Pumpkin season is here! What a wonderful time of the year! There are so many fun things to do during this time of the year. Last year we did a unit on pumpkins, and I thought we would do the same again this year. Below are a few of the books we have used during our pumpkin unit. My own personal belief is that it is always an excellent idea, when possible, to reinforce what we are doing with children's literature.
Oh My, Pumpkin Pie! is a book that would most likely be on the level with 1st grade students. It is a great book to use for science and math activities. Children can compare and contrast, explore a pumpkin patch, do some baking, and make art connections with pumpkin carving while using this early reader. (Note: There are some references to Halloween and a few of the pumpkins have scary faces.)
Seed, Sprout, Pumkin, Pie is a great book for teaching the concept of life cycles. This trade book chronicles a pumpkin's life from a seed to sprout to leaves to flowers to the knobs and then to pumpkins! Children will find out some of the things you can do with your pumpkin once it is fully ripened including baking pumpkin pie, roasting the seeds, and carving jack-o-lanterns. The book also explores how the pumpkin returns to the soil or is used to feed cattle. (Note: There are references to jack-o-lanterns in this book as well as some references to Halloween.)
P is for Pumpkin is an alphabet book that uses all the letters of the alphabet to describe what happens in Autumn, or Fall. The book also shares with children about God and how he "made the Earth-he made everything! He makes all the wonders each season will bring." The illustrations are very warm and it is a great book to reinforce the alphabet, teach children some new vocabulary, and help them make connections to God as our creator. (Note: There is a reference in this book to dressing up.)
The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs is my favorite of all the picture books during this time of the year. It is also about the life cycle of the pumpkin. But every page contains scripture describing the wonder of God's creation. The story also is a visual demonstration of what happens to us when we become a new creation in Christ. The farmer grows his pumpkin and then selects one to carve. He cleans out all the yucky stuff on the inside and replaces it with a light. Jesus is the light of the world and when we become a new creature through His sacrifice, that light comes to live on the inside of us by His Spirit.
"If anyone belongs to Christ, then he is made new. The old things have gone; everything is made new!"-2 Corinthians 5:17
There are so many fun and exciting things to do to educate children during this time of the year while combining subject areas! There are many ways to incorporate art, science, math, and language arts, while learning about pumpkins! For more ideas on what to do with pumpkins check out the following links!
NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) Blog
National Science Teachers Association Journal Archives:
Science and Children
Life Cycle of a Pumpkin
For further exploration of the books I have mentioned, visit either christianbook.com or amazon.com.