Pumpkin Facts Writing Craftivity
- All About Pumpkins Writing Paper
- How to Carve a Pumpkin Writing Paper
If you want planning pumpkin activities totally done for you and all in one place, grab All About Pumpkins today!
3. Pumpkins Activities for Literacy
Another set of pumpkin activities that students love is the Pumpkin Literacy Activities resource. If you find yourself short on time for science, this resource will help you integrate science into literacy activities like reading, shared writing, writing, and literacy stations to save time! You squeeze a ton of science into these areas!
Pumpkin Literacy Activities includes:
- 2 Pumpkin Poems and Shared Reading Materials
- Non-Fiction Pumpkin Read Aloud Ideas
- Pumpkin Non-Fiction Text Elements anchor chart information
- Pumpkin Life Cycle retelling cards in color and black and white
- Pumpkin Life Cycle Flip Book
- Fiction Pumpkin Read Aloud Ideas with Text-to-Self Connection Recording Sheets
- Pumpkin Craftivity (with making connections writing piece to go with it)
- Print and Go Pumpkin Activity Sheets
- Stamping Pumpkin Words
- Label a Pumpkin
- Ordering Pumpkin Numbers
- Making 10
4. FREE Pumpkin Investigation Flip Up Book
Next, you can explore and investigate pumpkins with hands-on activities. You can use the FREE Pumpkin Investigation Flip Up Book to have students record their pumpkin findings.
Students will dive into describing and measuring pumpkins, labeling parts of a pumpkin, learning about the life cycle, and tasting pumpkins. Additionally, there is also a digital version for you to use if you’re teaching virtually. Grab it for FREE and have six pages of pumpkin activities all in one place!
5. Educational Videos About Pumpkins
Finally, a great way to introduce or review facts about pumpkins is with informational videos. I found a few good ones to share with you! I found two videos that discuss all about pumpkins and one that covers the pumpkin life cycle. As always, be sure to preview them to see if they’re a good fit for your learners.
A pumpkin unit is the perfect way to kick off fall and truly engage students in science. Whether you have five minutes or 60 minutes for science, you can still provide opportunities for your students to participate in meaningful pumpkin activities. Grab whichever activities and resources will be a good fit for your students, and don’t forget the freebie!