Dissecting A Pumpkin

Photo Source: nwf.org

Preschoolers possess an innate curiosity about the world and their surroundings. Incorporating simple, yet stimulating science lessons and exercises into your curriculum that address some of these curiosities will help them begin to order and make sense of the world around them. Additionally, through these exercises your students will learn how to ask questions and how to go about finding the answer. If you're looking for a seasonally appropriate science experience for your kidders, here’s a great fall activity designed by the creators of the National Wildlife Federation’s children’s publication Ranger Rick that will aid your students in exploring pumpkins – inside and out!

Exercise Objectives

  • Students will strengthen both math and science skill sets as they measure height, width, and circumference.
  • Students will build upon their vocabulary as they describe what they observe during "dissection".
  • Students will learn about the "life cycle" of a pumpkin as they explore both the seeds and the fruit.
  • Students will strengthen fine motor skills and use creativity as they draw pictures of their observations.
  • Students will hone writing and literacy skills as they dictate their observations for record.
  • Students will learn about scientific procedure, making observations, keeping accurate records, labeling, and using scientific instruments.

There are many extensions you can incorporate in this activity as well:
  • Explain what a prediction is and invite your students to predict how many seeds the pumpkin holds.
  • For more practice with the scale, have students weigh the pumpkin before being hollowed and again afterward to find out how much the "goop" weighs.
  • Discuss the difference between a fruit and a vegetable and invite your students to determine which group a pumpkin belongs to.

This list could go on and on. So roll up your sleeves and prepare to get a bit messy with this fun pumpkin science worksheet!

Happy carving!