Outdoor Hour Challenge
Crop Plants #6
Pumpkins-Seeds, vines, fruit
Inside Preparation Work
1. Read in the Handbook of Nature Study pages 611-617. Make sure to highlight or underline some facts about pumpkins and also a few ideas for completing your nature study during your pumpkin time.
2. You can either plan a field trip to a pumpkin field to observe pumpkin plants and pumpkins or you can purchase a pumpkin at the grocery and bring it home and complete this study with a real pumpkin. You could also plan on doing both!
Outdoor Time (At home or during your field trip)
3. For this challenge, spend 10-15 minutes outdoors. Even if you don’t have a pumpkin plant to observe, spend this time in your own yard enjoying what you do have up close. You can compare leaves on different plants, look for vines of any kind, look for something orange like a pumpkin, sit and watch for insects, or dig a small hole and see what you can find that is interesting. The possibilities are endless.
4. Take a few minutes to talk about anything your child found outside that was interesting. Did they bring in something to look at with the magnifying lens? Do they have something they would like to sketch into their nature journal?
5. An idea for a nature journal this week is to sketch a pumpkin or the diagrams of the pumpkin blossoms from the Handbook of Nature Study. If you need an image of a pumpkin, do a quick Google Image search. (Preview before you share with your children.)
6. If you have a real pumpkin to observe, use the suggestions on pages 616 and 617 in the Handbook of Nature Study. (If you purchased the Crop Plants notebook pages, you will have a page to record your observations.)
Here are some journal ideas to get you started:
- Sketch or describe the leaf.
- Thump your pumpkin and describe the sound.
- Observe the creases on the outside of the pumpkin.
- Can you tell which way your pumpkin sat on the ground when it was growing?
- Cut your pumpkin open and view the seeds. Sketch the arrangement in your journal.
- Are pumpkins mostly full or empty?
- Observe the thickness of the pumpkin shell. Is it the same all over the pumpkin?
- Carefully sketch a pumpkin seed into your journal.
- Describe the feel of the pumpkin both inside and out. What is the stringy stuff for?
- Describe the smell of the pumpkin inside.
- Describe the taste of cooked pumpkin or the pumpkin seed after roasting.
- Also try these links:
- Pumpkin life cycle: http://www.atozteacherstuff.com/pdf.htm?pumpkin_lesson.pdf
- Pumpkin poem for your nature journal: http://www.dltk-holidays.com/fall/pumpkinpoem1.htm
New for this series of challenges are custom made notebook pages for each crop plant we will study. I have designed simple to use pages that will complement each challenge and will be an easy way to start a nature journal. Each of the eight notebook pages is in full color, but they are just as great in black and white. These notebook pages can be purchased for $2.50.