Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix
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The Great Pumpkin
This is a fun and simple activity in which students will make a paper-plate model of the life cycle of a pumpkin.
- White paper plates, 2 per student
- Markers or crayons: black and orange
- Green yarn—an arm-length piece for each student
- Construction paper—brown, green, yellow, orange
- Paper Patterns (see attached file)
- Hole punch
- Scissors—several pairs for students to share
- Have each student draw a jack-o-lantern face with a black marker or crayon on one of the paper plates. Color the rest of the jack-o-lantern orange (including the second paper plate).
- Next, they should staple the paper plates together around the edges with the orange sides facing out. Make sure to leave a gap on one side of the pumpkin to pull the seed, leaf, flower, and growing pumpkins out with the piece of yarn.
- Trace the paper patterns onto the construction paper using the appropriate colors. You may also copy the pattern directly onto the construction paper if you have access to a copy machine. Cut them out and punch a hole in the top of each one.
- Discuss the life cycle of a pumpkin plant with students as they are working. First, the seed is planted in the ground. From the seed a plant sprouts, growing leaves first and then flowers. From the flowers, small green pumpkins form. When the pumpkins are ripe, they turn orange and can be picked to eat or to make jack-o-lanterns. Inside of the ripe pumpkin are many seeds which can be planted to start the cycle again.
- Instruct students to thread the piece of yarn through the holes punched in the newly created paper patterns (you may need to tie a simple knot carefully at the top of each one). The seed, leaf, flower, green pumpkin, and orange pumpkin should be tied together in the correct order of their formation on the pumpkin plant.
- Carefully slide the string of plant parts into the center of the jack-o-lantern. Staple the pumpkin top to the back of the jack-o-lantern.
- Now students can describe the whole life cycle of the pumpkin by slowly pulling the seed, leaf, flower, and growing pumpkins from the jack-o-lantern.
File, Map, or Graphic
Utah Agriculture in the Classroom
Lessons Associated with this Resource
- Pumpkins... Not Just For Halloween (Grades 3-5)
- Pumpkins... Not Just For Halloween (Grades K-2)
- Sunflower Life Cycles
- Three Sisters Garden