Isn’t our leaf quilt great? This is what we made a few weeks ago at our leaf class!
We came in and started our morning circle with a jack-o-lantern greeting. Each person was given a jack-o-lantern card with a different face on it, and had to go find their match. When we found our match, we sat with that person and introduced them to the group. For example, Xav’s partner said, “This is Xav,” and the group said, “Good morning Xav.”
Then we shared home projects. What creativity! Owen and Connor shared their apple dolls that they made last year. They were so awesome, I think everyone wanted to go home and make their own! One student said their family wasn’t big into baking with apples, but that Apple computers were very important to their family! Haha!
Next we read a pumpkin poem. Kids helped illustrate the story by putting felt pieces on the flannel board.
We got in the Halloween spirit with a pumpkin chant with hand motions that I learned when I was four. Most kids had heard it already too: it was “Five Little Pumpkins.”
We read the morning message, which introduced our daily theme: Pondering Pumpkins, and our toughest password yet: curcubitaceae (pumpkin family). At first the password was daunting but then we had a look at the nature table, which was full of different curcubits: pumpkins, gourds, and cucumbers. Melons and watermelons are curcubits too. Turns out most homeschoolers had harvested and/or eaten curcubits before!
Soon it was time to begin our morning activity: a pumpkin inquiry. Kids got into three groups to investigate three pumpkins of different sizes. First we spent some time guessing at how many seeds our pumpkins would have and how much they would weigh. Then we weighed them and opened them up to count the seeds! Kids became very enthusiastic about counting seeds; they wanted to see whose pumpkins would have the most! I showed them a counting strategy so that they wouldn’t have to keep big numbers in their heads. There were stacks of orange cards that we lay out on the tables, and kids put ten seeds on them each. That way they only had to count ten at a time. Lunchtime came and went but kids wanted to keep counting! Finally we finished and had a lunch break in the lovely fall sunshine.
Some helpers collected soil for a pumpkin decomposition project we started later.
We read a pumpkin story while we waited for our scale to arrive! It told us the story of how a pumpkin seed grows, with some beautiful photos!
Here is a photo progression of how one pumpkin decomposes. Can't wait to see what ours will do!
When our scale arrived, it was a challenge to be able to see exactly what the number was!
Scooping pumpkin slime AND collecting seeds! What hard work!
Soon it was time for our outdoor adventure, which began with a clue: “Monarchs may stop here on their migration route.” We embarked on a quest, finding clue after clue on the trails, like “This special tree has leaves bigger than rabbit ears!” and “This spot gives you a beautiful view of the Holyoke Range.” Kids ran to each spot looking for the clues. What a gorgeous day for a run in the woods! We ended at the Hitchcock Center picnic tables, where there were pumpkin medals with different titles such as “Pumpkinologist” and “Pumpkin King” for each person.
One of the clues led us to the "pregnant tree"! This growth is called a burl.
This is the pumpkin graveyard: leftover pumpkins from Enchanted Forest.
Then it was time to go inside to finish counting our seeds. The final count was: 671 (biggest pumpkin), 564 (medium pumpkin), and 560 (smallest pumpkin). Wow! Kids were such enthusiastic pumpkin seed counters!
Counting seeds by tens!
Next we had some time to write in our journals. We glued in our pumpkin sheets and recorded the date, theme, password, and the day’s weather.
We began a decomposition project with one of the pumpkins by preparing a decomposition tank with some soil. I carved a face into it and put it into the tank so we can watch what happens over the next few weeks at homeschool. Look for pictures of this soon!
Last of all, we gathered around to have some apple crisp, courtesy of Theresa and her family. Thank you Theresa!
For those of you who were not here today, our home project for next time is as follows:
Home Project: Curcubit Experts
A. Cook a pumpkin treat with your family and share about it with homeschool at the next class.
B. Find out what all curcubits have in common.
C. Find the most unusual curcubit you can. What is interesting about it?