# Counting On Pumpkin Seeds: A Preschool Math Lesson

By Tracey Bleakley

When you clean out your pumpkin to make a jack-o-lantern, don't throw away the seeds! With a little preparation, they make great math counters. Use this fun pumpkin seed math lesson as a part of pumpkin or plant unit.

Prior Knowledge

Students should be able to count to five. They also need to be introduced to simple addition problems.

Materials Needed

• Pumpkin Seeds (Collected from cleaning out a pumpkin to make a jack-o-lantern.)
• Orange spray paint
• Newspaper
• Small paper cups
• Paper and pencils

## Counting Lesson Plan

Use pumpkin seed counters to teach or review addition facts to five.

Making the Counters

After you clean the seeds out of a pumpkin, wash them and let them dry.

When they are dry, spread them out on newspaper and spray paint one side orange. Let dry overnight.

Once dry you will have a set two-color counters that can be used for many math activities.

Teach

Show the the students a how to write an addition sentence.

You can write the frame "______ + _______ = _______" on the board and practice filling in the blanks to make addition problems.

Procedure

Explain to the class that you will be playing an addition game with pumpkin seeds.

Give each pair of students five seed counters, a paper cup, pencils and paper.

Show them how to put the seeds into the cup, shake it and spill the seeds out onto the table.

They will then count how many orange seeds and how many white seeds there are and write an addition sentence in the paper. If they spill the seeds and 3 orange seeds and 2 white seeds are showing, the addition sentence would be "3 + 2 = 5."