November 18, 2013
Comments Off on Finishing Up with Pumpkins
We have finally finished up our lessons with pumpkins. Over the years I have found that pumpkins are great for learning about a plant’s life cycle and plant parts. There are so many uses for pumpkin and lessons can go in many directions. It all depends on interest and taking hold of opportunities.
This year there has been a lot of prior discussions on recycling, composting, and rotting. Now I know what a wonderful mess a Jack-O-Lantern turns into, but most children do not see theirs once Halloween is done. Our garden pumpkins were not great this year, but definitely good enough to do a bit of exploring with.
To top our lessons off I found this new book while on my lesson search. It was a perfect fit with it’s wonderful real photos and scientific information. For me this book was a non-fiction find, even though it’s story is told in 15 voices. These voices added to our discussions and knowledge gained.
Here’s the cover of this new book. Can you see why I knew it would catch the children’s attention from the start?
November 6, 2013
Comments Off on Exploring Pumpkins Online
As part of our exploration of the pumpkin it was important to understand it’s life cycle. I have the paper sequence cards, the color sheets, etc., but I really like using youtube resources to support this type of lesson. The children are engaged observing, listening and questioning. They see all the stages in a short time period and can relate these to what was observed from our backyard garden.
Our first video is about the life cycle and shown for open discussion within the group. This one was chosen because it wasn’t about “Jack-o-lanterns”, but just the pumpkin.
The next video again shows the life cycle. There is a song accompanying the slides which involves the children in a totally different manner. We use a lot of singing to reinforce what we are learning. Music and children just go together.
By using these different videos, exploration of real pumpkins, books and paper activities we have a pretty solid understanding of a living items life cycle and needs for growth.