Exploring the life cycle of a pumpkin

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on October 13, 2012

in Apples and Pumpkins, Children's Books, Life Cycle of a Pumpkin

We spent several days taking a closer look at pumpkins.  One of the stories we read to the children was the book titled, “Apples and Pumpkins” by Anne Rockwell…

This book took us on an enlightening journey through both an apple orchard and a pumpkin patch…

To introduce the children to the life cycle of a pumpkin, Mrs. Courtney introduced the stages of growth of a pumpkin to the children using a real pumpkin seed, seedling, vine, flower, green pumpkin and pumpkin she brought from home…

The different stages of the pumpkin sparked lots of conversation with our students and invited the children to tell their own stories of their experiences visiting a pumpkin patch or growing pumpkins at their own homes…

Then the children passed the different parts of the pumpkin plant around the circle…

As the children passed around the fully grown pumpkin, they discovered that it was very heavy…

We followed up our discussion on the life cycle of a pumpkin plant by planting our own pumpkin seeds in a plastic bag…

The children dipped a cotton ball in water then squeezed the water out so the cotton ball would be wet but not dripping wet…

Then the children placed the cotton ball in a baggy and picked a seed out of the pumpkin to place inside their baggie too…

Once the seed and damp cotton ball was in the baggie, the baggie was sealed and taped up in our window to see what will happen next…

We don’t know if our seed will grow or not but as we observe the seeds over the next few weeks, our discussion on pumpkins will continue to come up and create additional opportunities to ask and answer questions about the growth of a pumpkin…

Available on Amazon

Links to grow on

Don’t have a real pumpkin you can explore?  Then check out these Life Cycle Cards (pdf) from Montessori For Everyone!

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1 Mary October 13, 2012 at 10:31 am

Thank you for sharing the Life Cycle of a Pumpkin. Great early Science,outdoor activity, self thinking skill, and so much more lessons to be taught. Best, Mary@diligentnanny.webs.com

2 Trisha October 13, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Thanks so much for this timely post and the pdf of the pumpkin life cycle! I grew mini pumpkins this summer just for preschool (5 or 6 inch kind)–and I haven’t dug the bushes up yet. Hooray! The bush pumpkins have partial vines–just enough to show the kids. I never even thought of bringing everything inside. I think I will do both–have them look at the bush as it is (partially dying:) and then cut off the pieces and bring inside to explore more closely. Thanks so much!

3 Marnie October 13, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Love how hands on this activity is!! Well done, Deborah!

4 School Sparks Renee October 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm

What a unique lesson. Thanks for suggesting the Anne Rockwell book. I’ll look for that. I never thought about looking at the life cycle of the pumpkin. I’ve just examined fully grown ones. Another great idea!! :) Renee

5 Lisa Nolan October 14, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Love this activity! I’m going to use it with my son when we have left-over Halloween pumpkins! Great for Montessori, family gardening, too!

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