Pumpkin Jack and Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf

Oh, I am SOOOOO glad that Halloween is over! I know it is such a fun day for kids, but YIKES, there is just something about Halloween that gets kids all hyped up - even if their parents are diligent with keeping the candy consumption low! :) It was so nice to turn the calendar over to November on Thursday!

So.... today we read one of my favorite books "Pumpkin Jack" by Will Hubbell. You might be familiar with this story..... A young boy places his pumpkin in the garden instead of the trash and finds out in the spring that his beloved pumpkin has become a sprout! It follows the growth of the sprout as it turns from sprout in the spring to pumpkin in the fall. I love this story because it goes along so well with the pumpkin life cycle mini unit that we do in science.

BEFORE we read this book, though, we did a float and sink experiment. I gathered random items around the classroom and chose children to drop them into a tub of water. We predicted whether the items would float or sink and recorded our findings on our Promethean board. When all the items had been shared, I said "Wait! We have one more item to try!" and I brought out our pumpkin. Amid the "Oohs and Ahhs", I also heard "No way that pumpkin will float!" So we took a vote and then put the pumpkin inside our tub - Wow! It floats! Pretty cool science experiment!

Then we looked at our pumpkin from the outside. We found the stem, the place where the blossom was, and counted the stripes. We predicted what the inside would look like. I took a knife, cut the pumpkin open, and we scooped out the seeds. The children put the seeds into groups of 10 and did an approximate count of them. Our pumpkin had about 200 seeds!

 Today, we took our Pumpkin Jack out to our garden and said "Goodbye" to him. But we will continue to watch him and hopefully in the spring, we will see some new sprouts!

While we were outside, we gathered leaves. Our maintenance crew is awesome, though, so it was a little difficult to find some fallen leaves! We did manage to find a few, though, and we brought them inside. I read another of my favorite books "Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf" by Lois Ehlert.

Then we put on our paint shirts, picked out a leaf and used small paintbrushes to paint the leaf red. The kids turned their leaf over and made a print onto white paper. They then took another leaf and painted the side of the leaf yellow and printed that leaf. THEN they took red AND yellow and printed an orange leaf. These turn out so pretty! When dry, I will staple the pictures to brown paper and give the kids strips of red, yellow, and orange paper. Their task will be to cut the strips into pieces and decorate the sides with a pattern. I will share them when they are finished next week.

Peace and blessings,

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