Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pumpkin Science

Since picking pumpkins at the pumpkin patch, our class has been using our pumpkins during Science class for some interesting investigations!

First, we investigated the size of our pumpkins. We began by estimating which pumpkin we thought might be the largest, and which might be the smallest. We talked about different ways of estimating, and then we tried them out! We started by putting our pumpkins into two categories - large pumpkins, and small pumpkins. Then we compared our pumpkin to others in the same category. Finally, we lined all of our pumpkins up and used our observations to decide which pumpkin was the smallest and which was the largest.

After estimating the size of our pumpkins, we measured them. Because a pumpkin is round and our rulers are flat, we used a piece of string wrapped around our pumpkin to mark out its size. Then, we measured the length of our string to see how big around our pumpkins were. We have been working on recording our results in a bar graph!

We also made some estimates about the seeds inside our pumpkins! After guessing that large pumpkins might have more seeds than small pumpkins, we took a look inside Miss. OC's pumpkin and made an estimate about how many seeds it held. We looked inside each of our pumpkins, too, and estimated how many seeds there were inside! After making our estimates, we each thought of a counting strategy and began counting our seeds. Some of us counted by 10's, 20's, 5's, and even 1's! Counting seeds one by one took a long time! Finally, we compared our estimates to our final count. Practicing estimating is making our estimates more accurate!

Of course, once our pumpkins were empty, we couldn't just let them go to waste! With the help of some very eager volunteers, we carved our pumpkins into jack o'lanterns. Take a look at our amazing pumpkin carvings.

But whatever happened to the seeds we harvested? We turned them into Math Art! Check back tomorrow for photos of our pumpkin seed art. :)

Leave us a comment:

Have you ever carved a jack o'lantern before? 

Do you have any tips for making an accurate estimate?


  1. Can you tell me who had the biggest pumpkin, and who had the smallest? Wouldn't it be funny if the smallest person in the class had the biggest pumpkin and the tallest person had the smallest?

  2. Hi Division 2! I'm Miss O'C's friend Jamie! I love to knit and read and I love to turn pumpkins into Jack'O Lanterns! This halloween, we had 5 Jack'0 Lanterns at my house. My other favorite this to do with pumpkin is eat it, and I like to eat the seeds too. I thought a good way to estimate how many seeds were in a pumpkin would be to weight them. First, you would weigh all of the seeds from your pumpkin, then you would cound out some seeds, maybe 50, and weigh those seeds. If you divide the total weight of all the seeds by the weight of the 50 seeds, and then multiply that number by 50, you could get an estimate. You could get Miss O'C to help you with the math! Please give Miss O'C a high-five for me! Oh, and happy blogging!
    ps...I don't have a g-mail account but Miss O'C knows where to find me!

  3. What a fun way to learn about contrasting and comparing! Wish I had known about this when I was teaching 3rd grade down here in California! Keep up the good work!

  4. @ Kansas,

    Riannon had the smallest pumpkin, and Miss. OC had the largest pumpkin! To make your joke work, we'd have to give Miss. OC's pumpkin to Ebony, and Riannon's to Miss. OC! :)

    From, Miss. OC and Division 2

  5. It looks like everyone had a great time! Nice to see all the big smiles.

  6. What wonderful pumpkins. Well done everyone. Did you choose and pick them yourselves?

  7. @Anonymous,

    We did get to pick out our pumpkins all by ourselves. When we got to the pumpkin patch, we had to find our own pumpkins, that we could lift and carry, and bring them back to the bus.


    Division 2 and Miss. OC

  8. Dear Miss.OC.
    I liked carving pumpkins.

    It was fun.

    Your friend Alexis

  9. Dear Miss.OC
    I liked carving pumpkins.

    How did you carve your pumpkin?

    Did you have fun?

    Your friend, Fuzzy

  10. Great looking pumpkins! I bet learning is more fun when you get to go out and pick your own pumpkins!
    Jevan's sister, Dallas.

  11. it looks like everybody had a good time the pumpkins look great :-)

  12. @ Jamie,

    Thank-you for your great comment! We talked about weighing our pumpkins when we were making our estimates about how many seeds would be inside. We guessed that the more seeds inside a pumpkin, the more it would weigh.

    When I did this experiment with my grade 4/5 class last year, some students suggested making an estimate with your method! It turns out that because pumpkin seeds are so light, you have to weigh A LOT of them at one time. That works out to a lot of counting!

    Thanks for the high-fives! They were delivered with big smiles all around. :)

    Your friend,

    Miss. OC

  13. @Fuzzy,

    I carved a Cheshire Cat into my pumpkin at home. I peeled the skin off the pumpkin in places instead of cutting all the way through and I used a spoon to scrape the inside of my pumpkin very thin so the light would shine through it! My pumpkin had slanted cat eyes and a big, toothy grin. It was a hit with all the trick-or-treaters!

    I had lots of fun carving pumpkins with all of you in class. I especially enjoyed seeing everyone's creative ideas for pumpkin faces!

    Your teacher,

    Miss. OC

  14. Dear div2

    I caved a pumpkin before I carved

    it has a scary face

    from Preston

  15. Hello! My name is Leonora I am Ebony grandma buddy, The division 2 blog is a awesome idea. Its good to see what the children are doing in school. It keeps us up to date with there learning activities and studies.


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