Our science studies this week revolved around pumpkins. We even threw in a little math for fun! First we learned about the life cycle of a pumpkin. We read a couple of books on the subject:
Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden by George Levenson, photographs by Shmuel Thaler
Mystery Vine by Cathryn Falwell
We also discussed how two years ago Grandma left her jack-o-lantern outside to decompose in her flower bed. The next year a pumpkin vine grew from the rotten pumpkin. She must have left a few seeds behind when she cleaned it before carving! The book Pumpkin Circle mentions decomposition, too. My daughter told us that she learned in school that a pumpkin is a fruit.
We examined the inside of a pumpkin. Both kids like touching and pulling out the inside mass of string and seeds.
Every year our family carves pumpkins, but we've never tried counting the seeds inside. This year we were inspired by the book How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara and G. Brian Karas. We picked two pumpkins to compare, a small and large one. We estimated how many seeds were inside. My daughter thought the big one would have 120. I thought around 350. We were both wrong. My daughter and I grouped the seeds from the small pumpkin into piles of 10 seeds. Daddy grouped the big pumpkin seeds into piles of 100 seeds. (My son tried to help with this, but he kept messing up the piles. We gave him a spoon and the pumpkin insides to play with and he happily transferred the mush into the pumpkins and back out during our counting period.) After counting we discovered that the large one contained 696 seeds. The small one contained 360 seeds. In McNamara's book the smallest pumpkin has the most seeds, unlike our result.
Some of the seeds were not fully formed. We did not add these seeds to our final count. We only used the white seeds (the ones suitable for roasting).
Pumpkin Life Cycle Printables:
Kizclub How a Pumpkin Grows [pdf]
A to Z Teacher Stuff Pumpkin Life Cycle [pdf]
Montessori for Everyone Life Cycle of a Pumpkin - seed seedling vine flower [pdf]
Scholastic Life Cycle of a Pumpkin Observation Journal [fill in blank pages]
If you enjoyed this post you can find more Science Sunday experiments involving kids at http://adventuresofmommyness.blogspot.com/ or even join in the weekly meme. Science is Fun!
This week we're also participating in Math Monday hosted by Joyful Learner. Math is fun, too!