Pumpkin Life Cycle Books
One of the best plants to grow in school gardens has to be pumpkins. Pumpkins are planted and harvested during the school year, providing rich opportunities for children to observe and care for the plant during its entire life cycle. These Pumpkin Life Cycle books give children a complete scientific overview of plant life cycles, but it is the hands on learning and growing that really provides a deep and meaningful understanding. Use these books to support your garden learning and get your school or backyard pumpkins growing this year!
by Erica Silverman. A favourite in our house! Buy the audiotape with the book for a jaunty and fun Halloween sing-along that shows the value of co-operation and how pumpkins are prized for their tasty seeds and delicious pie making insides at the end of their life cycle!
by Wendy Pfeffer. Beautifully illustrated to show the stages of a pumpkin’s life as a seed transforms into a mature pumpkin.
by Margaret McNamara. A an excellent book for introducing the concept of skip counting and understanding that one pumpkin produces many, many seeds that can multiply into hundreds of pumpkins. Related: Check out my post on Halloween Pumpkin Math for more ideas on how to use your school grown pumpkins to teach mathematical thinking.
by Robin Nelson. A close up look with non-fiction photos of the pumpkin plant and life cycle from seed to seed.
by George Levenson. From seed to seed, children learn the cycle of life is continuous!
by Will Hubbell. A look at the decomposition of a pumpkin and the inadvertent growth of a new generation of pumpkin plants!
by Katie McKy. A silly story about rogue pumpkins that overgrow a town. A good story for exploring the size and spread of a pumpkin plant!
by Kate Duke. A lovely story that emphasizes the patience and time that is required to observe a pumpkin grow from seed to fruit.
by David M. Schwatrz. Part story, part non-fiction, this book depicts the decomposition of a pumpkin and the circle of life that emerges from the rotten pumpkin.
by Elizabeth King. A good overview of how pumpkins are farmed with photographs of the seed to jack-o-lantern cycle.
DECOMPOSING PUMPKIN ACTIVITY
Once Halloween is over and you’ve got pumpkins a’ plenty, go ahead and make scientific inquiries as to when and how pumpkins might decompose in your school yard. Over many years, we have encouraged children to make a scientific hypothesis that includes a timeline for decomposition and the conditions that might accelerate or decelerate the process. Rotten Pumpkin and Pumpkin Jack recommended in this post are the perfect anchor texts for this activity. Go ahead and bury some pumpkins, hide others under shrubs, and leave a few out in the open to observe week over week! Don’t forget to tag me on your social media shares at @roomtoplay, so I can see your experiments too!
If you are looking for more cross-curricular pumpkin ideas, check out my post on Halloween Pumpkin Math here, or follow me on Pinterest for loads of great Halloween ideas!