Pumpkin Pumpkin: Preschool Activities to Go With the Book
By Tracey Bleakley
Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington tells the story of a boy named Jamie and the pumpkin seeds he plants and takes care of. It's a great addition to a preschool pumpkin theme or a lesson about the life cycle of a pumpkin. Your preschoolers will love the story and the activities that go with it.
There are many activities you can do that go along with the book Pumpkin Pumpkin.
Sequencing - After reading the story make a chart to show how the pumpkin grew. Ask the children what happens first, next, and so on. Draw a picture to represent each each event in the story. Start with a seed, then a small sprout, then a vine and blossoms and continue your chart until the pumpkin is picked and carved into a jack-o-lantern. To assess give each child a paper with the same pictures and have them cut them out, mix them up and glue them in order onto a sheet of construction paper.
Shared Writing - Write the sentence "Jamie planted a pumpkin seed." on chart paper. Then have each student tell you what kind of seed they would plant and write that sentence on the chart too, "Mary planted a cucumber seed." When all of the students have given you a sentence, write each sentence on a sentence strip and have the students cut their sentences apart, mix them up and put them back together. They can then glue them in order onto another sheet of paper and illustrate. Staple the finished pictures in a class book for the book center.
Science- Let the students plant their own pumpkin seeds in plastic cups. Put the planted seeds in a sunny spot in the room for observation. Take several sheets of white paper, fold them in half and staple them together to make observation journals for the preschoolers. Every few days allow time for them to observe their plants and draw a picture of what they see in the journals. Make a word chart to display with the plants that the children can use to label their pictures. Include words such as seed, soil, sprout, and leaf.
Plant Parts - Go on a walk around your school to look for different plants. Point out the various plant parts - leaves, stems, seeds and flowers - and what their functions are. After your walk have the students draw and label some of the plants and plant parts that they observed.
Art - Let the student paint their own jack-o-lantern pictures. Let them share their finished paintings with the class.
Extensions - Read other books about plants. Some good choices are The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss, The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle and Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert.
Your preschoolers will love learning about pumpkins and plants with these fun activities.