Saturday, 25 October 2008

Pumpkin carving - learning opportunities

Last year I did some pumpkin carving with year ones and we had a really good session. There is so much learning in something as simple as carving a pumpkin. Here are some of the things I did.

Looked at the shape of the pumpkin
Felt how heavy it was.
Discussed the colour of it.
Where it came from, how it grew
Cut the top off and looked inside. Described what we saw.
Looked at the seeds and discussed drying and growing pumpkins for next year.
Talked about how you can roast seeds in the oven to eat them.
All had a smell of the pumpkin then discussed
All stuck our hands in and felt the seeds and slimy mess.
All had a go with a spoon at taking out the seeds and some of the flesh. Talked about how you can make the flesh into a soup or eat it cooked as a vegetable.
Got children to draw on a piece of paper a pumpkin and how they wanted the face to look....a little designing
Had a vote on what shape eyes to have. What shape nose and what shape mouth. I carved the features out .... we had triangle eyes, a rectangle nose.
I asked each child to get a paper towel each and they had to count out 10 seeds each to wrap in their towel to take home. They had to write their name on the paper towel. Some found the fine motor skills to pick up the seeds very tricky. They all counted intently. Talked about putting light in the pumpkin to make it glow either a candle or a torch.

A really good session and I am sure you can think of some other ideas. Feel free to comment below.

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