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We had quite an experience with our pumpkins. First, we measured the height of the pumpkins from the floor to the top of the stem. We also weighed them with a scale. We made conjectures about the pumpkins based on their appearance. For instance, we reasoned that the bigger pumpkins would have more seeds inside (incorrect) and generally weigh more (correct) as compared to the smaller pumpkins. We also reasoned that the white pumpkins may have lighter colored interior flesh as opposed to the dark orange pumpkins. This was also correct. White pumpkins have grapefruit colored flesh inside and an almost cantaloupe smell to them. Finally, we cut the pumpkins open and counted their seeds.

After we recorded all of our findings on a chart, we turned the pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns and put them outside. We would have toasted the seeds but that idea went by the wayside. Too much excitement going on.

Weighing Pumpkins

Weighing Pumpkins

Counting Seeds, Hundreds of Seeds

Counting Seeds, Hundreds of Seeds

We purchased three pumpkins, a gourd and a “glitter” pumpkin night light from our local farm stand. I was careful to choose both white and orange pumpkins to point out the wide variation in pumpkin species. Blue pumpkins had been present at the farm stand. However, these pumpkins were huge and likely cost prohibitive. Their skin was also tough and it caused the pumpkin to not look a good candidate for carving. The gourd was for a an art project unrelated to the pumpkins. And, my son just can’t help himself around glitter, but that’s a different story.

We made a trip to the library to read up on pumpkins. We have focused on plant and animal lifecycles in the past. Consequently, I sifted through a variety of books that focused on the growth and development from seed to finished product. Here are a few of my finds:

I also identified a great book that touched on the history of the pumpkin and its role in various cultural festivals and lore.

And, the reading list would not be complete without a bedtime story that mirrored the excitement that my son felt as he picked a pumpkin during the day and set it outside to light the night.

Continuing on with the fruit of the season and harvest theme, we switched easily from apples to pumpkins. To get in the swing of things, we went pumpkin picking at a local farm stand.