Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's Pumpkin Time!

It's fall and it's my FAVORITE season of the year. It's cold enough to wear sweatshirts on the weekend, but it's warm enough that I can still wear dresses with tights. Along with fall comes pumpkins galore. I'm dying to make some fun Halloween cookies that I found on pinterest. And as fun things go... I get to teach my students about plants for science. They love it! 

So the Oregon Science Standards for Kindergarten state that students will:  compare and contrast characteristics of living and non living things...and... Students also learn to compare and contrast characteristics of plants and animals. To introduce living things we use pumpkins. Here is an activity that we did after reading It's Pumpkin Time. The book goes through the plant life cycle. After that, I drew a pictorial input chart (life cycle poster) of how a pumpkin grows. I hand drew it as I went, but you could trace it lightly in pencil using an overhead projector. The day after I taught the cycle, I printed off the life cycle pictures and re-told the life cycle and posted a real picture for each stage. Then I passed out the pictures to students so they could add them as I re-told the cycle story again. Eventually I had some students "tell the story of how a pumpkin grows." They did a great job! 
To follow up with the life cycle, I took my students out to our school's garden and showed them the pumpkins that were grown by the kindergarten kids last year. They were so excited! Talk about realia!! To follow up our learning, on our 3rd day, we created the plant pop up life cycle. Students are so excited about this. The sample below is my example. I used the students' version as their cutting grade - wow...some kiddos need LOTS more cutting practice. Beware - before I copied the page for the class I cut and pasted the pictures so their orientation would work for the pop up - as they are they would be upside down. Sorry, I don't have the version I used. Anyhow, that's what's going on in our little class. Along with lots of other learning - things are moving along. Thanks for stopping by!

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