Life Cycle of a Pumpkin Lesson Plan and Printable October 21 2010

Your students will enjoy learning about the growth of a pumpkin from seed to fruit. This free lesson plan emphasizes observation, estimation and comparing. This Life Cycle of a Pumpkin printable will help complete your lesson!

The Observation

With your whole group, place a medium to large pumpkin front and center. Ask your students for descriptive words, making a list of their ideas. Have your kids draw the pumpkin as it looks on the outside and add descriptions based on the brainstorming you've already done as a class. Some of these descriptors could include whether the pumpkin is small, medium, or large, the pumpkin's color and shape, the number of ribs on the pumpkin, and the length of the stem.

The Estimation

Once the outside has been observed, it's time for some predictions regarding the pumpkin's insides. Have your students draw what they think the pumpkin looks like on the inside and estimate how many seeds they think the pumpkin will produce. Have each person write down a definitive number for later comparison.

This is a great time to discuss with your class how they think the pumpkin grew, and ask how the pumpkin started its life cycle. When they conclude that the seeds must be involved, discuss other kinds of fruit that contain seeds. What do they think the seeds are for?

Count and Compare

Once you have cut the top off the pumpkin, give each student a small dish or paper towel with a scoop of seeds. They need to count the seeds and write the number on a sticky note. Put the sticky note on the board or chart paper to make an instant graph, then have your class add up all of the numbers to find the total amount of seeds. Discuss if the amount of seeds is more or less than their estimation, and why they think pumpkins contain so many seeds.

Plant the Seeds

When seeds have been washed and dried, hand a few to each student, along with a large paper cup. Instruct your students to fill their cups 3/4 full with dirt and plant the seeds deep into the soil. Have them draw what they think will grow next, and have them observe their cups each day, drawing and writing about the process.

If you want your kids to see how a seed develops into a sprout, plant a few into a clear plastic cup with a wet paper towel. Place the seeds between the wall of the cup and the paper towel and set in a warm place. Watch, discuss, and draw the seed's progress with your class each day. To help kids process the lesson of the pumpkin's life cycle, use this free Life Cycle of a Pumpkin printable!