In October, Div. 22 was able to explore the Math and Science of pumpkins! This investigation began with finding out what we already know about pumpkins – they knew a lot! We made a web of important words, and worked together to write and draw all about our pumpkin knowledge and wonderings. Some students copied the words, others labelled parts of the pumpkin drawings they made, yet others wrote fascinating questions they had about pumpkins.
Our trip to the pumpkin patch was a lot of fun! Field trips are important for a number of reasons – they provide students with a shared experience to help connect them as a group, they help develop vocabulary and oral language for our English Language Learners, and they provide real world contexts to either springboard or apply our learning (depending if done at the beginning or end of an investigation). Music and dancing, wagon rides and animals, hay fights and bus rides… what an exciting day!
Back in the classroom, we were excited to continue our hands-on explorations of pumpkins! A medium sized pumpkin picked from the patch was joined by some other pumpkins and squash (which we learned are part of the same family): a sparkler, a tiger stripe, a casper, a butternut squash, and an acorn squash. We observed similarities and differences between these types of squash, and did some predicting about the properties of our larger pumpkin. Would it float or sink? What would it look like inside? How many seeds would be in there?
With the help of Ms. Downie, we cut into our pumpkin and used our senses to observe it closely. We took turns pulling out the gooey insides, and decided to see which half had the most seeds. After giving our seeds a bath and drying them out, we used hundreds charts to help ous count them – there were almost 500 altogether!
Next it was time for our smaller squash – we each made a prediction about which might have the most seeds and graphed our answers. Once we had them all out, washed and dried them, we noticed that the seeds were different sizes, making it harder to visually estimate. We also realized that the size of the container impacted our ability to compare quantities – a smaller container looked more full of seeds than if we put the same amount in a larger container!
Our pumpkin investigation took us through many different areas of learning: Reading, Writing, Art, Math, Science, Social Studies, Physical and Health Education… All while having a ton of fun!