Watermelon exploration in preschool

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on May 28, 2012

in Science and Nature, Sensory Play, Watermelon Explorations

I brought in a real watermelon for my students to both explore and to taste and to, of course, enjoy for snack…

We started by examining the watermelon in circletime. We knocked on the watermelon to listen to what sound it makes. Then we lifted the watermelon to determine if it was light or heavy.  I wish I had brought scales so we could have estimated the weight of the watermelon. I would have loved to hear what my student’s guesses might have been compared to the actual weight of the watermelon (writing that down for next year)…

We discovered that the watermelon was indeed quite heavy. In fact, Mrs. Stewart had to stay close by to help out because it was very hard to hold such a huge watermelon…

We also discovered that the watermelon was round and we could the feel curves with our hands….

So many words to describe a watermelon so far but then we cut it in half.  We knew that if we took a sharp knife (well that was Mrs. Stewart’s job) and cut it down the middle, it would now have two parts and each part would be one-half…

After opening up our watermelon, we discovered that this watermelon was considered a seedless watermelon. Not finding any black seeds was actually a little disappointing and confusing.  We could definitely see white seeds in our watermelon but not any black seeds were to be found…

We continued to cut one watermelon half in half again.  Now we had three parts of a watermelon.  We saved two parts for our snack and the other half of the watermelon to explore a little more closely…

When we went to write out the word watermelon and draw our own watermelons, we (Our Prek Kids) discovered the word watermelon was actually two words put together to describe one piece of fruit. Now how cool is that?  Two different words put together can make a brand new word!

As we explored the inside of the watermelon, we discovered that it had a rind, seeds, and that the fleshy red part was the fruit. We talked about how the fruit can be eaten but the rind should not be eaten.  But what about those seeds? Could we eat them? Some of the children didn’t think so and others felt it would be just fine…

We explored the remaining half of the watermelon and dug down deep to find more seeds and yes, it was a bit messy…

Our morning of watermelon exploration and discussion was almost complete but we had to do at least one more thing. We had to eat some of course!

And no – we didn’t eat this watermelon half but I didn’t think to take a photo of snack time so you will just take my word for it – we ate the other half of our watermelon for snack…

I have already shared with you our watermelon suncatchers that we made to go along with today’s exploration.  In my next post, I will share with you our watermelon paintings that we made to wrap up our watermelon day of discovery…

 

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1 Pam May 28, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I absolutely adore your hands on engagements with your early learners. Oh how I wish you were close by so that you could give workshops on these amazing ideas. Your incorporation of arithmetic, geometry, science/sensory, and EVERYTHING makes me smile__broadly when I think the long lasting memories you’re giving the children in your charge. Great stuff, here. Thank you!

2 crystal@growingajeweledrose May 28, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Yum! I love watermelon. The best way for children to explore it is by digging right in to the real thing :)

3 Malia {Playdough to Plato} May 28, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Another amazing activity, Deborah! Nothing says “summer” like watermelons. I am adding this to our to-do list. Thank you!

4 andie jaye May 28, 2012 at 4:37 pm

that looks so fun! especially the hands-on squishing of the watermelon!

and off-topic..i love your polka dot trash can :)

5 School Sparks Renee May 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Deborah – this is a terrific activity. I just love the way you incorporate so much learning into what would appear to be a simple exploration of an everyday item. You are inspiring, Renee

6 JDaniel4's Mom May 30, 2012 at 8:25 am

What fun! I love your sun catcher. My guys inhale watermelon in the summer.

7 Natalie June 1, 2012 at 12:01 am

I love the sun catcher idea too. I happened to have two watermelon in the classroom and I got some great comparisons. One was smaller, different colors, one muddier… Next time I will have to let them cut it up in a tub.
Thanks for sharing!

8 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. June 1, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Great idea to do a little comparing too!

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