The life cycle of living things is an important part of learning. It begins early on in elementary school; usually in the Fall when the leaves start to change and the wind starts to chill. Pumpkins are ready to be harvested and become the perfect vehicle for teaching a lesson about life cycles. The pumpkin life cycle is such an easy example for most other plants, which is why they are a simple, appropriate, and fun way to teach the life cycle! Check out this collection of 20 ideas for inspiration on where to begin.
1. Puzzle Board
Reinforce the pumpkin’s life cycle by using this well-crafted puzzle that provides a step-by-step visual. Putting each stage in order will help kids memorize and understand each important step.
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2. How Do Pumpkins Grow
This pumpkin video is a simple way to start your pumpkin unit in kindergarten or first grade. Kids will be captivated by the simple illustrations and be able to follow along with the words on-screen as they learn how pumpkins grow.
Learn More: Inspired by Kinder
3. Vocabulary/Language Practice
This set of images includes matching vocabulary words. Kids will be able to practice the appropriate vocabulary used in a pumpkin’s life cycle by matching the correct words to their images. These large and durable pieces are perfect for little hands.
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Older students will appreciate this website where they can find straightforward information from a real working farm on the life cycle of a pumpkin. Challenge students to read, research, and then record and draw the life cycle based on what they’ve read.
Learn More: Barton Hill Farms
5. Life Cycle Cut and Paste
Add this fun pumpkin activity to your list for the unit. Kids can practice their motor skills while cutting and gluing these images of the cycle in order.
Learn More: Montessori Mom
6. Pumpkin Jack Investigation
This activity is a must! Along with learning the typical life cycle of a pumpkin, this part of science goes into decomposition. From there, it goes into how the cycle starts again with seeds that root and regrow.
Learn More: Homeschool Share
7. Origami Pumpkins
Art teachers will really enjoy piggybacking on the pumpkin life cycle by helping kids learn to create origami pumpkins. Once they’re completed, they can be used as décor or as part of any life cycle project.
Learn More: The Craftaholic Witch
8. Grow Pumpkins
If you have a school or home garden, growing pumpkins is an option! This is the most hands-on, real-life experience your students can get! A pumpkin patch will allow students to see and take part in the process instead of just reading about it.
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9. Life Cycle Worksheet
This graphic organizer is a simple way to help students label the parts of the pumpkin life cycle. It makes a great additional resource for your pumpkin unit. Additionally, it can be used as a quick check to see what your students remember.
Learn More: Play Osmo
10. Pumpkin Tracing Activity
Preschool and kinder kids must practice dexterity and motor skills often to become successful writers. This is the perfect time to have students practice tracing the curved lines of a pumpkin.
Learn More: Education.com
11. What’s Inside a Pumpkin
Students will absolutely love this craftivity! Kids will use orange paper plates, string, and pumpkin seeds to replicate what’s inside a pumpkin. To make it even more relevant, if you have a pumpkin on-hand, go ahead and slice it open so kids can replicate what they see!
Learn More: A Little Pinch of Perfect
Save those leftover paper plates from the previous activity and create a center for young students. Provide a myriad of pre-cut construction paper in the shapes of a jack-o-lantern’s nose, eyes, and mouth. Laminate and add some velcro so kids can mix and match to create weird and wonderful jack-o-lanterns.
Learn More: Housing a Forest
13. Life Cycle Craft
If you’re looking for an interactive pumpkin book, look no further. This creative book combines a craft with a lesson as students cut, order, and glue the steps of the life cycle. When the craft is finished, kids now have a book that they can review again and again.
Learn More: Teachers Pay Teachers
14. Accordion Pumpkin
Students can create a personalized jack-o-lantern that is full of life cycle facts. The top of the pumpkin pops off to reveal the correct sequence of the life cycle that kids will cut and color.
Learn More: Teach With Me
15. Pumpkin Pie Craft
This adorable take on the pumpkin life cycle ends with delicious pumpkin pie! Using disposable pie tins, or paper plates covered in foil, kids will color the visuals of the life cycle that also ends with a slice of pie. Add some sensory details by spritzing with a cinnamon scent or sharing a real pie with students.
Learn More: Teach With Me
16. Printable Sight Word Book
Focus on important sight words using this pumpkin life cycle book that kids can cut and color. They will then fill in the missing sight words to help them learn and reinforce reading skills.
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17. Visit a Pumpkin Patch
If you’re lucky enough to live near a working pumpkin patch or farm, kids will love getting out of the classroom! While there, they can see the work that goes into growing pumpkins, talk to farmers, and maybe even bring home a small pumpkin of their own!
Learn More: Pumpkin Patch Farm
18. I Have, Who Has?
Cut out the images and the steps and hand them out to students. The first way to play is for kids to circulate the room looking for their match with other students. The second way is to have the kids line up facing one another on opposite sides of the room and call out what they have while the other side looks at their card to determine if they hold the match.
Learn More: Nature Inspired Learning
19. Pumpkin Investigation Stations
This set of STEM stations helps kids investigate pumpkins. They will work in 5 different stations that focus on scientific investigations surrounding pumpkins like measurement and other physical qualities.
20. What do They Look Like Inside and Out?
Here is another awesome investigation lab! Set up one station with a bisected pumpkin and magnifier, and another with a whole pumpkin and have students sketch what they see.
Learn More: Pre-K Printable Fun