The life cycle of pumpkin is a fun way to continue learning about life cycles while staying in the festive fall spirit. Students enjoy exploring and observing the pumpkin, as well as learning about how the pumpkin grows and changes over time.
Life cycle of pumpkin: Seeds
One of the best parts of learning about the life cycle of pumpkin is that children can actually observe the seeds and see where they come from. Let your students open up a pumpkin and observe the insides. Let them see the different parts of the pumpkins. Depending on time you have, you can even plant some pumpkin seeds and watch them grow into a sprout!
I also love to connect math to science by having students count the seeds in the pumpkin. They probably can’t count all of them, but as a group we could count a good number of them! This is a good chance to start exploring counting large numbers by grouping in tens!
When learning about the seeds in the pumpkin, make sure to connect to the apple life cycle, if you studied that earlier! And remind students of this learning if you study plants later in the year!
Life cycle of pumpkin: Sprout
Whenever possible, it is best for students to observe the science firsthand. If you can plant the seed and watch it sprout, it only takes a week or so to start seeing the roots and the sprout start to grow. However, if you can’t then try to watch time-lapse videos or use photographs of the process.
Life cycle of pumpkin: Vine
The next step in the life cycle of pumpkin is the vine. If you can take your students on a field trip to a farm to see the pumpkins growing on the vine, that is fantastic! I am unable to do that due to limited field trip opportunities. So instead, I show my students pictures, videos, and read lots of stories. See my recommended pumpkin books here (using my Amazon Affiliate storefront). We also fill out this emergent reader with the different life cycle stages inside.
Life cycle of pumpkin: Flower
The flower is an often-forgotten stage in the life cycle of pumpkin! But it is an important one! I make sure to have this stage in any handouts or books I read and complete with my students. I also love to connect this stage to the apple life cycle, because the apple blossoms are often forgotten about when learning about the life cycle of an apple!
The final stage in the life cycle of pumpkin is of course the pumpkin itself! Students get the chance to observe the outside of the pumpkins and the inside of the pumpkins. I like to provide students with different size and shaped pumpkins, because I don’t want them to think that all pumpkins are the same! I also like to provide gourds, whenever possible, so they can compare gourds to pumpkins. (Note: pumpkins are technically gourds!)
I not only teach my students about the life cycle of pumpkin, I also teach them the different parts of the pumpkin. They learn the names of and observe the shell, pulp, seeds, flesh, and stem. I love to include math in these observations by having students measure the outside of the pumpkin. Students can measure the circumference by putting links around the outside. They can also use cubes to measure the height of the stem. Finally, they can count the lines around the pumpkin!
The life cycle of pumpkin is a perfect way to continue the fall festivities with some important science learning about life cycles. Students will love being able to observe and feel the different parts of the pumpkin. I also love to connect their learning to other life cycles, especially the life cycle of the apple! Have you ever tried bringing pumpkins into your class? How did it go? Let me know in the comments!
If you like these activities, check out my Pumpkin Study Bundle!