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Pumpkin Math Activities and Lessons

Pumpkin Glyph

(from Dr. Jean’s website)

Each child will need an orange sheet of paper cut in a pumpkin shape. Have them decorate the pumpkins according to these directions:
*Stripes-How many letters are in your name? Put that many stripes on your pumpkin
*Eyes-Make the pumpkin’s eyes the color of your eyes.
*Nose-If you’re a boy, make a triangle. If you’re a girl, make a circle.
*Teeth-How many teeth have you lost? Make that many teeth in your pumpkins mouth.
*Stem-Make the stem your favorite color.

Measurement

Weight

Weigh a pumpkin. After scooping out the seeds and pulp, weigh the pumpkin again and compare the two weights.

We passed pumpkins to see which was heaviest:

Is this one the heaviest?

Pumpkin Circumference

Estimate the circumference of the pumpkin. Have each student cut a piece of yarn they think will fit around the pumpkin. Test each piece and tape to a chart labeled “Too Short”, “Just Right” Too Long”. Then use a tape measure to record the actual circumference. This chart was made by my colleague, Mrs. Bastock, who is much more artistic than I am.

            

Size Sequencing

Purchase several pumpkins of various sizes. Sequence from largest to smallest and from smallest to largest.  Give students orange squares of various sizes. Have them cut off the corners to form circles (TLC fashion). Decorate these as jack-o-lanterns and sequence by size.

How many pumpkins tall are you?

Laminate and hang up a string of die cut pumpkins (or pumpkins from a tablet). Have each student stand next to the pumpkins. A friend helps them measure themselves. A photo could also be taken.) Students fill in a paper that says, “_______ is ____ pumpkins tall!” Make this into a class book entitled, “How Tall is Mrs. _________’s Class?”

(Adapted from Mrs. Pohlmeyer’s site)

         

Measuring with Unifix Cubes

Measure the height of a pumpkin by stacking unifix cubes to match the pumpkin’s height. This could be done with several pumpkins and the heights compared.


Counting

Save and dry the seeds from a real pumpkin. Count the seeds. Group the seeds into sets of five or sets of ten and count them again.Count the ridges on a pumpkin. Compare the number of ridges on various pumpkins, using the terms “more”, “less” or “the same as”.

Draw lines between precut holiday shapes to practice one-to-one correspondence.

Use seasonal stamps to create Halloween sets of objects.

Estimation

Fill several different size and shape jars with pumpkin seeds. Estimate and count.

Subtraction Readiness

Ten Little Pumpkins
Give each student 10 pumpkin Halloween candies. Sing the “Ten Little Pumpkins” song above and practice adding one more and taking one more away.

Graphing

Have students vote on how they want their jack-o-lantern carved. Draw a circle, a square, a triangle and a rectangle across the top of a chart. Down one side write the words eyes, nose, mouth. Ask each student which shape he would like for the eyes on the jack-o-lantern. Tally marks under the shape (or make a graph). Do the same for nose and mouth. Using the winning shapes, let students draw a picture of the way the class jack-o-lantern will look after it is carved.

Use seasonal marshmallow shapes for graphing, counting, patterning or addition.

Sorting and Patterning

Use a pumpkin mat to pattern candy corn. Paint lima beans orange and turn them into jack-o-lanterns. Put faces on beans to make them ghosts. Pattern them on a fence storyboard.

Put faces on beans to make them ghosts. Pattern them on a fence storyboard.

 Use precut craft foam holiday shapes for patterns.

Make a jack-o-lantern windsock (described below) and add crepe paper orange and black streamers in an AB pattern.

Use pumpkin die-cuts in various colors for sorting and patterning.

 

Other Resources

Teacher’s Helper, Kindergarten, Sept/Oct 1995
Parent activity of sorting pumpkin seeds
Counting sets of pumpkins and seeds
Patterning pumpkins and seeds

October Reproducible Activities, Kindergarten, The Education Center (TEC203)
Sorting pumpkins by size

Centers

  • Pumpkin Seed Match - Write numerals on pumpkin cutouts and students place the correct number of pumpkin seeds on each pumpkin.
  • Jack-o-lantern Match - Make about ten jack-o-lanterns with different faces on each. Copy twice. Cut out. Have students match the identical pairs of jack-o-lanterns.
  • Pumpkin Height Measurement - (stack unifix cubes)

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