Jack-O’-Lantern Math

Pumpkins offer many wonderful hands-on math and science lessons for fall. Here are some great ideas to use in the weeks leading up to Halloween!

Measuring & Prediction

  • Present students with several pumpkins of different sizes - one small, one medium, and one large. Have them predict which pumpkin has the least/greatest pumpkin seeds, which pumpkin weighs the least/most, and which pumpkin has the smallest/largest circumference.
  • Provide students with ribbon "tape measures" and invite them to measure each pumpkin's circumference.
  • Provide students with scales and invite them to measure the weight of each pumpkin. (NOTE: It might also be fun to hollow out each pumpkin and weigh the "goop" found inside!)

Counting

Design a pumpkin seed counting mat. Place in plastic document sleeves, inviting students to use a dry erase crayon to draw the correct number of pumpkin seeds called for, or have students match the appropriate number of actual pumpkin seeds to the counting mat.

orange pumpkin green vine number

Provide students with pumpkin counting pages like these created by Elaine of KinderPlans where students can color in the appropriate number of pumpkins and practice tracing numbers.

black and white pumpkin coloring page
Photo Source: KinderPlans | Elaine Engerdahl

Ordering

  • Create small pumpkin counting cards and have students practice placing them in order.
  • Purchase ten small pie pumpkins, script a number on each (one through ten), and invite students to practice placing them in order. (NOTE: This is also a great gross motor skill activity!)

Patterning

  • Use food coloring or liquid watercolors to dye pumpkin seeds different colors. Have students practice simple patterning with these fun markers.
  • Create small pumpkin cutouts from various colors of card stock or construction paper and have students practice creating and copying various simple patterns.

Pumpkins are an amazing fruit to explore this Halloween season! Be sure to visit Elaine's full post at KinderPlans for more wonderful pumpkin patch theme ideas for language arts, crafts, and more!


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