Pumpkin exploration

Fall offers a lot of opportunities for hands on science experiments. It's also a great time to build background and life experiences. Exploring and carving a pumpkin is perfect for building attending and language skills... and you can sneak in science!

Fall offers a lot of opportunities for hands on science experiments. It's also a great time to build background and life experiences. Exploring and carving a pumpkin is perfect for building attending and language skills... and you can sneak in science!

  
These activities are wonderful for targeting:

*Commenting skills

*Requesting

*Following verbal directions

*Strengthening fine motor muscles

We start by carving a classroom pumpkin together. Many of our students don't have strong social skills or notice other people enough to have a sense of belonging to a group. We try to build that community feel as often as possible. Working together as a team to carve the classroom pumpkin is one of those ways we work on building community. 

To begin, we take a vote to decide on what shapes the eyes, nose and mouth will be. Then, we draw the winners on the pumpkin. Most of my class can write, so we had them take turns drawing the shapes on the pumpkin this year. The face is a little bit off kilter, but super cute!



Students had to state in a complete sentence which body part s/he was going to draw and what shape it would be. To keep the students who weren't drawing engaged, we worked on commenting on what the student drawing was doing and answering WH questions. For example, "Who is drawing the eye?" "What is Joey doing?"


Next, we took turns carving out the lines we drew.



We explored the insides of the pumpkin and talked about how it felt. It was a huge deal for some of my students to touch it. 





Afterwards, we painted a small pumpkin that students will be taking home. During this part students had to request which paint colors they wanted to use in complete sentences. 




The pumpkins came out great and we squeezed a lot of skills into the fun!


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